2016 Showcase Series

Summer Showcase Series

Orpheum Theater logoAs a way of bringing you the best of Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival submissions throughout its history and present day, we have teamed up with the Orpheum Theater to bring you an exciting Summer Showcase Series. These Series will feature the best of our cultural, environmental and adventure-related films and special guests to share their stories.

Our friends at The McMillan are also offering film aficionados 15% off food and drinks (non-happy hour/ specials) for every Showcase.

The Mcmillan logo

One of our partner nonprofits Flagstaff International Relief Effort (FIRE) will be selling high-quality second-hand outdoor wear, the proceeds of which are directly supporting aid work and rebuilding in Langtang, Nepal. We strongly encourage you to donate your best second-hand outdoor items and bring them to the Orpheum Theater on the night of the Showcase.

October - Trekking and Travel


Saturday, October 22nd
Doors open at 7:30 pm / Show starts at 8:00 pm

Directed by Ben Moon (8 mins)
For Daniel Norris, baseball has been a passion, career, patient teacher and cruel master. But becoming a professional athlete means life in a high-stakes world of intense pressure where players are constantly under the microscope. That’s why, during the offseason, Norris lives in his VW van, Shaggy. It’s a simple life. He travels alone, taking pictures, surfing, exploring the West and hoping that Shaggy will make it to the next destination. It’s not life in the fast lane; it’s life in the right lane, chugging along at 55 with other cars speeding past. But that view is exactly what he needs.

Expedition Q
Directed by Skip Armstrong/ NRS Films (12 mins)
Last summer, a group of friends set out on an adventure only they could have dreamed up. The journey takes them across Baffin Island’s Penny Ice Cap on skis, on a first descent of the Class V Weasel River and finally–by way of traditional kayaks they hand-built themselves–over age-old Inuit hunting routes across the southern portion of the island all the way to sea.

Ace and the Desert Dog
Directed by Brendan Leonard, Forest Woodward & Stefan Hunt (9 mins)
Ace Kvale, a veteran photographer, and Ghengis, a blue heeler “dogger” (that’s canine for “blogger”), live together in the Utah desert. Their backyard: 2 million acres of canyons, redrock cliffs, dry washes, empty landscapes and desert wilderness.  For his 60th birthday, Kvale decided to go on a 60-day backpacking trip. Ghengis, naturally, joined him, along with friends who tagged along for sections.  Ace and the Desert Dog proves that while backpacking may not be sexy, what it lacks in glamor it makes up in meaning. Kvale and Genghis are living proof, plodding along to spectacular places only reachable by foot, following the cycles of the season and learning lasting lessons from one another. Namely: Slow down, spend as much time with your best friends as possible and don’t forget to play.

Slide show “Forbidden Fruit: Riding the Road to Change in Cuba”
20 mins
Photographer and Filmmaker Amy Martin and her husband Taylor biked through Cuba this summer. They will share images and stories from the roads of Western Cuba during a time when the country is on the cusp of immense change.


Slide show “The Journey through Mongolia”
Shasta Wright and Jason Bohnert planned and executed and 600 mile, self-supported back country, off-road bike tour of the Khanghai Mountains in North Central Mongolia. They will share images, logistics and stories of their encounters in one of the planets most remote regions. 

Directed by Anthony Bonello (31 mins)
One of 2016’s most visually captivating ski films. We follow skiers Cody Townsend, Chris Rubens and Brody Leven as they traverse the Arctic and face countless challenges all in the quest to achieve that once in a lifetime shot. Directed by Anthony Bonello, this is a film that celebrates the indomitable human spirit and its need to seek.

The Rocky Mountains Traverse
Directed by David Pearson/ Reel Water Productions/ Red Bull Media House (24 mins)
When Will Gadd and Gavin McGlurg decided they wanted to define a bold new style in paragliding, they could not have picked a more vegetated, convoluted and downright burly route to test their concept. With one simple rule of only being able to make forward progress in the air, they set off on a 700-kilometer traverse of the Canadian Rockies. In terrain where bears outnumber people, roads are non-existent and flying conditions push them to their limits, they break all the typical rules of paragliding in an attempt at the longest pure paragliding flight ever.

September - Making it Happen

Chasing Niagara

September 29, 2016

Arctic Swell
(8 mins)
Photographer Chris Burkard and Professional Surfers Patrick Millin, Brett Barley, and Chadd Konig brave sub-zero temperatures in the Arctic Circle to capture moments of raw beauty in conditions that rank among the harshest in the natural world. The bitterly cold seas and wind exact a large price on their minds and bodies, but the reward – adventure, amazement, and self-knowledge – draws them closer together and pushes them to tackle the next frontier in surfing.

