Every memorial day weekend, the tiny mountain town of Telluride, Colorado hosts a film festival called Mountainfilm. If I remember correctly, it was birthed from a pre-X-games love of action sports films, the kind that are a continuous slow motion montage of snow boarding flips, gnarly surf shredding, mountain biking down an erupting volcano, etc etc. But over the last twenty years, the festival has evolved into something more. The love of action sports necessitated beautiful scenery, and that accented and enflamed within the athletes and filmmakers a love of nature. That love of nature infected the film festival with an activist’s heart, and the films expanded beyond sports and stunts to environmental conservation and human rights. Now, the festival is a majestic collective of creative filmmakers aiming to raise awareness about the most important issues facing our planet. It is my favorite weekend of the year.
This year, Invisible Children was invited to present and discuss KONY 2012. It was the first time since the film’s release in March that Ben Keesey and myself had the opportunity to both present and discuss the film in front of a live audience. The response and conversation were thoughtful and encouraging. The moderator was renowned journalist Eliza Griswold and we were joined onstage by director and philosopher Tom Shadyac. The highlight for me was the expansive conversation that ensued. Questions came from an audience composed of journalists, award-winning documentarians, activists, and local high school and middle school kids. Being part of this brain trust… a dialogue exploring the future of human-rights engagement, global citizenship, and active empathy is a dream for us at Invisible Children. I don’t actually know if the discussion was filmed, but if I find it, I promise I’ll post it to our blog.
Here are some pictures from our weekend. If you ever get the chance to go to Mountainfilm, do not hesitate. Go. It is one of the few places on planet earth that prioritizes so clearly what should be prioritized: human equality, care for our planet, and creative action-oriented community.