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Inspiring leaders of today, touring film festival comes to Calgary

A touring film festival from Telluride, Colorado, dedicated to activism and the outdoors, will be arriving in Calgary on Oct. 21.

Called Mountainfilm on Tour, SAIT Polytechnic will host this year’s last Canadian stop on Telluride Mountainfilm’s annual world tour.

Henry Lystad, director of Mountainfilm on Tour, said his organization’s objective is to “profile the indomitable human spirit, and the ability to overcome your challenges.”

Telluride Mountainfilm, founded in 1979, started out as an adventure film festival but has since expanded into films regarding social issues, namely environmental conservation.

“SAIT is such an important community partner engaged in education and inspiring leaders of today and tomorrow,” said Matt Mosteller, vice president of marketing and resorts experience at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

Lystad said it is important to bring Mountainfilm to college campuses like SAIT because today’s students are the ones who are going to be tasked with overcoming the legacy that has been left to them.

Many of these films, Lystad said, are not something that people have many opportunities to see because of the niche nature of independent short films.

One film in particular may resonate with Calgarians, or anybody who had been affected by the floods of 2013. Knee Deep, which was funded on Kickstarter, looks at the 1,000 year rain that flooded Boulder, Colorado in 2013, and at how the community banded together to help those in need.

Many of the films have in common a similar socially conscious message. Delta Dawn, for example, is about water conservation, and how the Colorado River has dried up before it reaches the Mexican delta, and Rinpoche Speaks looks at how the constant mountaineering expeditions have negatively affected Mount Everest.

Although the primary goal of Mountainfilm is to educate, inspire, and to start conversations regarding environmental issues, which are perhaps more obscure, there is also a focus on entertainment value.

The Gateway screening has been tailored to reflect Calgary’s culture of outdoorsmanship, and films like 55 hours in Mexico, Afterglow–Light Suit Segment, and Forcea were all chosen to speak to those with a love of the mountains.

“We’re honoured to host the inaugural Telluride Mountain Film tour here in Calgary, at the Gateway,” said Mosteller.

“We hope to see people continue—or start to—enjoy the outdoors by being inspired by the [screening]”

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the SAITSA Student Resource Centre, the Gateway, Sloth, or Ticketmaster. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Gateway on Wednesday, Oct. 21, and will run until around 11 p.m.

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