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Telluride Colorado

The New Normal

A Hard Hitting Look at Climate Change in Mountainfilm

The New Normal

Telluride Mountainfilm is an event that inspires and educates its audience that comes from all over the world to the tiny box canyon of Telluride. The event consists of movies in theatres all over Telluride and Mountain Village and hosts over one hundred special guests, including speakers at the Moving Mountains Symposium, guest presenters, filmmakers, film subjects, judges, panel participants, artists and other luminaries. To get everyone involved, there are even free outdoor movies under the stars in Town Park projected on the big stage. This year’s festival will take place May 26th through 29th. 

Celebrating its inaugural year in 1979, Telluride Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. Throughout the years, in and out of trends and fads, the festival has always been best described by one unchanging word: inspiring. Far more than any other adjective, that’s how festival audiences remember their experiences year after year.

In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a symposium on a contemporary issue, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, outdoor programs, a book-signing party, an ice cream social, student programs and a closing picnic and awards ceremony. Presentations and panels are scheduled throughout the Memorial Day weekend event with a wide diversity of special guests, ranging from artists to adventurers and academics to activists.

“The New Normal”

Telluride Mountainfilm will focus on climate change for its 2017 symposium, titled “The New Normal.” The day-long symposium, which kicks off the May 26th through 29th festival, will delve unflinchingly into the most advanced science and newest developments that are critical to understanding the challenging situation. The symposium will look at the worldwide climate adaptations that are already changing the way we live, probe promising technology and innovation, and offer direct steps for the audience to effect positive change.

The symposium will have a wide range of speakers — scientists, activists and storytellers — who are on the front lines of today's climate issues. As David Holbrooke, the festival director said, “The challenge is how to make programming on climate change feel fresh and forward thinking. We feel that The New Normal allows us to look clear-eyed at what is happening to our planet and also address how some of these potential changes can create a new and vibrant global society.”

This year, the symposium will also look closely at what The New Normal means in the Telluride, Colorado, region. Mountainfilm will collaborate with the people of Ashton Hayes, a British village that has worked assiduously to become carbon neutral. Telluride has always had a reputation as a bastion of innovation, so the symposium will highlight what the local community can do to lead in America and beyond.

The Preliminary Lineup for Speaks at the Symposium:

James Balog.  Environmental photographer James Balog has spent more than three decades chronicling human modification of our planet’s natural systems through images. He is the founder of the Extreme Ice Survey, which is the most wide-ranging photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. His work was the subject of the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice, which screened at Mountainfilm in 2012, as well as the short documentaries 1000 Cuts (Mountainfilm 2015) and Message in a Bottle (Mountainfilm 2016). In 2009, he served as a U.S./NASA representative at the United Nations Conference on climate change in Copenhagen, and he has given presentations at places that range from TED to the White House.

Alizé Carrére . A writer, photographer, cultural anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer, Alizé Carrére has spent several years traveling the world examining the ways humans are adapting to climate change. She has traveled from Madagascar to Norway and India to research and document the stories of the people on the front lines of climate change, such as farmers in Bangladesh who plant floating gardens in the country’s rising waters.

Chris Steinkamp . The executive director of Protect Our Winters (POW), Steinkamp runs an organization dedicated to mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead change toward positive climate activism. He helped legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones found POW in 2007 after Jones recognized a gap between the outdoor sports world and climate change action. The organization partners with a consortium of professional athletes, resorts and outdoors companies concerned with the sustainability of snowpack, winter seasons and snow sports.

You can read about more speakers and get more information on the lineup in the symposium press release .

In addition to the main event in Telluride each year, Mountainfilm travels year-round and worldwide with a selection of current and best-loved films from the annual festival in Telluride. They present both single-event and multi-day shows, hosted by a wide array of organizations, including schools and colleges, corporations, community groups and theater operators. They are regularly called on by nonprofit organizations to be part of fundraising events. Each year, they select the best short films from their annual festival and make them available to hosts to select for their shows. Their fee-based structure gives local organizers the ability to set ticket prices, sell local sponsorship packages and conduct raffles to achieve financial and fundraising goals. Each show is emceed by a Mountainfilm presenter who guides the audience through the program, often sharing personal stories from his or her interactions with the filmmaker or the film's subjects.

Mountainfilm has a solid mission that cultivates their events year after year. “Mountainfilm uses the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.”

Here’s last year’s Mountainfilm intro to get you psyched:

If you haven’t booked your trip to Telluride for this year’s Mountainfilm be sure to as soon as you can as lodging fills up quickly. The Peaks Resort & Spa , Telluride's only ski-in/ski-out and golf-in/golf-out resort, is a short, free gondola ride away from the historic Town of Telluride, or explore all of Telluride's lodging options and our trip planning guide .