This year there was even more to love at Mountainfilm: Felt Soul Media’s Ben Knight and Travis Rummel sponsored a new award at the festival lauding cinematography. This year’s inaugural recipient was Into Eternity, a film by Dogwoof that documents the building of “Onkalo.” Onkalo is an underground facility being built in Finland to house nuclear waste. Below is the trailer for the film:
The film won recognition for its haunting cinematography, but Into Eternity’s subject also resonated with local audiences. Just west of Telluride, a new uranium processing mill has won state approval and construction is imminent. Local environmental groups are fighting the mill and the possible harmful effects from radioactive materials. The film highlights the idea that nuclear waste will need to be safeguarded at Onkalo for 100,000 years; humankind has been around for just 50,000 years and the longest lasting structure built by man, the pyramids, are only 5,000 years old. “Onkalo must last 100,000 years. Nothing built by man has lasted even a tenth of that time span,” says the narrator.
Also winning awards at this year’s festival were:
—Roko Belic’s Happy, which took the Audience Award. (You might remember Belic from his film Genghis Blues a few years ago.)
—Undercity, which took the Director’s Choice Award.
—Cold, which took the Charlie Fowler Award.
—We Still Live Here (the Wampanoag Reclamation Project) and A Perfect Soldier (a project to disable landmines in Cambodia) shared the Moving Mountains Award.
—festival guest Prudence Mabhena was presented with the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award, as well as a cash prize and donations that amounted to the $25,000 she needs to build a wheelchair accessible home in Zimbabwe.