Mountainfilm 2018 Symposium: Migration

Mountainfilm 2018 Symposium: Migration

Telluride’s Mountainfilm announces 2018 Symposium theme: Migration. Festival will dig deep into one of today’s most relevant issues.

MF17, Telluride Conference Center, High Camp, Symposium, John Holdren, The New Normal. Photo courtesy of Melissa Plantz.

Mountainfilm will launch its 40th anniversary festival in 2018 with an exploration into the theme of migration.

The Moving Mountains Symposium will kick off the festival on Friday, May 25, 2018, with a deep dive into this expansive issue, examining both human and animal migration across the globe and causes of this movement, which range from climate change to conflict.

Interim Festival Director Suzan Beraza said the relevance of the topic made migration an obvious choice for a symposium theme.

“The festival programming team chose the topic because it’s one of the most dominant issues plaguing humankind over the past several years.We can’t continue to push migration and immigration to the back burner. And it’s time for debate instead of rancor.”

Migration is a pressing issue that’s altering millions of lives, sparking controversy and bringing to light the consequences of climate change across the world. Human migration topped 65 million last year — the highest number in mankind’s history and a more than 10 percent increase from the year before. Between the massive refugee crisis fueled by the war in Syria, tendentious political debates over Muslim bans and border walls, and the news of sharp shifts in animal behaviors because of changing climate, Mountainfilm feels the subject is more than worthy of digging into.

This year, the symposium’s theme will go beyond the opening day event and reach into all parts of festival programming, with scientists, journalists, authors, renowned speakers and films on the topic all weekend long. Mountainfilm also plans to try a new format for its symposium, shortening the event to a half-day of speakers rather than an entire day, and offering a film about the theme in the afternoon.

“Mountainfilm wants our symposium audience to be highly engaged, and the feedback we’ve received is that it’s hard to do that for six straight hours. We hope that a new format with fewer speakers and the highest quality content will hook people in better, spark meaningful conversations and inspire action,” added Beraza.

Along with its regular programming — four days stuffed with documentary films, art installations, free outdoor programming, theater presentations and parties — Mountainfilm plans to celebrate its anniversary in 2018 with retrospectives, special events and special guests from the past.

Beraza, who has been involved with Mountainfilm as both filmmaker and staffer since 1998, said the festival is excited to look back on its history and celebrate its future.

“At 40, Mountainfilm is both homegrown and grown up at the same time. It really is the people’s festival, by and for our eclectically accomplished community. Here’s to another great gathering of the tribe.”

About Mountainfilm:

Established in 1979, Mountainfilm is dedicated to using film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action, its flagship program is the legendary Telluride Mountainfilm festival, a one-of-a-kind combination of films, conversations and inspiration. Mountainfilm also reaches audiences year-round through its worldwide tour and Mountainfilm for Students, an educational outreach initiative for youth. Mountainfilm has the power to change lives.

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