Townsville will be one of just 15 cities to host the first ever Australian and New Zealand leg of the Telluride Mountainfilm World Tour this March.
Held annually since 1979, Telluride Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running and best-loved film festivals; and showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues.
Toby Ryston-Pratt, CEO of Aspire Outdoor, the company responsible for bringing Mountainfilm to our shores says the Festival taps into the critical role that film-making plays in society.
“It is undeniable that Cinema has become a powerful vehicle for showcasing environmental, cultural, adventure, political and social justice issues,” says Toby. “That is the beauty of the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival; it provides people of the world with a medium through which they can tell their story and raise issues that society needs to be made aware of.”
And it’s a format that’s proven to have had a lasting impact long after the lights have come up and the last of the popcorn has been swept from the floor. At the Festival in Telluride, the ‘Next Step’ program provides a platform for audiences to interact immediately with a diverse array of mission-based organisations connected to the issues explored through the films screened.
“The films themselves have had a tangible bearing [too],” Toby says. “As an example, The Super Salmon about the impact of a proposed dam on Alaska’s Susitna River helped lead to that dam not going ahead.”
While the stories shared through Mountainfilm are gripping in themselves, using adventure sports as a vehicle for the narrative keeps audiences on the edge of their seats; and Townsville’s reputation as a city of outdoor enthusiasts is what scored the North a stop-over on the World Tour.
“We knew the local market really enjoyed this type of content so it made sense to bring it to Townsville. Having spoken to many people in the local community we know there is a real sense of excitement and enthusiasm about the tour.
Toby says that while the ways we watch films will always be evolving, society will always be based on social interactions and getting together with friends.
“Film Festivals provide that opportunity and is why they are so successful right around the world. People walk away from the festivals such as ours buzzing with excitement, ready to take on their next adventure in life. That is hard to replicate.”
Mountainfilm World Tour will screen at the Townsville Civic Theatre on 14 March.