Telluride Mountainfilm Festival 2012

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm  2012 |

As you all know Telluride, CO is my muse. Winter, spring, summer and fall ~ my majestic home away from home never ceases to delight. This nugget of a town fills the senses with empowerment, lightness and color.

Each Memorial Day weekend the warmer weather is welcomed by  the first festival of the season Mountainfilm. This was the festival’s 34th year. I attended #33 and I plan on making the yearly trek from now on.

This is a special time when filmmakers, extreme athletes, photographers, film aficionados and mountain lovers everywhere come together to embrace life. About 90 films are carefully selected and shared with us.

Go ahead and grab a cup of coffee. Maybe a pot. Lots to share here today!

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Mountainfilm Mission

“The event aims to educate and inspire audiences on subjects that range from outdoor adventure and exploration to critical environmental, cultural and social issues.” It does all this and more.

Spring Blossoms | Telluride, CO |

Telluride is in full bloom!

This is a special time of year where cherry blossoms burst open…

Spring Blossoms | Telluride, CO |

And the mountain tops are still decorated in snow…

Spring in Telluride, CO |

When you are in the sun you feel warmth, when you are in the shade and as soon as night falls a sweet chill fills the air. People always have light puffer jackets on hand…

Spring Blossoms | Telluride, CO |

Mountain style is my favorite. A little plaid, a little puff, shorts mixed with fleece and down…

Spring Blossoms | Telluride, CO |

Each day I enjoy my daily walk to the old mine. A little bit of exercise and some time to reflect on the films, symposiums and meet-ups.

The Mine, Telluride CO. Mountainfilm 2012 |

Down time is a wonderful way to get in a little shopping and take in the stunning surroundings…

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

See that guy on the bike with the big nubby tires? His name is David Holbrooke. He is a Telluride part timer, a film maker and the festival director. Both him and executive director Peter Kenworthy make this festival what it is….spectacular!

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

I think these guys are good buddies…

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

There is a large bunch of dedicated volunteers that also make this festival a well planned and perfectly oiled machine. From early morning coffee talks, to gallery walks to social events and of course making sure we all get to see cutting edge movies.

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

The Mountain Film team does it all to guarantee we all have a uniquely amazing experience.

Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

I have no idea who this guy is but I need to meet him this summer. Anyone who lives in paint splattered clothes has gotta have some good stories!

Also any guy who rides a giraffe bicycle must have some great tales…

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

I saw so many films. Full length ones, shorts, funny, sad and everything in between. A good part of the time I grip the sides of my chair watch people do the most extraordinary feats beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

These guys venture to the deepest slot canyons in the Grand Canyon. They explore crevasses not ever seen before by humans. Check out their movie Last Of The Great Unknown if you can!

I always have a little chuckle ~ I style and photograph food perched on a step ladder…

Mountainfilm 2012 |

These guys + gals dangle precariously thousands of feet in the air from mountain edges, helicopters and glaciers to get the shot. What Happened on Pam Island and Chasing Ice are great examples of a people that goes way beyond the fear factor. They make me want to get out there and do more. More adventurous photography assignments. More for my family. More for our planet.

Below is Frank Marshall the director of Right to Play. He has a long pedigree of success in movie making and his film won the Audience Award at the festival.

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

Daily gallery walks are a great way to visit with photographers and artists. I am very intrigued with Tibetan culture.

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

This particular exhibit by Phil Borges was breathtaking and quite emotional. It captures a country that craves tradition but has been haunted and forced into change.

On a lighter note…no film festival is complete without an ice cream social!

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |

Lots of ice cream…

Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |


Spring in Telluride CO. | Mountainfilm 2012 |


The Steaming Bean | Mountainfilm 2012 |

Big smiles…

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

And a giant BBQ catered by one of my favorite restaurants! We frequent La Cocina de Luz whenever we are in town.

They use plenty of seasonal and sustainable ingredients. The flavors are always fresh and amazing!

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Mostly adults attend the screenings, but little ones enjoy the ice cream social and the closing ceremony and awards picnic.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

These amazing folks from Peaceful Uprising won the Moving Mountains Prize. This movie about Tim DeChristopher was directed by the a husband wife team, Beth Gage and George Gage.

If you want to learn more about Tim’s story visit the Peaceful Uprising website.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Here they are accepting their award.

You might recognize Laura Linney…she is a Mountainfilm judge.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

This is a place where educated folks share important aspects that affect our environment ~ and the isues that make our world a great and somewhat compromised space. The festival encourages green living and it prides itself on being a low-impact festival.

Thankfully there is no swag.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Bringing your own plates, utensils and such to events is encouraged throughout the weekend. And beyond of course!

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

This is also a place where people show true grit, character and effervescent global love. (OK, that sounds a bit hippy, but go with me here)

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Judy and Gary Kopff and her hubs are wonderful folks I met waiting in line to see Ethel.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

They are volunteer clowns for the American Red Cross. They make sick little children and veterans smile and laugh. We need more folks like them. You can watch a DC Council Commemoration of this dynamic volunteer duo on this YouTube video.

