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Mountainfilm 2011 Special Guests Include:


Baffin Babes
There are no babes like the Baffin Babes. Vera, Emma, Inge and Kristin- four Scandinavian girls who tackled a burly 1,200-km ski trip across Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic in 2009-will talk about the challenges of their expedition, including sleeping in a tent in 40 below with polar bears as their closest neighbors.

Wade Davis
Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He holds degrees in anthropology and biology and a Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He has authored a dozen books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, The Clouded Leopard, Light at the Edge of the World and The Lost Amazon. His many film credits include the award-winning series Light at the Edge of the World. Wade divides his time between Washington, D.C., and a remote fishing lodge in the Stikine Valley of northern British Columbia. Wade is a favorite and frequent presenter at Mountainfilm and is returning again for the first time since 2008.

Tim DeChristopher
During the last days of the Bush administration, Tim DeChristopher put his liberty on the line by bidding nearly $2 million that he did not have for drilling rights to pristine public lands near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Tim was recently convicted by a federal court of making false bids on energy leases. His presence at Mountainfilm this May, a month before his scheduled sentencing, will certainly help galvanize festival audiences. Tim will speak not only about the urgency of addressing global climate change, but also about why non-violent civil disobedience is essential in these troubled times.

Maria Gunnoe
Maria Gunnoe, a lifelong resident of coal country in West Virginia, fights against mountaintop removal mining and valley fill operations and has been featured in numerous documentaries on the topic, including On Coal River. She was a recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009 - one of the most prestigious and longest running awards of its type - and has fought and won many battles both in her local Boone County and farther afield.

Greg Mortenson
Greg Mortenson returns to the festival this year as a judge. This adventurer-turned-activist is now world famous because of his work building schools for girls in the Himalayas, chronicled in the remarkable best-selling Three Cups of Tea. But when he first came to Mountainfilm to see climbing films in 1980 (our second year), he was a self-described dirt bag who slept in his car.

David de Rothschild
David de Rothschild has traversed the continent of Antarctica and sailed across the Pacific on a boat made almost entirely from plastic bottles. In 2006 he became the youngest British person to ever reach both geographical poles, and he is also an author and an organic farmer. His Plastiki expedition -- to sail a catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles across the Pacific -- successful arrived in Sydney Harbour on July 26, 2010, and his presentation on that feat will be his first at Mountainfilm. David is focused on educating the youth about climate change.

M Sanjayan
Dr. M Sanjayan is the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, specializing in conservation and wildlife ecology. At Mountainfilm, he will speak at the symposium about how we can impact the extinction crisis. He has been profiled by Outside magazine and been a guest on "Late Night with David Letterman."

Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer is a comic personality who takes "hyphenate" to new levels. First and foremost an actor, he is also an author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist and record label owner. Perhaps best known for his voice work on "The Simpsons" (Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders and many others) and as a member of the famous mock band Spinal Tap (which reunited in 2007 for a special performance at The Live Earth Concert), Harry is also a passionate activist who brings issues to light through comedy and satire.

George Steinmetz
George Steinmetz graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geophysics, but after hitchhiking through Africa for 28 months, he began a career in photography that has been vastly successful. He has completed 18 major photo essays for National Geographic and 25 stories for GEO magazine in Germany. George lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife (Wall Street Journal editor Lisa Bannon), their daughter and twin sons. This is his first gallery show at Mountainfilm.

Geoff Tabin
Geoff Tabin is an ophthalmologist who has dedicated his life to curing people with preventable blindness. His work takes him all over the world, and he recently made a trip to Ethiopia with Mountainfilm regular guest and climber Timmy O'Neill who will present with him. The two men climbed in Ethiopia, but they also worked to restore eyesight to its citizens. Geoff, also an accomplished mountaineer, was the fourth person in the world to climb all seven summits. His book, Blind Corners, was described by Sir Edmund Hillary as "an astonishing mixture of wild adventure and the overcoming of formidable challenges."

Terry Tempest Williams
Terry Tempest Williams is a writer who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. She has testified before Congress on women's health issues, been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda. Terry will read from her recent book Finding Beauty in a Broken World, which discusses mosaics, prairie dogs and creating art in Rwanda. Terry is working on a new book about the oil spill in the Gulf, an early portion of which was featured in a recent cover story in Orion magazine.

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