The outdoors, in all their cinematic glory, are coming to Spokane. On Wednesday, April 10, the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation brings the Telluride Mountainfilm festival, featuring eight films, all with an outdoors focus.
“I chose the films based on their messages and their appeal to the outdoor audiences,” said Eric Melson, SBFC’s program director.
Money from ticket sales go toward the foundation. A non-profit stewardship program that serves the 1.3-million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness, the SBFC is not an advocacy group, Melson says. Rather, the group focuses on stewardship.
“My goals [for the film festival] are that people walk away feeling inspired to go outside and recreate on their favorite lands and then help take care of those areas,” he says.
Melson says that one thing he wants to facilitate this year is directly showing filmgoers how their money will support the stewardship program.
The films will be shown in two time blocks starting at 7 pm. The first hour focuses more on inspiration, while the second is more about action sports, Melson says.
The first film, Love Competition, documents the Stanford University MRI lab’s first ever love competition. Each contestant has five minutes in an fMRI (a machine that monitors brain activity) to “love someone as much as they can.”
Right to Play tells the story of Johann Olav Koss, a former speed-skating Olympian, and his journey to Africa. Koss uses soccer as a medium to work with children injured by war, and ultimately change their lives.
Moving more firmly into the realm of the outdoors, SBFC will present Outside the Box, Moonwalk, Industrial Revolutions and I Believe I Can Fly. The first film is about three world-class climbers training for an upcoming competition and the unexpected weather issues they encounter. Moonwalk is an artsy, scary film about highlining (in which daredevils balance on a piece of rope) with a full moon as a backdrop. Industrial Revolutions mixes mind-blowing stunt cycling and abandoned industrial landscapes. I Believe I Can Fly is a French film about crazy French people jumping off high things and/or balancing in high places.
The night ends with Eco Ninja and Blue Obsession, the former a satirical comedy about a company taking the go-green movement a bit too seriously — they hire a go-green ninja and it goes about how you’d expect. Blue Obsession documents climber Alan Gordon’s attempts to explore and document the Mendenhall Glacier in southeast Alaska before it melts forever.
Mountainfilm on Tour • Wed, April 10, at 7 pm • $14 (general) $12 (students) • Bing Crosby Theatre • 901 W. Sprague Ave. • bingcrosbytheater.com • 227-7638