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Telluride Mountainfilm

Held every Memorial Day weekend since 1979, Telluride Mountainfilm is a documentary film festival that showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues in Telluride, Colorado . In addition to documentaries, the festival also brings together world-class athletes, change makers and artists via interactive discussions, free community events, a gallery walk, an all-day symposium, outdoor programming and presentations. Mountainfilm aims to educate, inspire and motivate audiences.

In 2000, Mountainfilm started touring its films and speakers internationally with Mountainfilm on Tour. Mountainfilm has been added to the study of Mountainfilm for Students. Mountainfilm also funds Mountainfilm Commitment Grants, annual grants for filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects align with the organization’s mission to move audiences to action on important issues.

Telluride Mountainfilm is telling the story of Telluride Film Festival , which is a different festival than Telluride over Labor Day weekend.

The History of Mountainfilm

Mountainfilm began in 1979 when it was completed in the spring and summer. Lito Tejada-Flores, after screening his adventure and mountaineering Fitzroy movie at the Trento festival in Italy, and Bill Kees, inaugurated the event. Over three nights at the Sheridan Opera House, they screened about mountain sports, mountain cultures and mountain issues. During the daytime, audience members took to the mountains for adventure themselves.

The first festivals attracted leading names in mountaineering and exploration: Royal Robbins , Yvon Chouinard , David Breashears and others. With their help, the event has become a tradition for a circle of pioneers in various fields – from athletes to environmentalists to scientists and poets. Mountains soon became a metaphorical theme, and the festival expanded in size and recognition, its programming stretching into contemporary issues. The festival’s tagline is “celebrating indomitable spirit.”


Bill McKibben , Chris Sharma , Wade Davis , Sandra Steingraber , Sir Edmund Hillary , Richard Holbrooke , Dianne Feinstein , Galen Rowell , George Schaller , Phil Borges , Frans Lanting , Lynn Hill , David Brower , Pete Athans , Telluride Mountainfilm Timmy O’Neill , Subhankar Banerjee , David Breashears , Norman Vaughan , Martin Litton ,James Balog , Maurice Herzog , Gretel Ehrlich , Timothy Treadwell , David James Duncan , Julia Butterfly Hill , John Grunsfeld , Angela Fisher, Rick Ridgeway and Carl Pope .

Mountainfilm on Tour

In 2000, Mountainfilm introduced Mountainfilm on Tour, which presents over 125 shows per year worldwide. More than 65,000 people are waiting across 6 continents. The Tour continues to expand to a national tour of Australia and New Zealand for 2017 ( http://www.mountainfilmtour-ausnz.com/ ).


Founders include Royal Robbins , Lito Tejada-Flores, then president of American Alpine Club , Bob Craig and local Telluride Bill Kees, along with help from Climbing magazine owner / publisher Michael Kennedy and Patagoniafounder Yvon Chouinard .

Mission statement

Mountainfilm uses the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.


Mountainfilm’s motto is “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit.”

Mountainfilm Vision

Mountainfilm is a dynamic organization and festival of films, people, stories, and ideas that celebrate indomitable spirit, educate and inspire audiences, and motivate individuals and communities to advance solutions for a livable world.

Mountainfilm Values

Embracing adventure

Preserving environments

Connecting cultures

Building community

Inspiring activism

Fostering storytellers

Enlightening audiences

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