Aspen Mountain Film Festival Announces Film Selections And Pass Details For The August 2019 Festival

Aspen Mountain Film Festival Announces Film Selections And Pass Details For The August 2019 Festival

The Wheeler Opera House is pleased to announce the full film lineup for the upcoming documentary film festival, Aspen Mountain Film Festival, on August 21 - 25, 2019. This year's program will include 35 films including 4 Colorado Premieres and 2 World Premieres. The theme of the five day festival is "Deep Dive" as the programming takes a deep dive into stories, community, adventure, mental health, family fun and more. Passes for Aspen Mountain Film Festival will go on sale July 1 at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office (970.920.5770/ Single tickets (if available) will go on sale August 1.

This year the festival offers three different pass options, allowing buyers to choose the best fit, while saving money. The always-popular PICK 3 PASS will allow you to to choose 3 mainstage programs for $60 or 3 lunch film programs for $75. Want to mix and match lunches and features? Choose your favorites and save 25% when you buy 3. The MAINSTAGE PASS is just $145 and includes ALL Wheeler Opera House film programs (6 programs), as well as a ticket to see Mr. Jimmy LIVE at Belly Up Aspen! Lunch program tickets can be added at the time of purchase at a discounted price of $25 (regularly $35). New for 2019 - the SEE IT ALL PASS - for just $195 this pass gains you access to ALL Aspen Mountain Film Festival events - 6 programs at the Wheeler Opera House, Mr. Jimmy Live at Belly Up Aspen AND all 3 lunch film programs.

"I am so pleased at the amazing lineup of films that our programming team has put together for the 2019 Aspen Mountain Film Festival," states Wheeler Opera House Executive Director and Festival Producer Gena Buhler. "Each year our festival theme takes audiences on a journey to different countries, landscapes, and on adventures with amazing characters. This year, as we take a 'Deep Dive,' the films introduce us to incredible stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and then leave you wanting to act. Our newly rebranded festival will bring Colorado and World Premiere films to the big screen of the Wheeler Opera House, and across different Aspen venues, in addition to unique experiences inspired by the films themselves."

As in past years, Aspen Mountain Film Festival will offer lunchtime film programming (August 23 - 25). This year, the program will be hosted at Limelight Aspen, in the Monarch room. Three short film programs (with special guests and discussions) will feature a rotating buffet lunch in this intimate gathering space.

Aspen Mountain Film Festival 2019 Schedule:


An Evening of Adventure hosted by Jennifer Pharr Davis

7:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Aspen's favorite shorts film program returns! Buckle up as we take a deep dive into adventure, hosted by hiker, author, speaker, and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Jennifer Pharr Davis. Films include "A Grand Journey," "The Mentor," "The Redstone Pack," "When I Look Back," "Naretoi" (Colorado Premiere), "Is This the Top?" (World Premiere), "Rainbow Dive," and "Rios to Rivers."


Limelight Lunch Series: Explore Nature

12:00 PM | Limelight Aspen Monarch Room

Calling all animal lovers, this animal and ecology focused program includes short films "The Love Bugs," "Ferret Town," "Fuel, Fire & Wild Horses," "Detroit Hives," and "Golden." The program (90 mins) will include a screening of all of the films, as well as a discussion with special guest(s) TBA, and a buffet lunch Lunch is included in the ticket price.

Mr. Jimmy (Colorado Premiere)

Directed, Produced and Edited by Peter Michael Dowd (120 minutes)

7:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of headphones and a pile of Led Zeppelin records. Moving to Tokyo, Akio worked as a kimono salesman by day, but by night became "Mr. Jimmy," adopting the guitar chops and persona of Jimmy Page. For 35 years, Akio recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs, until the "real" Jimmy Page stopped by one night, and Akio's life changed forever. Inspired by Mr. Page's ovation, Akio quits his "salary man" job, leaving behind his family to move to Los Angeles and join "Led Zepagain." Soon cultures clash, and Akio's idyllic vision of America meets with reality.


Limelight Lunch Series: Explore the Louisiana Bayou

12:00 PM | Limelight Aspen Monarch Room

"Last Call for the Bayou" (World Premiere) by filmmakers Nadia and Domic Gill, is a set of short films focused on the erosion of Louisiana's wetlands and the direct impact it has on five different residents in the area. The program (90 mins) will include a screening of all of the films, as well as a discussion with special guest(s) TBA, and a buffet lunch. Lunch is included in the ticket price.

