Mountainfilm Announces Official Film Selections for 31st Annual Festival

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Telluride, Colorado (April 15, 2009) – Mountainfilm in Telluride has selected the films that will screen for its audiences over Memorial Day weekend. The chosen films exemplify the extraordinary scope and breadth of Mountainfilm’s programming, ranging from short animation and humorous narrative pieces to feature documentaries about the most pressing social, environmental and cultural issues facing the world today.

“We have had the enviable problem of too many great films to choose from this year,” said Mountainfilm festival director David Holbrooke. “The films we did select cover a wide range of topics but what is consistent across the schedule is the vein of passion delivered by the filmmakers. Our agenda was to look for entertaining films that provoke thought and conversation and ultimately lead to action. I believe this year’s program delivers extremely well on all those fronts.”

In addition to the previously announced world premiere of Ken Burns’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Holbrooke cited the following films as some of the highlights of this year’s entries:

At The Edge of the World – Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson and his band of ecopirates sail two ships to Antarctica to intercept Japanese whalers who defy international bans by whaling under false research auspices – and do so in a whale sanctuary. With Paul Watson, in person.

Big River Man – The story of Martin Strel, four-time, world-record endurance swimmer, and his attempt to be the first person ever to swim the length of the Amazon River. With Martin Strel and his son, Borut, in person.

Burma VJ – Armed with hand cameras, undercover video journalists in Burma sustained the flow of news from their closed country during a popular uprising in 2007 despite risking torture and life in jail. With Inge Sargent, Burmese princess and human rights activist, in person.

Food, Inc. – This film lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, the USDA and FDA.

The Garden – The Academy Award-nominated film about the fourteen-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles – the largest of its kind in the United States – that is threatened by demolition. With Tezozomoc, farm leader, in person.

Reporter – A feature documentary about Nicholas Kristof, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, who almost single-handedly put the crisis in Darfur on the world map. With Nicholas Kristof, in person.

Rock Prophecies – A feature documentary about Robert Knight, one of the most prolific and prophetic photographers of rock and roll guitarists. He took some of the first published pictures of Jimi Hendrix and the last ones of Stevie Ray Vaughan. With Robert Knight, in person, and his photography at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

Samsara – The world premiere of an athlete-produced film about Mt. Meru, one of the most iconic and sacred peaks on the planet. Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk had one of the greatest adventures of their lives. With Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk, in person.

About Mountainfilm: For 30 years, Mountainfilm has been committed to bringing everincreasing levels of artistic excellence to its mission of educating and inspiring audiences about critical issues. The festival began as a venue to showcase climbing movies. It has grown to be a major proponent of adventure, awareness and activism. Celebrating indomitable spirit, Mountainfilm has the power to change lives. To learn more, visit our website. To join the conversation, please visit our blog, follow us on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.