December 17, 2015

Mountainfilm Presents Winter Film Night on December 26

Event at Sheridan Opera House will feature winter shorts, a throwback, and new Patagonia film

Telluride Mountainfilm is giving the gift of documentaries this holiday season with its annual winter film night at the Sheridan Opera House. The event, which takes place on Dec. 26 at the Sheridan Opera House, will feature winter shorts, a special tribute and the new feature documentary Jumbo Wild from Sweetgrass Productions, which delves into a complicated ski resort proposal in British Columbia.

“We know there’re a lot of people in the town who can’t come to the festival who really enjoy our annual day-after-Christmas event,” said Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke. “This year we’re focusing on skiing with a couple of stellar films that we think will make people want to get up the next morning and get on the slopes.”

The evening will include two screenings, at 5 and 7:30 p.m., and will kick off at 4 p.m. with a cocktail reception to honor Rick Silverman, former festival director and board member who is retiring from the board after many years of service. Silverman will also be recognized during the programs with a special throwback short — picked because it’s one of his all-time favorites — and words of tribute.

“Rick ran the festival when I first showed up, and his impact continues to be felt today,” Holbrooke said. “We have tried to build on the remarkable achievements he accomplished.”

Mostly, though, the night will be devoted to winter with films about passionate skiers, monster snowstorms and the environmental impacts of ski resorts.

On tap for the evening:

70-Some Years: “When you are skiing, you forget all of your cares. It’s just you and the two skis on your feet, and you’re sailing on down there just as free as a bird,” says Henry Bendinelli. He would know — the 90 year old has been skiing for 70-some years. This short film by Riley Hooper chronicles a man who squeezed all the joy he can out of life, leaving behind lessons from which we could all learn.

The Weight of Winter: A massive storm consumes Hokkaido, Japan, blanketing everything under wind and swarms of butterfly-size snowflakes. Three skiers venture out, pushing through the blinding white of this elemental world, finding lightness as the weight of winter presses down. This ski short by Ben Sturgulewski offers an ode to the coldest and darkest time of the year.

Jumbo Wild: Jumbo Valley in the heart of British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains has been at the center of a complicated conservation battle for decades as First Nations, environmentalists, skiers and others have opposed a ski resort proposed by a European developer. This new environmental feature delves deep into the thorny issue, posing the question: When is a place too sacred for human impact?

“Jumbo Wild is the latest effort from Sweetgrass, who are known for their excellent ski films,” Holbrooke said. “This is a much more issues-oriented film, but it also celebrates the love of skiing.”

Pre-sale tickets are available online at $15 for adults and $10 for children.