Ernie & Joe (Colorado Premiere)

Directed and Produced by Jenifer McShane (98 minutes)

7:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

"Ernie & Joe" is an intimate portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together their experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. These two officers are not your everyday cops. They are part of the San Antonio Police Department's 10-person Mental Health Unit. A community panel will follow the screening with special guests TBA.


Limelight Lunch Series: Explore Legacy

12:00 PM | Limelight Aspen Monarch Room

The legacy and rituals of tradition lives on through this short film program that includes films "Crabb Ranch," "Bayandalai - Lord of the Taiga," and "Sacramento at Current Speed." The program (90 mins) will include a screening of all of the films, as well as a discussion with special guest(s) TBA, and a buffet lunch. Lunch is included in the ticket price.


Directed by Jenna Ricker, Produced by Caroline Waterlow (78 minutes)

5:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In the world of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500 has long been considered 'the only race'. In May 1977, Aspen's own Janet Guthrie earned a place among the prestigious field of 33. A year later, overcoming impossible odds, Guthrie cobbled together her own team for a stunning success. Yet just when her career should have rocketed forward, it suddenly, inexplicably stalled.

Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy

Directed by Mimi Armstrong deGruy (83 minutes)

8:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Known for riveting storytelling as well as stunning cinematography, explorer and filmmaker Mike deGruy filmed the oceans from the shallows to the very deep sea. After he dies in an accident his wife and filmmaking partner returns to the edit room to make a film that both celebrates his career but also highlights what he cared most about: we are destroying the ocean before knowing what is there, and we need to continue exploring.


Family Time Flicks

11:00 AM | Wheeler Opera House

This FREE program is open for all ages, but curated especially for kids ages 5 to 15. Bring the whole family for a Sunday morning filled with short films that focus on topics like adventure, imagination, environmental concerns and more.

Like Harvey Like Son (Colorado Premiere)

Directed by Rudy Harris Jr. (78 minutes)

5:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

On May 30th 2018, Ultrarunner and Cincinnati based high school teacher Harvey Lewis set out to conquer the Appalachian Trail in record-breaking fashion. Together, he and his 78-year-old father-turned-crewchief navigate remote wilderness and unpredictable weather on their 2,190 mile journey to the top of Mount Katahdin. Along the way they encounter a cast of colorful characters, discovering that the trail is about much more than just escape and finding their way back together.

Aspen Mountain Film Festival Awards & Mr. Jimmy LIVE (Co-Presented with Belly Up Aspen)

8:45 PM awards, 9:00pm concert | Belly Up Aspen

Join us for the annual Aspen Mountain Film Festival awards ceremony, immediately followed by a full concert of Mr. Jimmy LIVE.

For 35 years, Akio "Mr. Jimmy" Sakurai has dedicated his life to honoring the music of Jimmy Page. He honed his skills playing in Tokyo clubs for more than two decades before moving to America and performing his faithful Led Zeppelin "revival" concerts across the country. Today he is guitarist for "Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening" but also maintains his own band "Mr. Jimmy" which recreates specific concerts and eras of Led Zeppelin's live history in every regard - costumes, lighting, live arrangements, and improvisation. The Mr. Jimmy band assembles the top Zeppelin tribute "masters" and the current line-up includes "Jimmy" Sakurai on lead guitar, August Young (of the Aviators) on vocals, Cody Tarbell (Slow Season) on drums, and Joel Pelletier on bass & keys. For the first time ever, Mr. Jimmy will bring their full power to Aspen.

Aspen Mountain Film Festival is a 5-day celebration of diverse mountain cultures, highlighting Aspen's unique philosophy of body, mind, and spirit through documentary film, music, art, food, and stage with shared experiences of travel, adventure, environment, sustainability, community and extraordinary storytelling. Building on the 10-year success of Mountainfilm in Aspen, the City of Aspen's historic Wheeler Opera House produces this festival.

Stay tuned for the full list of special guests and free festival activities, to be announced in mid-July. For more information about the Aspen Mountain Film Festival, visit

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