Women’s Speed Ascent
(4 mins)
Some records are just meant to be broken. Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter just knew that the women`s speed record for the ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California was their`s for the taking. Crushing the old record and standing atop El Capitan at 5 hours 02 minutes after their first test run and 4 hours 43 minutes after the final attempt just a few days later, Mayan and Libby put their names in the books of the infamous route in the Yosemite National Park, California.

Martin’s Boat
(24 mins)
Preeminent conservationist David Brower called him his conscience: in the 1950’s when the Bureau of Reclamation proposed two dams in the Grand Canyon—one at Marble Canyon and the other at Bridge Canyon—the late Martin Litton made sure the Sierra Club didn’t acquiesce. Martin believed the best way for people to understand how important it was to preserve the Grand Canyon was to have them experience this secret world from the river, but not in just any boat. Martin pioneered whitewater dories on the Colorado River in the 1960’s and started a proud tradition of naming the boats after wild places that had been lost or compromised by the hand of man. Now, some 50 years later, America’s open-air cathedral faces continued threats from development and mining and it’s up to all of us to ensure the crown jewel of our National Park system is protected now and for future generations. Martin’s Boat is a film that honors the legacy of Martin Litton and follows the newest boat in the Grand Canyon Dories fleet, the Marble Canyon, on its maiden voyage down the legendary Colorado River through the grandest canyon on Earth.

Chasing Niagara
(75 mins)
When pro kayaker Rafa Ortiz decides to follow his dream to paddle over Niagara Falls, he sets in motion an incredible series of events that eventually takes on a life of its own. To prepare for this mission, Rafa enlists a team of fellow professional kayakers, including Rush Sturges, Evan Garcia, and Tyler Bradt, to help him train and document the process. As they take on lightning fast rapids and massive waterfalls in exotic locales, they soon find that what started as one man’s epic quest, evolves into an intense three-year journey of self-discovery and friendship that forces them to redefine their own definitions of bravery, purpose, and ambition.

August - Celebration of the River

crdf logo‘Celebration of the River’ a pre- Colorado River Days event

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Orpheum Theater
Doors open: 7 PM / Show starts: 7:30 PM
Tickets: $8.00

Family-friendly! All ages.

Celebration of the River


This month we have decided to pay homage to the river, to that flowing water and to those that strive to protect it. We are honored to host writer, singer and fierce environmental activist Katie Lee.

For this whole month also we are the recipients of McMillan Community Handle, meaning for every sale of Lumberyard brew, we receive $1. The fantastic team at Lumberyard have agreed to match the sale dollar for dollar.

TheMcmillan_logo Lumberyard Brewing Co. 

(3 mins) USA, 2015. 
Director: Dave Whortley
A visual experiment mixing light and whitewater with kayaking and night. This ground-breaking action sports film blends freestyle kayaking with the world of art and creativity.

Salween Spring
(9 mins) USA, 2015. 
Director: Will Stauffer-Norris
Travis Winn has been running rivers in China for 15 years.  He’s achieved first descents, but has also watched rivers disappear behind dams.  Now he’s founded a rafting company to bring Chinese to see their rivers before they’re gone.  Salween Spring is Travis’ meditation on change, personal struggle, and kayaking along China’s frontier.

Brad Dimock – Oral Presentation Tales of the River

Kickass Katie Lee
( 8 mins) USA, 2016. 
Directors: Beth & George Gage
The Desert Goddess of Glen Canyon is well-known for her lifetime of powerful environmental activism. However, this film takes us on a more personal journey into the unshakeable spirit of Katie Lee.

Q&A with Katie Lee and Beth & George Gage

Into the Ditch
(2 mins) USA, 2014. 
Director: Rush Sturges
Two friends, one ditch. Nothing has changed, but now everything is different. Watch as two of the world’s best kayakers, Ben Marr and Rush Sturges, tackle breakneck speeds down 500 vertical feet of a concrete drainage ditch in British Columbia in Canada.

Urban Circus Fish
(10 mins) USA. 2015. Directors: Chris Kitchen & Sam Pope
Angler and artist KC Badger and his friend Kenny Price take us on fishing expeditions through somewhat unchartered territory in Phoenix, Arizona. When Badger is not chasing fish in city waterways, he is cruising the same city streets on his BMX.

