Each MountainFilm in Mill Valley program had a feature film along with at least two short films; over the 9 film programs, more than 30 shorts were shown. Shorts varied in length from under 2 minutes to 29 minutes and featured people and their endeavors on mountains, the surf and much in between. All films featured the environment to some degree, some emphasized the contours of a human’s spirit. The group was a subset of the shorts screened in Telluride at the MountainFilm Festival over Memorial Day weekend, and you can find a comprehensive list of those films here.
It should be obvious I really enjoy and appreciate the types of shorts shown at geography based film festivals such as Mountainfilm, Banff Mountain FF, San Francisco Int’l Ocean FF, etc. So, below I’ve listed a selection of those screened at MountainFilm Mill Valley with links to make it easy for them to be seen by more folks including you. Those I found especially worthy are denoted with an asterisk (*). Since films mentioned have gone through 3 filters – Mountainfilm itself, Mill Valley, and myself – they will be, hopefully, worth some of your time.
Kicking things off, Opening Night’s feature, Unbranded, was accompanied by two very different shorts, the humorous Nature RX (1.5 min) and the heartwarming Denali*, a
moving 8 minute autobiographical-like tribute by and to man’s best friend.
As one of Wally’s two very fond guardians, and as some readers may justifiably surmise, Denali struck quite a cord with me.
Below and in a forthcoming post on Mill Valley’s shorts, I cluster a selection of the films in a way that may help the reader zero in on subjects of interest.
Starting up on the mountains, our first group of films involve SKIING:
Said to be hailed by some as one of the “most cinematically profound ski movies ever made,” Afterglow – Lightsuit Segment* is certainly a fresh, unusual take on downhill. Filmed at night at Alaska’s Alyeska resort, it was a crowd favorite at Mountainfilm and has 10,000+ likes at Vimeo. I hope you see for yourself. 3 minutes.
Ruapehu, 9 min. Culture & history on the North Island New Zealand along with scenes and skiing.
Sundog* is 5 minutes of Argentinian mountains, man, and a dog. Very well done and not at all redundant with Denali.
Of course there were shorts on CLIMBING:
The Black Binder*, 7. Analogous to Monet’s many treatments of the same subject such as haystacks and water lilies, Josh takes different routes on his climbs up a wall in Black Canyon. One of my favorites.
The Force highlights of one adventuresome spirit’s 10 years in Patagonia climbing and experiencing the place. By Patagonia, 18 min.
Seele Aus Stein (Soul of Stone), 6. A senior lifelong climber reflects. Subtitled.
The forthcoming post, MountainFilm Mill Valley 2015, Part 2, will cover shorts on wheeled adventures and those centered on water, both fresh and salt.