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 Mountainfilm in Telluride will launch its 34th annual festival on Friday, May 25, with a close look at the complicated subject of population. Over a dozen speakers, each focusing on a different area of expertise, will address the subject during the daylong Moving Mountains Symposium.

“This theme synthesizes many issues Mountainfilm has examined in recent years, such as energy, water, food and extinction,” explained David Holbrooke, Mountainfilm in Telluride’s festival director. “The population was at 4 billion in 1974, and when that number is compared to estimates of 9 billion, or sometimes even 11, by 2050, it’s hard to look at any issue we face — such as food shortages, water depletion, energy consumption or disappearance of wildlife — without factoring in population.”

Former NPR reporter Alex Chadwick (the host of Interviews 50 Cents), will emcee the symposium, engaging authorities from diverse disciplines to address the subject matter via presentations, films, and multi-guest discussion panels.
Speakers for Moving Mountains 2012:

·       Paul Ehrlich, author of the ground-breaking and controversial 1968 book titled The Population Bomb
·       Purnima Mane, former deputy director of the United Nations Population Fund and current president and CEO of Pathfinder International, a reproductive health care organization
·       Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (2011)
·       Dan Buettner, bestselling author of Blue Zones:  Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest (2008) and Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way (2010)
·       Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First! who now runs The Rewilding Institute, an organization dedicated to continental-scale conservation in North America
·       Eliza Griswold, author of New York Times bestseller The Tenth Parallel, which explores the regional fault lines where Islam and Christianity meet
·       Scott Wallace, author of The Unconquered, a tale about traveling into the Amazon to gather information on an isolated tribe without making contact
·       Peter Gleick, a scientist on leave from the Pacific Institute who focuses on global freshwater challenges
·       Roz Naylor, director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment and professor of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University
·       Kathleen Parker, writer who specializes in population issues in the Southwest

Population is a difficult topic for many but with the onset of the Anthropocene Age — the point at which human activities have made a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems — it’s a timely one.

“It’s an enormous subject and, while we’ll examine aspects of it in depth, we can’t be comprehensive — that would take a month-long symposium,” said Holbrooke. “Our intention is to generate conversation, thought and action. It’s a launching point for people to get involved, which is, really, the intent of so much of Mountainfilm in Telluride’s programming.”

Throughout the festival that programming will educate and inspire audiences on subjects that range from outdoor adventure and exploration to critical environmental, cultural and social issues. Documentary films, art exhibitions, guest presentations and discussions round out the festival weekend that takes place in Telluride, Colorado, the weekend of May 25 through May 28.

About Mountainfilm in Telluride: Established in 1979, Mountainfilm in Telluride is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action, its flagship program is the legendary Mountainfilm Festival — a one-of-a-kind combination of films, conversations and inspiration.

Mountainfilm also reaches audiences year round through its worldwide tour, on Outside Television, with its online Minds of Mountainfilm interviews and in classrooms through its educational outreach initiative, Making Movies that Matter. Mountainfilm has the power to change lives.

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