MountainFilm Revamped

There’s always a way to engage more of the Colorado College community. That’s how Lily Green ’19, director on the MountainFilm planning committee, sees it. “There’s certainly aspects of overlap in every department, but I’m interested in how we can have community events to bring everyone together and spark discussions around really important subjects,” said Green.

Photos by Joe Keat

MountainFilm is a film festival that highlights award-winning short documentary films. It occurs every September in Telluride, Colo., celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. After the premiere, the festival tours worldwide to 150 locations and reaches as many as 70,000 people.

Each year, the Department of Outdoor Education and Colorado College Student Government Association sponsor a Mountain Film stop at Colorado College. However, this year, the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration and Film and Media Studies departments also worked as partners. “We [were] really excited to use this event as a beginning-of-the-year platform to foster cross-departmental collaboration, which seems like something that is lacking on our campus,” Green said.

“In years past, the committee has focused the theme around adrenaline highlights and extreme sports. Which is awesome, but there is a lot of that on campus,” Green continued. That is why, as a director, Green pushed for more films about social justice issues.

Green, along with the rest of the committee, worked with the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies department to curate a collection of films that focus on migration.

The committee chose from about 100 films and selected 10 films that ranged from 90 seconds to 20 minutes. The films cover topics such as refugee issues, immigration issues, and environmental issues, all through the theme of migration.

Students flooded Armstrong Hall on Wednesday to catch some or all of the spectacular films. With such a positive reception, Green and the committee hope to further collaborate in the coming years on MountainFilm. In the future, they may include Q&A panels, engage more students in the film selection process, and work with additional departments.

In case you missed MountainFilm, here are some brief summaries of the films. Keep an eye out for them — they’re worth the watch!

“Escape” – A Canadian man sets out to ride his bike across Canada and set the record for longest continuous fixed-gear bike ride.

“Rebuilding in Miniature” – An Iraqi immigrant living in Turkey describes his hobby of building miniature scenes from all over the world.

“Yojani” – This film follows a Cuban skateboarder as he rides around the streets of Havana.

“Free Like the Birds” – The film chronicles the life of an amazing young girl named Sophie Cruz who has become a voice of immigration reform.

“Hayley: 90 Seconds on Fear” – 90 seconds long, this film highlights Hayley Ashburn and her high-altitude highline walk.

“The National Mammal” – Showcases the last wild herd of bison in Yellowstone National Park and the dangers they face from outside.

“Sky Migrations” – Biologists and filmmakers follow the migration of raptor bird species south through the United States.

“Craig’s Reaction” – Craig DeMartion fell over 100 feet in a climbing accident, but he won’t let his injuries hold him back.

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