Mountainfilm: Commitment Grants Awarded

Mountainfilm: Commitment Grants Awarded

Mountainfilm in Telluride is all about “celebrating indomitable spirit.“ The event, traditionally the kick off Telluride’s nonstop summer festival season,  is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining.


The nonprofit is also about supporting promising young filmmakers whose work touches on those themes.

Grants are awarded to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to move audiences to action, projects that will have a positive and tangible effect on specific and vital issues of the day and are invested with the passion and capacity to be completed fully. The overarching intention of Mountainfilm’s granting program is to help ensure that important stories are not only told, but are actually heard.

Winners of the 2014 Commitment Grants are as follows:

Frame By Frame

Only a few years after the Taliban lifted a strict ban on photography — and in the midst of an ongoing war — filmmakers Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli followed four Afghan photojournalists on a quest to build Afghanistan’s first free press.

Irene Benalley, Navajo Lady Sheepherder (working title)

This short documentary by Cat Cannon introduces Irene Benalley, who left the Navajo reservation when she was 19 and vowed never to return. When her ailing father selects her from 11 siblings to inherit the family grazing permit, she seizes the opportunity for autonomy and comes home to herd sheep.

Me the People

David ByarsMe the People captures extreme protests over the use of public BLM lands and juxtaposes those vivid scenes with calm voices of reason in favor of conservation.

Project Boom

Project Boom reveals the practice of nuclear fracking in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado in the late 1960s and early 1970s, drawing correlations between history and today’s exercises. Originally a short in Dear Governor Hickenlooper (Mountainfilm 2014), director Scott Upshur expands his work to an in-depth exploration of the subject.

Young Men & Fire

Unfolding over the course of one fire season in the American West, Young Men & Fire focuses on a group who battle forest fires. Addressing climate change and the still-deteriorating U.S. economy, Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson tell the story of these men and the personal battles they face.

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