Mountain Film - Fall 2021

2021 Mountainfilm on Tour

October 16, 2021

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

An evening of culturally rich, adventure-packed and deeply inspiring short films.

21/22 Hop Film

2021 Mountainfilm on Tour Intro by Stephen Burns

This annual favorite returns to the Hop with a new collection of short films celebrating the indomitable human spirit. Curated from the 2021 festival, these bite-sized stories about athletes, adventurers and activists explore the themes connected to Mountainfilm's mission: using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

Tonight we meet a skateboarding mentor/activist, a Bahamian sport fishing legend, a rock-climbing pandemic EMT and a budding Mexican environmentalist. As ever, these fascinating portraits are complemented by high-octane tales of mountain biking, snowboarding and big mountain skiing. See the full program below. 1h53m

199 Little Heroes: Jésùs From Mexico
Eleven-year-old Jésùs does what most kids his age do — he wakes up, goes to school and takes care of his little sister. He also lives on a very polluted canal in Mexico City's Floating Gardens of Xochimilco and deals with heavy issues that many of us never need to think about. And he is really concerned. —Sadie Steinberg, age 16  (d: Lina Luzyte, Germany, 2018, 11 min.)
(Note: This film deals with kidnapping, death and murder and may be triggering for some.)

Moving Meditation
Eric Johnson is a professional skateboarder who infuses his passion and talent into an app he created to bring skaters together across the world. To him, skating is a moving meditation and impromptu problem solving, a gladiator sport that helps you learn from every mistake. Skating teaches you to be accountable for every false move you make and then do it better. After being racially profiled in a subway station, nearly spending 13 years of life in prison and losing all his savings, Johnson radiates hope and ambition in his entrepreneurial efforts to bring people together through SK8SPT, a virtual community that normalizes, informs and empowers skateboarders globally. (d: Joseph Fletcher, Eric Johnson, USA, 2021, 10 min.)

Lock Down Rock Up
Jerome Mowat is a paramedic during a global pandemic and has not seen his family in over five months. In the gruesome mundanity of working in an emergency vehicle, Mowat finds solace in the fundamental and elemental characteristics of rock climbing. When his mind can become so occupied by something as irrelevant as a piece of rock, that is when he is able to completely remove himself, not only physically, but mentally, from the heartbreak of his work. In the juxtaposition of climbing and being a paramedic, we are able to catch a glimpse of coping at its finest. (d: Nico Hambleton, UK, 2020, 10 mins.)

Slim Pickins
The city of Stephenville, Texas is better known for rebel flags and cowboys than diversity. But Jahmicah Dawes, owner of SlimPickins Outfitters, the first Black-owned outdoor gear shop in the country, is changing that. Dawes, along with his wife, Heather, and basset hound mascot, Bill Murray, is working to diversify the outdoors and infuse some chill into Stephenville. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, the shop experiences economic hardship and Dawes struggles with depression, but he still hopes one day he can pass his business and the outdoor community he has built down to his kids.  (d: Justin Michael Jeffers, USA, 2020, 15 min.)

Mighty Waters
Bahamian sport fishing legend Ansil Saunders guided Martin Luther King, Jr. through the mangroves on a fishing trip just days before King was assassinated in 1968. Even though King went to the Bahamas to relax and write, he left an indelible mark on the country and Saunders. Now 88 years old, Saunders reflects on how King inspired his interest in politics as he helped lead the island nation's subsequent fight for independence and desegregation. (d: Shannon Vandivier, Bahamas, 2021, 17 min.)

What does it take for a female athlete to reach their sport's highest level? Luck, timing, persistence and skill are part of the mix — but, as we follow The North Face's professional snowboarding team we see that camaraderie and learning from those who paved the way might be the most rewarding path of all. (d: Mike Quigley, USA, 2020, 11 min.) 

Charge 2
In British Columbia's Monashee Mountains the powder is consistent and sought after. Five freeskiers — Stan Rey, Leah Evans, Alexi Godbout, Josh Daiek, Drew Petersen and Jordan Temkin — head to book cat skiing with only one operative: charge as hard as you can every day. The result is the pure joy and exaltation found in powder. (d: Anthony Bonello, Canada, 2020, 4 min.)

A Concerto is a Conversation
Tackling themes of race, family and belonging, A Concerto Is a Conversation is a poetic conversation between Emmy-winning composer Kris Bowers and his 91-year-old grandfather. The emotional and touching connection between the two bridges a generational divide, and tracks their family's lineage from Jim Crow-era Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. (d: Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowerss, USA, 2020, 14 min.)

Why I Ride
Jenny Phillips is new to dirt biking. According to her, she "absolutely sucks." She also says, "but I don't care. I'm having fun, and that's all that matters." In this stunning desert-y film, Jenny proves that there's no reason to be afraid of learning new things, developing new skills and most importantly, having fun. —Lilah Lerner, age 16. (d: Catherine Aeppel, USA, 2021, 2 min.)

Golden Age Karate
Karate is an interesting sport that combines physical and mental toughness. This short film illustrates how passion can bring someone into a leadership position. Jeff Wall Jr. becomes a teacher at a nursing home and gains respect and love from the elders he teaches. —Arabella Galbo, age 18  (d: Sindha Agha, USA, 2021, 5 min.)

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