• Telluride Mountainfilm Festival Makes Debut in Taos, February 18 through 20

      Opens this weekend, Short Film Festival in Taos

      TAOS, NM - For the first time, Taos will host the 'Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour' – a weekend of short films – with special appearances by several directors of the films and discussions centered around film. The weekend long event starts on Friday, February 18 and continues through Sunday, February 20. The event is presented by Taos Center for the Arts (TCA), in association with Friends of Taos Film Festivals, Mountainfilm in Telluride, and Taos Ski Valley, with sponsorships from the Town of Taos and the Historic Taos Inn.

      'This is the first attempt by a collective group of film veterans to bring a unique film festival to Taos designed to not only entertain, but to educate,' said Phil Caston, of Friends of Taos Film Festivals. 'The films that are being presented will appeal to a variety of interests, with many focusing on important environmental issues that affect the West and are artfully woven into films that have the ability to move us and impact the way we think..

      The programming on Friday will consist of short films and presentations involving socially conscience, environmental and sustainable issues such as the importance of private farm and ranches to wildlife corridors, and crucial habitats in the West. Films on Friday include the 60 minute, 'Bearwalker of the Northwoods,' directed by David Wright. This fascinating short film brings viewers along with a biologist who tracked black bears into the North Woods of Minnesota, in an effort to change the public’s perception that black bears are aggressive. Film presentations on Friday begin at 7 p.m. in the Taos Community Auditorium.

      Saturday afternoon films are geared more toward a younger audience, with the goal of bringing awareness to children about the environment and social issues. 'Nico’s Challenge,' directed by Steve Audette, follows a 13-year-old boy, born with one leg, through his remarkable, inspiring journey to climb the highest mountain in the world – Mt. Kilimanjaro. Film presentations begin at 2 p.m. in the Taos Community Auditorium.

      Short films later that evening will appeal to outdoor adventure and sports enthusiasts. One such film, the “Eastern Rises,” by director Ben Knight, takes the viewer to the Kamchatka peninsula of Russia for a glimpse at several fly fishermen and how they risk life and limb just to explore the rivers in the area, which they believe have never been fished before. Films and presentations Saturday evening will begin at 7 p.m. at the Taos Community Auditorium.

      Sunday evening feature films will center around high adrenalin sports, and bring to light incredible stories of determination and the consequences of pushing the limits. 'Point of No Return,' directed by Peter Mortimer, follows the harrowing attempts of three top-flight alpinists to climb the 22,368-foot Mt. Edgar, in China’s Sichuan Province, whose efforts ultimately lead to a fateful outcome.

      A complete show schedule of the Mountainfilm on Tour can be found here.

      Tickets are $15 for general admission; $12 for TCA members; and $10 for youth 17 and under. Saturday matinee tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for kids 12 and under. Friday and Saturday films will be shown at the Taos Community Auditorium, located at 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. Call TCA (575) 758-4677 for directions. Tickets for the Sunday showings are FREE, courtesy of Taos Ski Valley (TSV). Films on Sunday will be shown at the Martini Tree Bar in TSV.

      Tickets can be purchased either by calling TCA at (575) 758-2052 or through the box office which opens 45 minutes prior to screening.

      The Friends of Taos Film Festivals was created by veterans of the music and film industry who wanted to create a major independent film festival in Taos, to showcase independent films from across the country. The Friends group – made up of Phil Caston, Curt Rouse, Seth Bullington, Mike Rivera, Peter Halter and Gypsie Frank – partnered and combined resources with the Mountainfilm in Telluride on Tour in order to create a successful event. The Friends group hopes that this will be the first of a series of film events in Taos, as well as partnerships with other festivals such as Banff, Vancouver, and Durango to name a few.