Six organizations cited for outstanding work receive funding through Moving Mountains Awards

Mountainfilm in Telluride held its 34th annual festival over Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-  May 28. The event aims to educate and inspire audiences on subjects that range from outdoor adventure and exploration to critical environmental, cultural and social issues, and the program was packed with guest speakers and roughly 90 films, many of which feature the work of diverse nonprofit organizations.

Activities of nonprofits often attract the attention of filmmakers because the struggles and strains of fighting the good fight provide thought-provoking material for a documentary. Mountainfilm traditionally awards $3,000 to one nonprofit showcased in one film. But this year was different. This year, the Moving Mountains Awards were bolstered by several donors and an unprecedented six organizations received a total of $15,000.

Judges watched more than a dozen nominated films, examining the mission of each organization, considering its scope, impact and need. Festival director David Holbrooke said, “Unlike other prizes at Mountainfilm, the Moving Mountains Award is not based upon the actual quality of the film, even though these are all strong films. This prize is focused on the subject of the film. We’re a film festival, but we really hope the festival has a tangible impact, and this is just one step we take in that direction.”

Actor Laura Linney, artist Chris Jordan, global ophthalmologist Geoff Tabin, and filmmaker Geralyn Dreyfous juried this year’s films (and causes). The Winner: “Peaceful Uprising with the film Bidder 70,”  $7,000. (In addition, a Mountainfilm attendee donated another $5,000 directly to Peaceful Uprising.)

The Runners Up included:

Colonel Eric Hastings/Warriors and Quiet Waters with the film “Not Yet Begun to Fight,” $3,000
Shelton Johnson/National Parks Conservation Association with the film “The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks,” $3,000
Julio Solis with the film “A MoveShake Story,” $1,000
Telluride Adaptive Sports Program with the film “Load Bearing,” $1,000
Alec Loorz with the film “Trust: Youth Sue the Government,” $1,000

To learn more about these organizations, visit the Mountainfilm website, where you can watch trailers of the films.

“The judges—and audiences—were moved by the efforts of these organizations and showed their feeling by significantly boosting the overall prize money,” pointed out Holbrooke. “And in return, we’re moved by their generosity and proud to have been able to help ramp up the support for such worthy causes this year.”

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