Mountainfilm Program at the Hop

A selection of action-packed shorts and "Profiles in Character" from the 2019 Mountainfilm festival.

Women in Fire
The physical challenges and risks associated with certain jobs have, historically, skewed them almost exclusively toward men. Example A: firefighting. As this short film ably shows, however, there is nothing about the job that women can't handle. And no reason to keep it off little girls' "when-I-grow-up" wish lists. (USA, 2017, 8 min.)

Sweetheart Dancers
Sean and Adrian are a Two-Spirit couple determined to rewrite the rules of Native American culture through their participation in the 'Sweetheart Dance.' This celebratory contest is held at powwows across the country, primarily for men and women couples, until now. (USA, 2019, 14 min) TRAILER

At age 9, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa told her teacher she wanted to climb Mount Everest. It may have seemed improbable then, but she's long smashed notions of what's probable. The first woman from Nepal's Rolwaling Valley (home to 70 notable male climbers) certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, Dawa is one of only about 100 women among IFMGA's nearly 7,000 guides. "Who I am now is just because I climb," Dawa says modestly, as images of peaks she has summited flash on screen — K2, Yala Peak, Lobuche, Chekigo, Kanchenjunga, Cho-Oyu, Ama Dablam — and, of course, Everest. (USA, 2018, 3 min.)

The Explorers: Casey Brown
"Am I a crazy person?" downhill mountain biker Casey Brown asks in this short film. Decide for yourself as you watch her negotiate the massive drops, huge gaps and puckering lines of southern Utah. (USA/Canada, 2019, 4 min.)

Safe Haven
Inner-city Memphis is not the likeliest setting for an enormous rock-climbing gym. But since it opened in March 2018, Memphis Rox, the nation's only nonprofit climbing gym—open to all, regardless of ability to pay—has proven that the challenges of technical climbing have strong appeal and can provide benefits well beyond the traditional outdoor-recreation community. (USA, 2018, 8 min.)

Feel of Vision
Anyone who has kayaked whitewater knows that it can be scary. The idea of kayaking serious rapids without being able to see? Terrifying. And the notion of kayaking the entire length of the Grand Canyon, blind? Almost unthinkable. And yet, people do it. The first of them was Lonnie Bedwell. Bedwell lost his vision in a hunting accident and emerged from an ensuing period of intense self-examination determined to take back his independence and his identity. That he has accomplished. In spades. Just to add some glory to the guts, Lonnie now dedicates himself to helping wounded vets learn how to kayak and, in the process, to regain some freedom. And some fun. (USA, 2018, 26 min.) TRAILER

The Wild Inside
"Saying goodbye to an animal – it's hard," says Chris, who is leaving Florence, Ariz. State Prison after serving a six-year sentence. He's one of 30 minimum-security participants in the prison's pioneering Wild Horse Inmate Program, working five days a week to "gentle" the wild mustangs, which are saved from slaughter. Training them as saddle horses keeps recidivism at bay in Arizona, where inmates face a 49 percent chance of reincarceration within five years. Since 2012, only three of the prison's 53 WHIP trainers are back behind bars. (USA, 2019, 15 min.)

All In: Alaska Heli Skiing
Tune in for a tutorial on how to absolutely shred Alaskan spines. (USA, 2018, 4 min.)

Ashes to Ashes (programmed in conjunction with the College's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration)
America has yet to heal from the trauma of its darkest era, and Winfred Rembert is living proof of that. Rembert, who lived on a plantation, joined the civil rights movement as a teen and was put to work on a chain gang, is a rare survivor of a lynching attempt. Decades later, he still carries the scars. "That lynching is on my back, and it's dragging me down, even today," he says. As he etches the history, blood-soaked and cruel, into leatherwork, fellow artist Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker organizes a different kind of ceremony to search for healing. "It's not just black history," she says. "This is American history." (USA, 2019, 26 min.) Note: this film contains a brief but explicit description of an attempted lynching and historical images of lynchings.

Danny Daycare
So long coloring books and cartoons. Goodbye stuffed animals and nap time. Danny MacAskill is your new favorite babysitter ever. (Scotland, 2019, 4 min)