Annie Dietz, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor
Last night, the Society of Outdoor Life and Exploration (SOLE) hosted the Mountainfilm Festival Tour at Berry. Deriving from Telluride, Co., Mountainfilm annually shows a collection of short, nonfiction documentaries pertaining to environmental, cultural, political and social justice. Mountainfilm was established during its inaugural festival on Memorial Day, 1979, and has since hosted an annual festival and tour, each beginning in Telluride. This year was the 40th festival.
This is the 11th year the show has been hosted in Rome by SOLE, after SOLE faculty advisor Cathy Borer came in contact with program. As junior Zoe Friedl, president of SOLE, explained, the club has been working to organize the event since as early as last October. From filling out paperwork, getting poster designs approved and working to host a presenter sent by MountainFilm, Friedl and the rest of the club spent months preparing for the event.
This is Friedl’s second year working on the film viewing. In previous years, SOLE has seen high turnout levels.
“Usually almost every single seat is full in the MAC Auditorium,” Friedl said. “Most of the time we end up having to have people in the auditorium leading people to open seats, or having to have everyone stand up and move to the center. It’s a pretty large event.”
This year’s showing was no different, as students and members of the community began lining up before 6 p.m., when the doors opened. Almost every seat in the auditorium was full.
The documentaries are different every year, and according to Friedl, the documentary lineup differs at every stop on Mountainfilm’s tour. This year there were 11 films shown, ranging from around three to twenty minutes. SOLE was given a list of the films prior to last night’s viewing, but only of their titles. The content and messages of the film were just as unknown to attendees as it was to Friedl and other club members.
“I just really enjoy it every year, it gives me chills watching all of the videos. I like being surprised by what’s going to play,” Friedl said. “I like going and seeing other people’s reactions to the films as well.”
he films not only differed in length, but also in theme, discussing everything from predatory bird migration habits to Sherpa culture in Eastern Nepal.
SOLE plans to host the film showing next spring, as well as in the years to come.