Mountainfilm: 2015 Moving Mountains Symposium, Afghanistan

Mountainfilm: 2015 Moving Mountains Symposium, Afghanistan

Features leading journalists, poets, photographers & filmmakers. Early bird passes to Mountainfilm end March 15. Purchase here now or volunteer.


Telluride Mountainfilm has unveiled the speaker lineup for its 2015 Moving Mountains Symposium on Afghanistan. The event will feature an impressive roster of journalists, policy makers, filmmakers, and artists who will examine the country through the lens of history, art, conflict, images, poetry, and more. New York Times journalist Roger Cohen will lead the discussion as emcee, and the slate of speakers will include photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg, Afghan lawmaker Fawzia Koofi, filmmaker Sebastian Junger, writer Eliza Griswold and Afghan photographers Massoud Hossaini and Farzana Wahidy.

With themes such as extinction, food and wilderness, Mountainfilm’s Moving Mountains Symposium has been focused on issues for the past several years. In 2015, however, Festival Director David Holbrooke opted to take a different track and home in on a place. He chose a country marked by rich mountain culture and decades of conflict: Afghanistan. “I couldn’t think of a country that’s as important, relevant and compelling to our audience,” Holbrooke said.

Afghanistan is also fresh on Holbrooke’s mind. He visited the country in December of 2013 with his eldest daughter while directing his documentary “The Diplomat.”

The film is about Holbrooke’s father, the storied American ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who passed away in December 2010. The younger Holbrooke felt he couldn’t paint an accurate portrait of his father’s life without visiting the country where the diplomat had been given his final daunting task by President Barack Obama: leading the civilian effort to end the war in Afghanistan.

Holbrooke spent 10 days in Afghanistan, both in the frenetic capital of Kabul and the breathtaking Panjshir Valley. What he found, he said, was a mountainous country scarred by war but kept vibrant by the resilient spirit of its people. “You saw how the mountains are such a huge part of the culture,” Holbrooke said. “And you realize the rich, rich history of the country. How proud the people are.”

Mountainfilm will explore the politics, people, photography, poetry and more of Afghanistan during its 2015 Moving Mountains Symposium.

Continue reading here about the 2015 symposium genesis and lineup.


The 2015 Moving Mountains Symposium will take place on Friday, May 22, at High Camp at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village.

For passes and tickets to the 37th annual Telluride Mountainfilm, visit

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