Ken Burns: America’s master documentary filmmaker brings his latest work to Mountainfilm for its world premiere. The National Parks – America’s Best Idea is a biography of the most compelling characters in the often-turbulent national parks story, and a sweeping portrait of the incomparably vast and diverse American landscape. The story is framed by the richest imagery ever captured on film of our nation’s most beautiful places.
Nicholas Kristof: The two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist put the humanitarian crisis in Darfur on the world map virtually single-handedly. In the film Reporter, Kristof leads viewers to some of the most atrocity-ravaged places on the globe and shows why honest, hard-hitting journalism is essential to freedom and democracy.
Richard Holbrooke: President Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is charged with what must be the hardest job at the State Department. As Pakistan teeters on the edge of collapse and Afghanistan sees the arrival of 17,000 additional US troops, Taliban and Al Qaeda forces seem to act with relative impunity in both countries. Who better to tackle a seemingly impossible diplomatic challenge than former US Ambassador to the UN and the chief architect of the Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia?
Paul Watson: The Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Society is known by some as an environmental hero and by others as a terrorist. To many he is both. An old friend of Mountainfilm, Watson returns with the film At the Edge of the World, the harrowing account of the Sea Shepherd’s voyage to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary where Watson and his crew took on outlaw Japanese whalers.
Bill McKibben: A leading environmental activist and writer, McKibben has been a pioneer in exposing the truth of global climate change to a wide American audience. His first book, The End of Nature, published in 1989, is acclaimed as the first ever book for a general readership about climate change. McKibben has since written many more books and hundreds of articles on nature, the environment, alternative energy and sustainability.
James Balog: A contributing editor to National Geographic Adventure, Balog is one of the world’s pre-eminent nature photographers. He was the first photographer ever to be commissioned by the US Postal Service to create a full plate of stamps. His latest work focuses on accelerating glacial ice melt around the world, a subject on which Balog has briefed the US Congress.
Jim Whittaker: The first American to summit Everest was clad head to toe, including longjohns, by Eddie Bauer. Mountainfilm will celebrate Whittaker’s long list of mountaineering achievements, including his current advisory role in Eddie Bauer’s new line of leading-edge expedition outerwear and gear, First Ascent – Mountainfilm’s 2009 Presenting Sponsor.