Mountainfilm’s Free Events

Dirtbags, rejoice. If you didn’t buy your Mountainfilm tickets in time, or if you’re saving money for that climbing trip to Yosemite or to run the Grand Canyon, there are lots of ways you can enjoy Mountainfilm for free.
Here are some options:
Base Camp Outdoor Theatre. The Town Park stage is transformed into an open air theatre every year for Mountainfilm, and all of the al fresco films are completely free. Just bring a camp chair and dress appropriately (down jackets, hats, warm socks). The movies start at 8:45 p.m and this year’s lineup features the must-see space film The Farthest, which chronicles the historic Voyager space probe mission (Wednesday); the ever-popular Adrenaline program, which collates high-flying and physics-defying extreme sports shorts into a night of adventure (Saturday); and Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, which chronicles the life and achievements of 94-year-old climbing pioneer Fred Beckey (Sunday).
Town Talks. Dive into some deep and intense conversation led by the guests of Mountainfilm, including The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, bestselling author Cheryl Strayed, artist Justin Brice Guariglia, and longtime Obama science advisor John Holdren. Mornings are “Coffee & Conversation” and early evenings are “Booze & Banter.” These free events take place from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Coffee), and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday through Sunday (Booze) at venues across town. Coffee is free, but don’t forget to bring your own cup.
Free Range Programs. Get outdoors and learn from some of the experts and luminaries at this year’s festival. This year’s lineup ranges from an outdoor culinary demo with Eduardo Garcia, star of the documentary Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story, to a an immersion in nature (complete with medical measurements to test the science) with The Nature Fix author Florence Williams, and a climate change walk with scientists Richard Waring and Steve Running. There’s also a Valley Floor walk to celebrate the acquisition of the parcel a decade ago.
Gallery Walk. Mountainfilm celebrates the work of photographers and artists with exhibits at all the local galleries and venues in town. Exhibits include Justin Brice Guariglia, a big-thinking artist whose work tackles the Anthropocene (Telluride Gallery of Fine Art); Mountainfilm’s artist-in-residence Lindsey Ross, who specializes in the old, slow process of wet plate collodion photography (Telluride Arts HQ); and Renan Ozturk, whose show chronicles the intriguing practice of honey harvesting on sheer cliffs in Nepal (Mixx Gallery). The opening reception is Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Reading Frenzy. Every year, the festival supports the literary arts with a fast and furious booksigning/bookselling event hosted by Between the Covers bookstore. Festival authors including Craig Childs, Florence Williams, and Tim Laman appear at the Hotel Madeline Ballroom to sign and sell their books from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday.
Ice Cream Social. Free ice cream? Yes, please. The social takes place Saturday afternoon on Colorado Avenue, between Aspen and Fir streets: it is part street dance, part farmers market, and part outdoor gathering to learn about action initiatives and chat about the films, art, and ideas. The ice cream is provided by Lucas Price of La Cocina de Luz, and the Ice Cream Social takes place from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Take advantage of all the free events and start saving your money so you can afford a pass next year. Or if you get lucky and score some tickets this year, you can check out the full schedule at

—Thanks to Katie Klingsporn, Mountainfilm’s program director, for all the information about free events at the festival.