Telluride Mountainfilm's July Fundraiser: One Hot Night At The Movies

"From the Ground Up"

Fireworks don't end on the Fourth of July in Telluride. There's dynamite on the silver screen when Mountainfilm in Telluride hosts its annual July fundraiser. The fun begins July 5,  6 p.m., at the historic Sheridan Opera House with cocktails and light eats and continues with the main event, three short films, starting at 7 p.m.

"Prayer for Peace" is a short animation by Dustin Grella that delivers an important and universal message through a very personal narrative. Dustin’s tale, elegiac and sparely told, is perfectly complemented by the simple haunting beauty of his drawings. (8 minutes.)

"Undercity" won David Holbrooke's Festival Director Award. Directed by Andrew Wonder, this short documentary follows urban historian and explorer Steve Duncan as he ventures through a labyrinth of forgotten and forbidden spaces beneath New York City and also scales some prohibited heights aboveground. The thrilling tour showcases America’s iconic city from angles we might never, otherwise, have considered. (28 minutes.)

"From the Ground Up" is the latest documentary from Telluride locals George and Beth Gage. The tribute to all those who lost their lives in 9/11 focuses on five brave widows, all former wives of firemen, who turn personal tragedy into help for others in need and grief into self-empowerment.

As it happens, more New York Fire Department members live in Staten Island than any other borough, including the extended family of Steven Siller, the 9/11 hero who ran back through Battery Tunnel with 70 pounds of gear on his back to save the lives of others, losing his in the attempt.

"It made sense to follow up the great reception we received at Mountainfilm by bringing our film to the Staten Island Film Festival," explained George. "And Beth and I are thrilled 'From the Ground Up' won Best Short Documentary."

To listen to an interview with Beth Gage and Andrea Garbarini, the 9/11 widow who conceived of the Gages' film project and whose heroism is  featured in "From the Ground Up, " click on this link.

Tickets, $50 and $25 for kids under 12, are available online. All proceeds from the evening benefit Mountainfim’s educational initiative Making Movies that Matter, a hands-on, in-class program that heightens awareness of critical issues while teaching practical video editing skills, and the Mountainfilm Commitment granting initiative through which Mountainfilm awards $25,000, annually, to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to move audiences to action on issues that matter.

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