Captain Paul Watson at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival

Captain Paul Watson attended the Telluride Mountain Film Festival from May 22nd thru May 25th in Telluride Colorado.

I have been attending Mountain Film almost every year since 1995 and I'm proud to be a member of the Mountain Film Advisory Board. Telluride has become an annual home-coming for me and an opportunity to connect and network with so many people in the environmental movement and in the community of mountaineers, extreme sport advocates and of course - film-makers.

Having flown in on Friday after a presentation at the Future in Review Conference in San Diego, I was very grateful to Maribel Guevara who volunteered as my assistant for the weekend. Maribel works with the Environmental Film Festival in Washington D.C. and it was very gracious of her to have arranged my accommodation and schedule for the weekend.

I presented Dan Stone and Tim Gorski's At the Edge of the World on both Saturday and Sunday Evenings. Each showing was followed by a twenty minute Q & A.

The documentary, which followed our 2006/2007 campaign to protect whales in Antarctica, was very well received, although it did not win any awards. Sea Shepherd will receive $400 from Mountain Film for being a non-profit organization featured in a documentary film.

I also received a $750 check for Sea Shepherd from the Telluride Writer's Guild for giving a presentation at the Telluride High School.

On Saturday morning I gave a breakfast talk with author Bill McKibbon.

The high points for myself at the Festival included meeting Slovanian Martin Strel, the first and only man to swim the Yangtze, Mississippi, and Amazon Rivers. I saw his exceptionally unusual, funny and challenging film The Riverman. I also met and attended a talk by Jennifer Lowe-Anker whose late husband Alex Lowe died in an avalanche in the Himalayas while attempting to climb Mount Everest.

Most interesting of all was meeting Tim DeChristopher who singlehandedly prevented President George W. Bush from auctioning off large areas of public lands in Utah to the Oil and Gas industry. Tim put in the winning bids on the lands despite not having any money and after he won the bids and the government found out that he could not deliver payment, they were unable to reschedule another auction because President Barack Obama took the lands off the auction block. The U.S. Attorney's office is taking Tim to court for fraud in July but he has no regrets - he demonstrated the power of an individual motivated by a passionate love for the wilderness.

All in all, it was a great Mountain Film Festival this year and once again I am happy to be an honorary citizen of the most progressive community in Colorado.  

Telluride Mountain Film Festival website