Om Mane Padma Hum. In English, this mantra translates to “Praise to the jewel in the lotus.” Walk through the streets of Telluride in late May for Memorial Day weekend, and you’ll notice colorful Tibetan prayer flags blowing in the breeze of local shop windows and above doorways. You’ll also notice the giant prayer wheels fringed in gold and green and red. Be sure to spin them clockwise as tradition directs. They are there to purify karma and spread wisdom. But really, along with the other Tibetan symbols, they are they are there for Mountainfilm Festival.
Its mission is “dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining.” One of America’s most beloved and longest-running film festivals, Mountainfilm Festival has been a Telluride attraction since 1979.
Mountainfilm includes screenings of inspirational independent films in multiple venues throughout Telluride and in the Mountain Village. But it doesn’t stop there. There are discussions and panels, artwork, music events and more…..all in the name of consciousness. With films that cover the gamut of issues regarding the environment, climate change, cultural challenges, politics, and more, Mountainfilm sheds light on the dilemmas, the truth and consequences, and also helps viewers to find hope.
One way that Mountainfilm does this is through the Next Step program. It is through Next Step that audiences are encouraged to focus on positive changes regarding the ways they’ve been inspired because of the films they have viewed. So as Mountainfilm educates the festival goers, it also asks them to think and then to get involved.
Like many Telluride festivals, Mountainfilm prides itself by functioning as a low-impact event, committed to reducing the waste that is generated in celebrations like this. The festival encourages participants to bring their own mugs and other supplies for the purpose of reusing and reducing garbage.
Mountainfilm really is more than a film festival. It’s a gathering of minds interested in looking at how we are evolving, how we are caring for the planet and its peoples, and looking at the various ways we can enjoy and protect this earth.
Om Mani Padma Hum. Praise to the jewel in the lotus. And praise to the jewel that is Mountainfilm Festival in the beauty of the flower that is Telluride.