Breckenridge Film Festival presents memorial film about Bob Craig |

Breckenridge Film Festival presents memorial film about Bob Craig

A young Bob Craig during his early climbing days. Craig was a passionate climber and mountaineer throughout his life.
Photo courtesy of the Keystone Policy Center |

Bob Craig Memorial Film

Date: Saturday, Sept. 19

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Avenue, Breckenridge

More info: Visit

In the midst of the adrenaline-packed films of the Adventure Reel at the Breckenridge Film Festival this year is a film memorializing a local legend.

Robert W. Craig may be best known in Summit County as the founder of the Keystone Policy Center (formerly The Keystone Center), a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing professionals together from all over the world to address issues on major topics in public policy, including the environment, science and technology.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Craig’s life, which spanned the furthest reaches of the globe (including Antarctica and the Himalayas) as well as a slew of experiences, from World War II to mountaineering to international policy conferences.

The film explores as much as it can of Craig’s life in its run-time of six minutes and 33 seconds. It not only introduces Craig’s accomplishments to those who didn’t know him, but also serves as a reminder of the personality of the man behind them, for those who did.

“So many people knew Bob during different specific areas of his life, but I don’t know that everybody knows the breadth of his experience, so we really wanted to put together one piece that really was more just about his life, and his accomplishments and what he’s done,” said Robyn Brewer, director of development at the Keystone Policy Center. “People in Keystone know him for the Keystone Policy Center and Keystone Science School, but you know he was in World War II, he climbed K2, he was in graphic design for a while, he ran the Aspen Institute — he has this unbelievable list of accomplishments, so we wanted to put that all in one piece as a way to honor him.”

Several years ago, the Keystone Policy Center hired Milkhaus, a Denver-based film production company, to create a marketing film for the center. After Craig passed away in January of 2015, Milkhaus stepped in once again to make the memorial video, this time with a more personal touch.

Clips both used and unused in the marketing video appear in the film, as well as photos provided by Craig’s wife, Terry, and some of Craig’s old climbing buddies. Among those represented in the film are a former U.S. Ambassador and a U.S. Senator.

“I think Bob needs to be recognized as someone who was incredibly important to Colorado,” said Christine Scanlan, Keystone Policy Center president and CEO. “At his heart, he was the spirit of what Colorado is: He was an entrepreneur, very independent, very pragmatic in how he thought about issues and problems, no hesitation in working with people who were in huge argument and conflict together, because he just believed that if you could bring folks particularly to the mountains and get them out of their political environments, you could get creative around how to solve really tough, pressing issues. And I hope Bob’s remembered for being one of the first to recognize the potential in dealing with conflicts like he was able to.”

One of the best aspects of the film, according to both Scanlan and Brewer, is the fact that the majority of it is Craig himself, talking to the camera.

“It’s neat to hear his voice and how he put (it) into his own words and how he thought about his life and his work,” Scanlan said.

Those who knew Bob Craig will immediately recognize the setting of his Montezuma house — the living room with a cozy fire crackling in the background, or the desk piled with papers.

“I do love seeing Bob talk next to the fireplace in his living room, because that was special. If you were invited over to Bob’s house to have drinks by the fire, it was always a great conversation,” Brewer said. “He always made everybody feel incredibly special and engaged with everyone on a very personal level.”

The memorial film will start off the second half of Saturday’s Adventure Reel, coming right before “The Search for Freedom,” a documentary from Canada which delves into the theme of following one’s passion. It’s a theme that those who knew Craig feel is highly appropriate.

“He always used to tell our staff to ‘dare to fail,’ and you know, the message of course being don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing remarkable things, and I think that’s the way he lived his life,” Brewer said.

The film will be shown at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19. For more information of film festival schedules, visit

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