Cold. Photo via Mountainfilm.
Mountainfilm wrote this guest post on top film picks at this year’s festival.
Next week, Mountainfilm will kick off its 33rd annual festival in Telluride, Colorado, May 27-30, 2011.
Started in 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride is one of America’s longest-running film festivals.
Through 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 describe their experience.
This year, the festival boasts a solid list of films, many focused on mountain-inspired themes. Here are two of our top picks:
Cold trailer. Video via Mountainfilm.
Ascending an 8,000-meter peak is never easy. In winter, with temperatures plummeting to 30 below and colder and with snowstorms raging, it is nearly unthinkable.
In fact, of the seventeen efforts to ascend an 8,000-meter peak in Pakistan in winter only one has been successful. That winter ascent of Gasherbrum II by Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards is the subject of Cold.
Filmed by Richards and written from his perspective, this is a very personal and frank portrayal of the risks and rigors of high-altitude mountaineering, in this case intensified by the choice of calendar date—fully three months ahead of the standard Himalayan season.
There’s crazy; and then there’s cold crazy. Moro, Urubko and Richards clearly pitch their tents in the latter camp. Of the three, only Richards—the first American to ever achieve an 8,000-meter winter ascent anywhere—seems concerned by the madness.
Towers of the Ennedi. Photo via Mountainfilm.
Renan Ozturk heads to the remote and sun-flattened landscape of the Ennedi Desert in northeastern Chad.
It’s a hot, sand-scoured and unfriendly place, but from its vast belly rise clusters of spires, towers and rock formations that are breathtakingly lovely.
In Towers of the Ennedi, Ozturk and veteran climber Mark Synnott—known more for his far-flung adventures than his technical accomplishments—bring young climbing stars Alex Honnold and James Pearson to the Ennedi to explore its untouched landscapes.
Together, Synnott, Honnold and Pearson endure a long, bumpy drive across the sand flats of a godforsaken country to reach an incredible destination: gardens of towers filled with graceful fingers of rock, bottle-shaped formations and lithe arches. With its stark and poetic footage of camels and rock, as well as jarring images of unpleasant travels, this film shows that sometimes you can have just as many adventures trying to reach your destination as you can have once you get there.
Towers of the Ennedi trailer. Video courtesy via Mountainfilm.
This is a Guest Post.