Films festivals are often a dime a dozen, with some cities pretty much boasting a fest for every subgenre and topic imaginable. But some aspire to a higher purpose, namely education, and Mountainfilm is one of those.
Mountainfilm in Telluride is a 37 year old documentary film festival in Colorado, which has recently developed a tour program due to its fame. The festival is dedicated to educating audiences about "issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining," as their mission states.
The architecture firm [STRANG] kicks off Mountainfilm on Tour in Miami this year, as they operate within both Miami and Telluride. As for the venue within our fair city? It's none other than The Kampong, which is located on Biscayne Bay and within the National Tropical Botanical Garden. There really isn't any other place more appropriate for a film festival so focused on the environment and contemporary issues.
Taking place over two nights, the festival will be showcasing two feature-length documentaries and a multitude of short films in accompaniment. On Friday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m, the festival opens with Once Upon A Forest, a documentary by filmmaker Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins). The documentary offers up a visually stunning exploration of how forests are in a constant state of growth and change, accompanied by the theories of French botanist Francis Hallé.
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Alongside this feature are not one, but a whopping seven, short films: Skip Armstrong's The Coast, Kenny Laubbacher's The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon to Patagonia, Ben Knight's Denali, Michael Brown & Nick Waggoner's After Glow, Forrest Woodward's The Important Places, Ben Marr & Rush Sturgess' Drainage Ditch Kayake, and Justin Bogardus' Nature Rx. It's a cool little mix of shorts, all of which align perfectly with Mountainfilm's mission, and offer up plenty of introductory content before the follow-up evening.
On November 21st, also at 7:30 p.m., comes the second feature of the festival: Louie Psyhoyos' Racing Extinction. The documentary, put together by the same group as the Academy Award winner The Cover, focuses on activists out to expose how humanity is causing the next major extinction event which will wipe out half the species on the planet by the end of the century. Paired with the documentary is Ben Moon's short film Rabbit Island, about a protected island made up of 91 acres of rocks, earth, trees and wild habitat.
The Telluride Mountainfilm Festival on Tour
Friday and Saturday, November 20-21, at the Kampong ((4013 Douglas Rd., Coconut Grove). All screenings are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets for each night of the festival cost $25, with a $5 discount available to students. Visit mountainfilmmiami.org.