Mountainfilm: Announcing 2019 Theater Presenters

Mountainfilm: Announcing 2019 Theater Presenters

Along with inspiring documentaries, Mountainfilm goes beyond film to bring together world-class athletes, activists and visionary artists for a multi-dimensional celebration of indomitable spirits. The Symposium theme is “Equity.” (More on that program here .)

The line-up for the 41st annual gathering of the tribe features guest director Cheryl Strayed, plus Sir Chris Bonington, Hilaree Nelson, Erin Parisi and Ben Rhodes.

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Passes/tickets to the 41st annual Mountainfilm are on sale now.

Mountainfilm director, Suzan Beraza [Photo courtesy of Mountainfilm]

They have scaled the world’s tallest peaks, worked in the White House alongside President Barack Obama, studied babblers in Borneo and made strides to shatter boundaries of inclusion. And, in 2019, they will appear on Mountainfilm’s stages.

Mountainfilm has announced its 2019 theater presenters. The roster includes best-selling author and Mountainfilm Guest Director Cheryl Strayed; legendary alpinist Sir Chris Bonington; Obama administration speechwriter Ben Rhodes; pioneering transgender mountaineer Erin Parisi; and naturalist and wilderness warrior Doug Peacock, among others.

Mountainfilm’s Program Manager Lucy Lerner said the 2019 presenters touch on the festival’s many points of interest.

“We’re excited to have a group of presentations that really pulls from all the things that Mountainfilm is passionate about,” Lerner said. “Mountaineering, conservation, politics, social issues, science. As we’re moving forward by looking at the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, we’re also looking back and honoring our climbing past with presenters like Sir Chris Bonington.”

Lineup highlights include a panel on pathways toward inclusion and access in outdoor recreation, which will be moderated by James Edward Mills, an African American journalist who has worked in the outdoor industry for 30 years. Panelists include: Teresa Baker, founder of the CEO Diversity Pledge; Jenny Bruso, creator of the blog and Instagram account Unlikely Hikers, which is dedicated to the underrepresented outdoorsperson; Jose Gonzalez, the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors; Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors and Parisi, an accomplished alpinist who founded TranSending, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing transgender rights.

Jenny Bruso, creator of the blog and Instagram group Unlikely Hiker, will participate in the roundtable discussion called “Equitable Access: Pathways Toward Diversity and Inclusion in Outdoor Recreation.” [Courtesy photo]

“We’re super excited to bring our symposium theme of equity into the rest of the festival with events like this theater presentation,” Lerner said.

In the climbing world, acclaimed ski mountaineer (and Telluride resident) Hilaree Nelson will present with partner Jim Morrison on the duo’s recent exploits in the world’s highest peaks, which include the astonishing first ski descent of Lhotse as well as the first ski descent of Papsura — the “Peak of Evil” in Northern India. And Bonington — a British pioneer of alpinism who has been scaling rock for nearly seven decades — will talk about a life shaped by the mountains.

Acclaimed ski mountaineer and Telluride resident Hilaree Nelson will present with partner Jim Morrison on their recent exploits in the world’s tallest peaks. [Courtesy photo]

We’re thrilled to have Sir Chris Bonington. He is such a legend in the mountaineering world,” Festival Director Suzan Beraza said.

Naturalist, author and veteran Doug Peacock — who inspired Edward Abbey’s infamous character George Washington Hayduke — will return to Mountainfilm in 2019 to present on his lifelong work with grizzlies, personal experience with the healing powers of wilderness and his relationship with Abbey.

Naturalist, writer and wilderness warrior Doug Peacock returns to Mountainfilm in 2019 as a theater presenter. [Courtesy photo]

Ben Rhodes, who was a speechwriter, deputy national security advisor and influential confidant to President Obama, will talk about his days in the White House, his new memoir and his unique perspective on the current state of American foreign policy.

Mountainfilm is also gathering a group of notable emerging scientists, activists and environmental storytellers to share their work in a presentation. And finally, Mountainfilm Guest Director Cheryl Strayed will be joined by a very special surprise guest for a conversation that the Mountainfilm team insists should not be missed.

Cheryl Strayed. Courtesy photo.

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 Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado, 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. To learn more, visit

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