About the Festival
The 2013 festival will take place Oct 9th-13th at the historic Orpheum Theater.
The Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival’s mission is to provide a cultural alternative to the mainstream commercial film experience and to celebrate, promote, nurture and teach non-fiction filmmaking. The festival seeks to provide a window to the world and screen movies that inspire change.
The Festival began as a volunteer-run effort and has remained one ever since, with any profits from the event being reinvested into future festivals, funding our Emerging Filmmaker Program and donating to local charities. All year, our all-volunteer staff donates countless hours in order to bring a unique and awe-inspiring cultural event to Northern Arizona.
In addition to our commitment to quality film, we have several programs focused on the youth of our local community and surrounding Native American youth. Every year, our Student Program showcases a program of educational and inspirational films for as many as 1600 local middle and high-school students. Our Traveling Student Program brings this program to students from nearby Hopi and Navajo reservations. Finally, our Emerging Filmmaker Program provides a FREE after-school experience in which students learn the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking, from concept to post-production to screening their films at the Festival.
The Festival was created in 2003 by two friends who shared a passion for cultural and outdoor-adventure documentary films. That year, the Festival only half-filled the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff during a two-day event.
In 2004 we came out of the gates much stronger and filled the theater for two full days and nights of film. We also started our Student Program, which brought educationally stimulating films to Flagstaff middle and high school students.
The festival expanded to 4 days and nights of film in 2005 and drew crowds from all over the state of Arizona. In 2006 we were able to draw on the success of 2005 and bring in several filmmakers to introduce and present their films.
2007 was an especially great year for us with the expansion of our Student Program and the addition of an Environmental Program and late-night Extreme Sports Program. In the Environmental Program we dedicated a complete day and night of the festival to a particular environmental concern, highlight an environmental feature and create an expert panel to address the chosen topic, which in 2007 was the global water crisis.
In 2007 we also honored the great environmental activist Martin Litton, who gave a moving presentation and received standing ovations for his work in saving the Colorado River from being dammed within Grand Canyon National Park.
In 2008 we focused on ANWR and Energy Usage Issues for our Environmental Program and brought in Dale Djerassi to present his film Oil on Ice, and lead the panel discussion that followed. We also expanded our Student Program to meet the increased demand and once again presented a dynamic and well-attended Extreme Sports program.
In 2009, we introduced two wonderful new programs made possible by a grant from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). One of those programs was a three day filmmaking seminar on the Hopi Reservation. The program was extremely successful and we hope to provide this type of support again in the future.
In a similar light, 2009 began our new Student Filmmakers program. This program allows high school aged students to learn about the process of filmmaking. Through a series of tutorials and access to film equipment and filmmaker mentors, the students created films, one of which was showcased at the 2010 festival.
Power in the Pristine made its debut at the 2010 festival. The film follows a team of passionate and talented folks from the Southwest who are fighting to “keep Patagonia wild.” The filmmakers who include professional athlete, Timmy O’Neill and luminary writer, Craig Childs immerse themselves into this remote region of Chile. Craig Childs, adventure author and commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, enchanted festival attendees with two spoken word performances.
The 2010 four day event included numerous guest filmmakers, an ‘extreme’ late-night program featuring high energy sport films, a local filmmaker/themed session, numerous student film submissions and a hugely successful student program and student filmmaker program.
The 2011 festival exceeded all expectations. This was accomplished by the generosity of the local business community and yet again, a world-class line-up of films. Films from the festival have gone on to win awards at other festival as well as the Academy Awards including this past year with the film “If A Tree Falls”. This speaks to the quality programming of the festival.
In 2012 . . . [coming soon ].