November 29, 2006

In my latest incarnation—and my first desk job—I am Mountainfilm’s Festival Director. My roots are in adventure, and I spent the first half of my adult life exploring the hidden niches of the world, mostly by kayak. I worked as an international guide and expedition leader, based in Kathmandu, while moving between hemispheres like a migratory bird, following the flow of rivers from South America to Siberia. Photojournalism—my artistic expression and means of communication with the first world—naturally morphed into filmmaking, where I have worked on both sides of the camera in just about every capacity. I’ve even had a taste of Hollywood, working as Meryl Streep’s role model, coach/advisor, and one of her stunt doubles on The River Wild.

All of that has prepared me for steering the creative helm of Mountainfilm, which I consider a great honor and also perhaps the greatest way I can serve the world. So here I sit, two festivals under my belt and in the thick of my stride.

The aspens have turned and with our second early snow, the peaks outside my office window are pure white! This has enhanced my motivation towards the EIGER, a monumental theme for the 2007 festival. It just so happens that the Swiss will be celebrating 150 years of Alpinism and a new IMAX film is in the making. John Harlin III is the star of a story about his dad, who at the time of his death on the infamous North Face, was considered the top American alpinist in Europe. Since those days, the North Face has challenged many climbers, each of which have their own stories. Many of them will be here to tell them. We may even bring back Hollywood’s version, The Eiger Sanction, and get Clint Eastwood to climb on up to the podium …

ENERGY will be the hot theme of the Moving Mountains Symposium and will surface throughout the Festival. It’s a multifaceted topic which we intend to thoroughly explore, gathering top scientists and innovators to inform, educate and inspire us with sustainable solutions.

Ciao for niao … Arlene

Posted by Arlene Burns

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