A group that invests money and muscle into improving iconic Idaho wilderness areas is bringing the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival to Spokane this week.
The Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation is presenting a selection of the 2012 Colorado festival’s winning outdoors-related films on Wednesday, at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague.
Doors open at 6 p.m.; films start at 7.
“The film festival is a chance for us to raise awareness about the work we do, recruit volunteers and raise some revenue,” said Eric Melson, programs director for the nonprofit group. The foundation has brought the festival to sellout crowds in Boise, Missoula and Moscow for the past three years. This will be the first year in Spokane.
“We work with many volunteers from the Spokane area on projects each year,” he said, noting that the foundation works with a wide range of partnerships in Montana, Washington and Idaho on projects such as controlling noxious weeds, improving trails, checking erosion and much more.
The Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, which has some overlap with entries in the Banff Mountain Film Festival, is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring and environments worth preserving, he said.
“It’s a really fun night,” Melson said. “We sell local beer, have a huge raffle with guided trips and gear, and show some incredible films. We show a few action-adventure films, but mainly aim for the human interest-inspirational genre that tie in with conservation.”
The seven films to be shown include:
• Outside The Box – Two young climbers take the opportunity to learn from female rock-climbing pioneer Lynn Hill.
• I Believe I Can Fly – A French film on a hybrid sport of highlining, bungee jumping and BASE jumping.
• Blue Obsession – Ice climbing in the blue, glassy and dangerous cavities of Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier.
• The Way Home: Returning To the National Parks – A group of African American seniors journey through Yosemite National Park.
• The Denali Experiment – A team of North Face-sponsored athletes joins to scale Denali.
• The Right To Play – Olympic gold-medalist speed skater Johann Olav Koss of Norway uses his world-champion determination to make a difference in the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable and victimized children
• Industrial Revolutions – A fabulously creative downhill ski run through Trail, British Columbia.