All of the kids were so excited to visit with them at the picnic!

If you can ever make it to Mountainfilm I suggest you bring the whole family. You can pick and choose what films you want to see and spend the rest of the time frolicking in the high altitude alpine bliss.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

What makes Mountainfilm in Telluride unique and life changing is the wonderful community of like minded people.

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

They sip coffee, stroll the streets, discuss the films, sit in the dark and explore the world together. Surrounded by 12,000 – 14, 000 ft mountains. High altitude heaven!

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Have you ever been to Telluride Mountainfilm? How about any other film festival?

Spring in Telluride, CO. | MountainFilm |

Mountain Film Links

I saw many movies at Mountainfilm. Here are a few notables….well worth it if you can hunt them down.


~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

35 thoughts on “Telluride Mountainfilm Festival 2012

    1. Thanks Rosa! Next up ~ your dreamy country. Can’t believe I will be in Switzerland in 1 1/2 weeks!! Wish I was gonna see you though 🙂

  1. I just pinned a photo from your Telluride in the winter post, as a reminder that I want to go there one winter for a ski trip, but after reading this post, I’m going to have a hard time deciding which season to make my first trip to Telluride in. Gorgeous photos, and the film festival sounds phenomenal~Such a tough decision to make!!

    1. EA, I understand your conflict completely! You will absolutely LOVE Telluride no matter what season you go there. The skiing is amazing ~ the snow is glorious. The summer is equally as amazing. No matter what you choose you will be greatly impressed. Fall is another magical time as well. If you can make Mountainfilm that would be something to add to your travel plans for certain!
      Let me know when you plan a trip so I can share some of our favorite hot spots 🙂

  2. I knew you were in your heavenly place when I didn’t hear from you for a few…and wow, these images. First, I know how much work just editing them and creating this post must have been. Wow. Next, the quality…blown away. And also that you were very mindful of using people’s backs (not faces…especially kids) before just plastering their image onto your blog. Respecting people’s privacy and faces & not just posting (like other photographers do) is definitely noted…good for you 🙂

    1. Averie, it was such a busy 4 days!! It did take a good long time to edit the hundreds of photos I took. The hardest part is deciding which ones to post. There are so many! I met so many wonderful people and they were all hams for the camera!

  3. What great pics!!! I lived in a Denver suburb for a few years in my childhood {and now live in Kansas – but really try to visit “my mountains” every few years if I can}. We really want to visit Telluride one of these days soon…your pictures make me want to even more!

  4. Just totally beautiful Marla. I can’t get over how gorgeous and serene Colorado is- I just love the mountains and the culture there. Thanks for sharing it through your eyes.

    1. Heather, it really is serene there. The people, the mountains, the food! Everything about their way of life relaxes and soothes the soul. Well need for a super type A gal like myself! Hopefully you and your family can vivid some day!

  5. Looks like the perfect mix of fun, film and fabulousness – I’m so excited for your next mountain adventure to Switzerland – I fear you may never come back xxx

  6. Those are the most spectacular photos ever!
    Telluride is breath taking!! I’m in BC Canada right now and the mountains and blue sky reminds me of your muse!!

  7. Thanks, Marla, for posting your terrific photos of my “clowning” at the Telluride Mountain Film Awards Picnic. The following day, “Clown Gary” and I (“Clown Judy”) made balloon creations for the children in Telluride Elementary School’s kindergarten and first grade classes. What a hoot!
    Washington, DC

    1. Judy, it was so wonderful to meet you!! I love your smile and energy. Amazing reading your bio ~ The Pentagon too??!! You really are amazing. Wish I had met up with you at the T-Ride elementary school. I had an early flight out that Tuesday. Maybe next year! Let me know if you end up in Telluride at all this summer. I would love to meet up!

  8. Telluride is like a second home to me and each time I depart after an extended visit I feel like I’m leaving my heart there. Other plans force us to cancel our annual summer visit but I’m glad you took me there even for just a moment through your beautiful post! Thank you, Marla!

    1. Hi Jean, I am so glad you stopped by. I feel the same way about Telluride. It is always so difficult for me to leave there. Thankfully we spend more and more time there each year. By the end of a few weeks there we always start poking around at real estate to make the eventual move. We tap our toes into the ultimate possibility. Perhaps one day ~ we shall see. In the mean time I clock in a few months a year! Hopefully you guys can visit again sometime soon. Maybe we can meet up! That would be so fun.

  9. I wanna come visit. I haven’t been to Telluride since I was a kid and I loved seeing this post. Hope you are having a fabulous summer so far — can’t wait to hear about Switzerland, too!

  10. I love this post. We just spent a week in Telluride about a month ago and have been dreaming of it since. It is the greatest place I’ve ever been! We can’t wait to get back there!