Everyone says Mountainfilm is inspiring–and it is, don’t get me wrong–but it’s so much more than that. It’s empowering, rousing, almost perturbing–but in a good way. It stirs something inside of you that screams, “wake up!” Wake up to your life’s purpose and to what’s happening around you. Wake up to your passion and then explore it and share it with the world. For some Mountainfilmers this means traveling around the world in search of the best rock with the most beautiful lines, or raising awareness about toxic chemicals in our drinking water, or photographing unique cultures of our world, and even kayaking through unknown waters. I was able to track down filmmaker, Sarah Menzies of Red Reel Videos who says, “Personally, each film leaves me wanting to do more, to act more, and to be a more conscious individual. Mountainfilm pushes me to ask myself, ‘am I doing enough to make this world a better place?’ ”
Mountainfilm invites you to add some adventure to your life and do what you can to make a difference. I’m sure I am not the only one who left Telluride daydreaming about what I might do next and how I can show my love for the outdoors and for the wild places of our world. For all you Clymbers who didn’t make it to the festival this year, I thought I would share some of the most awakening films at this year’s Mountainfilm:
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry follows a man who might be the boldest, most passionate artist of our time. Loathed by the Chinese government and admired by the Chinese people, his artistic endeavors are shaping the culture in China. This film won the 2012 Festival Director’s Award this year.
If you remember Tim DeChristopher and his stance against the oil and gas industry–or you are a fan of Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang–check out the trailer for Bidder 70–a moving film that documents DeChristopher’s civil disobedience case and the unwavering support from his organization, Peaceful Uprising.
And if all you need is some inspiration to find the next big wave, don’t miss Code Red–an incredible surfing film that displays what happens when the Tahitian Coast Guard calls a “code red” and tries to keep everyone out of the water and away from a massive swell.
The weekend was filled with incredible films, stories and exhibits. It is impossible to choose the best–but if I had to, it would be the super secret screening of what might be the next best climbing film. I promised I wouldn’t say too much, but I can tell you that it documents Yosemite climbing culture and the icons that have evolved the sport, meditation and challenge of pure rock climbing better than any climbing film to date. For the first view, stay connected with Sender Films–you don’t want to miss this one.
I learned a lot from this year’s Mountainfilm. For example, there are hundreds of bikes in Telluride but zero bike locks. Also, with enough adrenaline and inspiration soaring through your body it’s possible to pull back-to-back all nighters and function on not much more than caffeine, bread and alcohol. But most importantly, there are people around the world who are doing incredible, adventurous and passionate things. Things many of us limit to daydreams and wild imaginations–and I can’t think of one good reason not to join them. Inspiring? Yes. But also a loud wake-up call to do what you love.
I’m already making plans for next year’s festival–this time hopefully book-ended with an epic road trip through the Southwest. Hopefully some of you Clymbers will follow the inspiration and join me.