Mountainfilm: Crystal Merrill is New Festival Director!

Mountainfilm: Crystal Merrill is New Festival Director!

Based in Telluride, Mountainfilm recently announced that Crystal Merrill was selected as the nonprofits’ new Festival Director. The current Director, Suzan Beraza, leaves following the 2024 event.

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Crystal Merrill is Mountainfilm’s new Festival Director.

Mountainfilm’s staff and Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Crystal Merrill is the new Festival Director, taking over full time when Suzan Beraza exits the position after the 2024 event.

Following an extensive national search process, we are pleased to announce that Crystal Merrill has been offered and accepted the position of Festival Director.

Crystal rose to the top in a competitive process that included over 50 applicants.
Crystal brings over a decade of invaluable experience to this role, having served in various capacities within Mountainfilm, including Operations Director, Tour Director, and Festival Producer. Throughout her tenure, Crystal has demonstrated exceptional leadership, innovation, and a profound commitment to Mountainfilm’s organization’s mission.

Crystal’s accomplishments are remarkable, from revolutionizing operational systems to the record expansion of our Mountainfilm on Tour program and the reimagining of the Mountainfilm for Students Program. Crystal’s keen eye for film curation and her dedication to engaging diverse audiences have been instrumental in the growth and success of Mountainfilm.

Looking ahead, Crystal’s vision for Mountainfilm is ambitious yet grounded. She wants to continue to enhance industry and audience engagement while exploring innovative ways to diversify our festival offerings and attract new audiences.

Crystal lives in Ridgway with her husband Andrew and their pup Jane. She loves spending time outdoors, especially adventuring in the San Juans. Crystal’s outdoor passions include mountain-biking, river-running, skiing and volunteering for trail stewardship efforts.

“I am incredibly honored for the opportunity to continue to collaborate and conspire with the team at Mountainfilm, building upon Suzan’s exceptional vision and legacy for the festival. I am excited to become more involved in the creative direction and leadership of the organization. Mountainfilm’s mission strongly resonates with me. Even after 11 years of working with Mountainfilm, I still get goosebumps every time I see our banner strung up across main street.” says Merrill.

Mountainfilm takes immense pride from building leadership from within and we look forward to partnering with Crystal to build on Suzan’s remarkable achievements. Together, these two incredible women will ensure a seamless transition for the organization.

“Leaving Mountainfilm after seven incredible years fills me with a bittersweet mix of sadness and excitement. I have long been an avid supporter of Mountainfilm and its mission. I credit the festival with giving me the confidence and belief in myself to become a filmmaker — and in the powerful impact of storytelling. Mountainfilm will always hold a special place, and I eagerly embrace the new chapter ahead,” concludes Suzan.

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