Vail: Films worth talking about |

Vail: Films worth talking about

Caramie Schnell
Val, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley film: "The Red Helmet," by Tyler Young, shows a dark and drab world in which afearful young child discovers a bright red helmet that transforms everything.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –The folks who put on the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride – and who are bringing these film to Colorado’s Vail Valley – view film as conversation.

Movies aren’t just fun, they can change the world.

They are a means to inspire people about “issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining,” said Justin Clifton, the director of Mountainfilm on Tour. “Each year we look for the most compelling content possible.”

After the Mountainfilm festival in Telluride each May, Mountainfilm on Tour begins. A selection of films from the festival are chosen to go on the road, taking the festival to the people who couldn’t attend. Mountainfilm on Tour returns to the valley on Saturday for the Mountain FilmFest at Battle Mountain High School. A total of nine films –mostly short films ranging from two to 15 minutes –will be shown a the event, which is a fundraiser for the three expeditionary learning schools in Eagle County.

One of the films being shown is “Soil in Good Heart,” by Deborah Koons Garcia. Garcia, the widow of the late Grateful Dead singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia, attended Mountainfilm in 2004 with her documentary “Future of Food,” which focused on genetically engineered food. “Soil in Good Heart” is a 15-minute short film made up of some footage she’s shot around the world for a feature-length film she hopes to release in spring 2010, she said during a recent phone interview.

“I wanted to do a followup to ‘Future of Food,’ in the same field of food and farming,” Garcia said. “The film focuses on soil and its relationship to lots of things, like farming. Soil is such an important aspect of our ecosystem and people don’t really think about it, it’s just kind of there. I want to change that.”

The film features some renowned scientists and activists, as well as three organic farmers who “love their soil,” Garcia said.

“It’s good for us all to think about the question of how do we move into the future and make use of the resources we have without using more than our share?”

The film also features a song called “Dawg’s Waltz” by Jerry and David Grisman.

“It’s the soundtrack. It’s fun to be able to use that and it fit very well,” she said. “It’ll be a treat for people who like Jerry’s music.”

Along with the films, local “celebrities” will share their stories at the event, said organizer Holly Woods.

“We’ve invited several adventurers to talk to attendees about the role that adventure has played in their lives, both to entice kids to participate in adventure and to recognize that there are often challenges to overcome that contribute to personal growth and fulfillment,” Woods said.

Speakers include mountain climber Eric Alexander and adventure racers Gretchen Reeves, Dan Weiland and Josiah Middaugh.

Tickets for the event, which is set for Saturday at 5:30 p.m., are $15 for adults, $10 for youth 18 and under, or $45 for a family of four. The Expeditionary Learning Schools of Eagle County are also partnering with Public Access TV5 to host a film contest, which people can sign up for at the film festival. The contest will run through April 2010. Prizes will be given to the winners of both the student and adult categories and the winning films will be shown on Public Access TV5, as well as at next year’s Mountain FilmFest.

Public Access TV5 will be offering free video production and editing workshops monthly to all film contest entrants. To learn more, call 970-328-2755.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

What: Mountain FilmFest

Where: Battle Mountain High School, Edwards

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for youth 18 and under, or $45 for a family of four

More information: 970-328-2755,

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