MountainFilms Film Festival
Ever since the first motion picture feature was captured in the late 1800’s, films have been used as an extremely powerful tool of expression. With the ability to tell stories, convey emotion, and highlight aspects of life, film-makers use the process of film and editing to share their unique view of the world. On April 11th, an organization called MountainFilms held a small film festival in the San Marcos Auditorium. At this mini-festival, they presented five films highlighting the beauty of nature, a number of amazing athletes, tales of adventures, and work being done by wildlife conservation teams. Hosted by a few students from the San Marcos AAPLE Academy, SM became one of the stops along the tour that MountianFilms has been doing at various schools throughout the state in an effort to promote interest in film-making and the outdoors.
For the last five years, San Marcos teacher Mr. Ricci has taken his AVID and AP Literature classes to the Telluride Film Festival hosted by MountainFilms at the Arlington Theatre. MountainFilms is an organization that specializes in putting on film festivals around the globe that are designed to, as they put it in their mission statement, “… use the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.” This tradition has grown to be something which the students look forward to each year.
“In my literature classes, I like to expose students to a variety of different forms of media,” said Mr. Ricci. “The films shown at these festivals are a great opportunity for students to see stories on the screen that show our world in a way that they might not have experienced before. In a way, these films aren’t any different than the articles and novels we read in class. The only difference is that images take the place of words in the films.”
When MountianFilms announced that they were not going to be coming through Santa Barbara this year on their annual tour, seniors Tiffany Garcia, Alex Fell, Sarah Engmyr and Kyle Voulgaris reached out to the program. Under the guidance of Mr. Ricci, this group of students worked with MountianFilms to plan a small version of the annual film festival for SM students in the school auditorium. Together, they handle all the operations of hosting the event and gathering a number of classes to enjoy the free adventure film festival.
“Hosting the Telluride Film Festival at San Marcos for the first time was a special experience, and I have to give huge thanks to Mr. Ricci for coordinating the event,” said senior Alex Fell. “Whenever the festival comes to Santa Barbara, it never disappoints in its collection of short films centering around stories in the outdoors, and I felt lucky they shared some of them with the San Marcos student body.”
On Thursday, April 11, a group of approximately 300 students filed into the auditorium to watch a series of five films covering a range of topics such as professional mountain biking, birds of prey conservation efforts, a town in Mexico known for their pinatas, surfing while slack-lining, etc. Each of these films offered a unique perspective into some of the amazing aspects of our world. With so many incredible places and things to experience around the globe, it is impossible to do it all. But by sharing and viewing films like these, we can inspire others and become inspired to seek adventure and see the world through a new lense.