By Laurelle Walsh
An evening of award-winning documentary films comes to Winthrop this weekend, with the return of Mountainfilm On Tour.
Originally scheduled in August and cancelled due to the Twisp River Fire, the touring film festival returns to the Methow Valley on Saturday (Sept. 26), at 7 p.m., with three hours of select films screened under the stars at Winthrop’s Mack Lloyd Park. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for youth 18 and under. Seating and ticket sales start at 6 p.m.
Seating is on the grass. Organizer Paul Smotherman, of event sponsor North Cascades Mountain Hostel, recommends bringing a blanket or low-back chair and warm clothes.
This is Mountainfilm’s third year in Winthrop, with 15 selections from the 2015 Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado. “The films will include daring adventure pieces, inspiring environmental films and humorous human-interest stories,” said Smotherman. “All sure to impress.”
One such film is Force, a documentary full of impressive climbing footage filmed over five years of expeditions on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy Massif, which straddles the border between Argentina and Chile. Force follows climber and photographer Mikey Schaefer on his quest to put up first ascents on Fitz Roy’s seven summits.
And in a completely different vein, California: Paradise Burning is a particularly timely piece that portrays the human and economic fallout from years of drought in California’s Central Valley, as the region’s agricultural base collapses.
Other highlights of Saturday’s festival include The Fisherman’s Son, Chris Malloy’s profile of Chilean big-wave surfer Ramon Navarro, and his work to preserve the rugged coastline of his home; Gnarly in Pink, a short film about little girls who shred on skateboards; The Important Places, in which filmmaker Forest Woodward recreates a 28-day raft trip down the Grand Canyon with his father; Afterglow, a cinematically profound ski flick filmed in the backcountry of British Columbia and Alaska; and many more.
A portion of this year’s ticket sales and “schwag raffle” will go to www.firehero.org/donate/Twisp-river/. For more information, go to ncascadesmtnhostel.com or call (509) 699-0568.