A stop-motion animated film of a snowboarder shredding a Butterfinger candy bar and a documentary about reaping the rich psychic rewards of Rollerblading are just two of the nine short films coming to Breckenridge this week.
Mountainfilm on Tour takes a selection of films from the annual Telluride Film Festival on the road to engage audiences who otherwise would not have a chance to see them. The films focus on exploring cultures, preserving environments and promoting adventure.
Mountainfilm on Tour will visit Breckenridge on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Riverwalk Center, with doors opening at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. showing. The event, hosted by Team Breckenridge Sports Club, includes nine short films totaling about 70 minutes on such topics as birds of paradise and wingsuit world champions.
This year Breckenridge will also be one of the first places taking part in Movies that Matter, hosting approximately 500 students from four Summit School District elementary schools to participate in a new educational program created by Mountainfilm.
Jessica Galbo, assistant director for Mountainfilm, said the organization has had educational initiatives in the past, but this year the goal was to get films at no cost in front of students who wouldn’t otherwise see them.
“These cultural, environmental issues are going to be with this generation for their whole lives,” she said. “It’s all about education and entertainment, inspiring everyone who attends.”
During the day, students will view a series of short films made for a younger audience, covering a variety of global issues. Mountainfilm will also provide a curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom after the film program.
“We thought, why not reach out to students in these areas?” Galbo said. “The students might not have access to these kinds of films otherwise and we wanted to give that to them.”
All of the third- to fifth-grade students at Breckenridge, Upper Blue, Dillon Valley and Frisco elementaries will attend the 70-minute session. One kid-friendly piece, “Gloop” is about the history of plastic, narrated in rhymes.
Team Breck board member Maria Pattenden said being able to host Mountainfilm on Tour for the public and Movies that Matter for students was a great opportunity.
“They have a great lineup of fun and adventure, but also inspiring films,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to host the normal film festival on tour as an evening event but then during the day, this new program this year, having a lineup geared toward kids.”
“Paradise Found” is a 13-minute short that will be shown during both programs. It’s about two filmmakers who have spent nearly a decade documenting the 39 species of birds of paradise that live in Papua New Guinea. The birds, gorgeous and silly, prove to be elusive prey for their cameras, but the film is as much about the journey as the destination.
“In a nutshell, our goal is to educate and inspire,” Galbo said. “It offers the chance for community engagement and extending our reach through each location.”
Mara Sheldon, another Team Breck board member, said they received plenty of support from the local business community in order to bring these two events to town.
“The community in Breckenridge has been enthusiastic about us doing this, helping out with sponsorships,” she said. “It’s refreshing to know everyone wanted to be a part of it in some different way, those small donations have an impact, but the support is more meaningful.”
Pattenden said while many students in Summit County are highly aware of environmental issues, they don’t often get the opportunity to see this kind of programming.
“As a smaller town, there’s not always access to some of these films,” Pattenden said. “To bring incredible films and documentaries to a small community where there are not a lot of movie theaters, the chance to access to films like these is great.”
For information visit www.mountainfilm.org. The 7 p.m. Mountain on Tour event at the Riverwalk Center is open to the public, and tickets — available at www.teambrecksportsclub.com — are $15 for adults, $10 for children under 12.