(10 mins) USA. 2015. Director: Jordan Halland
Typically, we associate surfing with the sea.  In StrongWater however, a bunch of boarders are making waves in a new environment, the rivers of Missoula, Montana, and in the process transforming the sport itself.

The Divided Confluence
(20 mins) Directors: Justin Clifton, Harlan Taney
Sneak preview into local filmmakers Clifton and Taney’s documentary on the fight to prevent the proposed Grand Canyon Escalade development.

Voyagers Without Trace
(46 mins) USA. 2015. Director: Ian McCluskey
In a remote Southwestern corner of Wyoming, a faded photograph of three individuals on a historic marker leads Ian McCluskey and his team on a remarkable journey of discovery. The team raft the Green and Colorado rivers and climb the Pyrenees in search of clues. Within a 16th Century fortress in the peaks of the Pyrenees, the team unearth a full 16mm color film amongst other treasures.  This is the story of newlyweds Genevieve and Bernard de Colmont and their friend, Antoine de Seynes, and their bold plan to be the first to take kayaks down the mighty Green and Colorado rivers in 1938.

July - Pushing the Limits

Pushing the LImits

This month we have a selection of films that reflect the concept of pushing beyond our perceived limitations.

Beyond the Horizon
(60 mins) Canada, 2007. 
Director: Colin Angus
A powerful film that documents the first human-powered circumnavigation around the planet in 720 days, without motors or sails.

(10 mins) USA, 2015. 
Director: Kirk Williams
A short documentary about three adaptive sports athletes and a filmmaker figuring out what makes life most fulfilling.

Equal Footing
(8 mins) USA, 2015. 
Director: Dan Holz & Eric Olofson
We follow Osprey Athlete Kim Havell and fellow alpinist, Julia Heemstra, on a trip to the Wyoming Wind River Range. They discuss the realities of being female climbers in what is traditionally a male-dominated pursuit, and share the pure playfulness and joy of challenging their limits in the backcountry.

(13 mins) USA, 2015. 
Director: Renan Ozturk
This film follows the stories of ultra-marathoners Rory Bosio, Timothy Olson and Hal Koerner as they prepare for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

Showdown at Horseshoe Hell
(20 mins) USA, 2015. 
Directors: Zachary Barr, Peter Mortimer &  Nick Rosen
Once a year hundreds of climbers descend on Arkansas for 24 hours of Horseshoe Hell, #24HHH, a climbing competition that’s a bizarre mix of Burning Man and climbing Magazine. Alex Honnold brings his A-game, but he may have some stiff competition from two underdogs.

55 hours in Mexico
(10 mins). USA, 2015.
Directors: Joey Schusler & Karl Thompson
This film explores the limits of the weekend warrior and dives deep into type 2 fun when four friends take off to Mexico for an outlandish adventure on the continent’s highest Volcano, Orizaba.

June - Ultimate Biking

Rider and the Wolf

Dark Light
(7 min) USA, 2015. Director: Mike Brown, Matt O’Connor
Unlike anything ever seen in the world of mountain biking, we follow three world class riders on a mind-bending night ride through the moonscapes of Southern Utah to the Ewok forests of the Pacific Northwest.

The Trail to Kazbegi
(15 min) USA, 2015.  
Director: Joey Schusler
What happens when four like-minded adventurers head into one of the world’s wildest mountain ranges with nothing but their mountain bikes and enough food to survive for 10 days? Find out in this self-supported mountain-bike mission through the highest reaches of the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Fast Forward
(8 min). USA, 2015.
Producer: Talweg Creative
For bikepacker and ultra-long-distance racer Lael Wilcox, taking on the Arizona Trail—800+miles of desert singletrack—is a challenge unlike any other, and it will test her to the core.

Life Cycles
(45 min) Canada, 2010.
Directors: Derek Frankowski & Ryan Gibb
Filmed in HD, this visually stunning journey documents the many stories surrounding the mountain bike and its culture. Ride along into breathtaking natural settings, as riders battle the elements, showcase the progression of riding, take a road trip, and show the destruction and eventual creation of trails.

The Rider and The Wolf
(65 min) USA, 2015. 
Director: Nathan Ward
This is a feature documentary about the life and strange disappearance of Mike Rust, one of six Irish brothers who fell in love with bicycles in Colorado. “Mike the Bike” helped create the stoke for bikes in the rough mountain town of Crested Butte, leading to the sport we know today as mountain biking.