Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Film tour stops at DU to show entertaining side of environmentalism

Throughout spring quarter, University of Denver students have galvanized around the issue of environmental sustainability. In April, students demonstrated the amount of recyclables thrown away in one day, offered free bike tune-ups and educated the community about conservation. These projects were part of a larger effort to launch a long-term campaign for diminishing DU’s environmental footprint. 

While conservation and sustainability often carry more connotations of “don’ts” than “do’s,” on May 9 students brought the Mountainfilm Telluride World Tour to campus and showed the entertaining side of environmentalism. 

“Film is the most powerful means of communication for our generation. We want the DU and Denver communities to get a message from these films that our earth is precious and needs to be treated as such,” says senior Eric Kornacki, an economics and international studies major and founder of the student movement SustainableDU, one of the event’s sponsors.

The two-hour event was a sampling of the films that are featured at the four-day Mountainfilm festival, held annually over Memorial Day weekend in Telluride. 

Mountainfilm World Tour Director Justin Clifton says the tour was created to show films that audiences don’t usually get a chance to see. They are films that “celebrate everything that happens in the mountains,” he says.

The screening opened with Defect, a film with unicyclers doing the types of tricks one usually sees skateboarders or BMX bikers perform. In a similar thread, but on two wheels, Unchained featured the daring exploits of mountain bikers. 

Films like First Ascent: The Obscurist and Psicobloc were just a few of the films focused on the perseverance of mountain climbers. 

On the conservation side, The Good Fight told the story of Martin Litton as he looked back in his work with the Sierra Club to save the Grand Canyon from proposed dams in the 1960s. 

The Hatch showed the ongoing struggle of fly fishers and guides in Colorado’s Black Canyon as they attempt to keep a proposed dam project from destroying the river habitat on the Western Slope. 

For comedic relief, the World Tour included films like the mockumentary Zoltan, where the title character attempts to enter a professional kayak race on an inflated inner tube. Fully outfitted in helmet, wet suit and life vest he states, “Tubing is not as easy as it looks. The mind, body and spirit must all be balanced.”

For more information on the films and upcoming Mountainfilm World Tour dates, go

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