Mountainfilm in Telluride Announces Non-film Events for May 2008

Mountainfilm announces non-film events. The roster of attendees includes: David Breashears, Christiane Amanpour, Samantha Power, Dennis Dimick, and Alexandra Cousteau, among many others.

Telluride, Colo. (March 31, 2008) – As part of the 30th annual festival this Memorial Day Weekend, Mountainfilm in Telluride will spotlight environmental, social and political issues, with both local and global significance. The roster of influential and inspiring speakers will make this a not-to-be-missed event.

After last year's theme of energy, this year the festival will address the troubling questions of water and sustainability with: a Symposium, compelling programs, and several relevant films. Mountainfilm will also pay tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, gather top foreign policy experts to discuss global stability, and examine the issues of contemporary slavery.

The festival takes place May 23-26, 2008.

• Moving Mountains Symposium on Water (May 23, 2008): The looming global water crisis may be the greatest threat to the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Freshwater and saltwater sources are threatened by overuse, misuse and pollution. The Moving Mountains Symposium will highlight the enormous risks we are taking with our most precious resource, as well as offer solutions on how to best take action. Moderated by noted journalist, Wade Graham, the panel will feature: Peter Gleick, Alexandra Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, Maude Barlow, Azzam Alwash, and Dennis Dimick.

• Drilling Down: Water and the Southwest (time tbd): A special corollary to the Moving Mountains Symposium, this forum will address water issues specific to the arid Southwest United States. Special attendees will be Martin Litton and Katie Lee. Litton is a legendary environmentalist, intrepid Colorado River boatman, and one of its most outspoken advocates. Lee is a musician and longtime activist who has dedicated her life to first preserving and, now restoring, Glen Canyon. Other guests will include geologists, scientists, and activists who understand the complexities of this delicate region.

• Hot Spots Around the World: A Foreign Policy Roundtable (time tbd): This roundtable will gather some of the top names in foreign policy to look at what is happening in countries like Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and of course, Iraq. Award-winning journalist and CNN chief foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour, former Ambassador to the
United Nations Richard Holbrooke, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Roger Cohen, and Samantha Power, senior policy advisor to Barack Obama and author of the new book, “Chasing the Flame,” will attend.

• Tribute to the late Sir Edmund Hillary (time tbd): Renowned mountaineer and filmmaker, David Breashears will host a tribute to the eminent “mountaineer's mountaineer” who passed away earlier this year. Guests close to Hillary will attend. Rarely seen films chronicling his life and exploits will be presented.

• Contemporary Slavery (time tbd): Today, 28 million people are enslaved - more than any other time in history. Modern slavery comes in many forms and is not limited to developing nations. Human trafficking follows drug and weapon trafficking in terms of the world's largest criminal industries. Ben Skinner, author of the new book, “A Crime So Monstrous” will join in a forum with freed slaves and the Free the Slaves organization to address this under-reported but dire contemporary issue.

• The Village Green (time tbd): Ashton Hayes is a village of approximately one thousand people in Cheshire, England. In 2006, the town collectively decided to work toward becoming carbon neutral. Residents of Ashton Hayes will be on hand to discuss their challenges and successes and how what they have learned can be applied to Telluride. Also attending will be Laurie Garrett, a resident of Brooklyn who is leading the charge to “green” her seventy-year-old, thirty-story, residential building.
For twenty-nine years, Mountainfilm in Telluride has inspired, educated and entertained audiences with films and firsthand presentations by pioneering adventurers, artists, athletes and activists. The thirtieth season will continue to do just that. This year, Mountainfilm in Telluride continues to evolve itself as an impetus for change and action. Attendees will be part of the conversation and part of the solution this Memorial Day weekend. Early bird tickets are now on sale at

About Mountainfilm in Telluride

For 30 years, Mountainfilm has been committed to bringing ever-increasing levels of artistic excellence to its mission of educating and inspiring audiences about critical issues. The festival began as a venue to showcase climbing movies. It has grown to be a major proponent of adventure, awareness and activism. Celebrating the indomitable spirit, Mountainfilm has the power to change lives. To learn more, visit: To join the conversation, please visit our blog at


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