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Outbound Films Selected for Mountainfilm Fest 2020

One of America's longest running film festivals recognizes our short films, "Here I Stand" and "Where I Belong.”

Mountainfilm announced its selections for the 2020 virtual Mountainfilm Fest on Friday, and included among the hundred-plus short features were two Outbound-produced projects tied to our #EveryoneOutside campaign.

We’re stoked to have two of our films included! The films spotlight influential people of color and the work they do in the outdoor industry and environmental activism, Teresa Baker and Chris Hill. The short features, “Here We Stand” and “Where I Belong,” are both available on YouTube.

The Mountainfilm Festival takes place May 15-25, and passes are available for purchase online. Passes include the opportunity to watch all of the selected films.

“Go to social media. Pull up any brand. What images do you see?” Baker said in “Here We Stand,” the first of the two features. “More than likely they are not people that look like me. That’s the why.” When Teresa Baker learned that Save the Redwoods League had purchased a stand of old-growth redwood for preservation on the coast north of Santa Rosa, the newest old-growth discovery in California, she asked Sam Hodder, CEO of Save the Redwoods, to let her introduce the new Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve to the public.

During colonial booms in the last 200 years, redwood stands like those found along the Sonoma coast were logged to about 1% of their original range. Thanks to the Richardson family and the efforts of Save the Redwoods, the stand of old growth will remain preserved for future generations. The new reserve spans 700 acres of old-growth coast redwood. The oldest tree in the stand is 1,647 years old—the oldest coast redwood south of Mendocino County.

"There is nothing else like this that’s still unprotected,” said Anthony Castaños, Land Stewardship Manager for Save the Redwoods. “It’s not just one group of people that are using these public spaces. There are so many ways that the forest serves different populations of people. And we want to incorporate that in what we do going forward."

“I think all too often, people forget that communities of color have always been in the outdoors,” Baker said. "But through generations, some of us have been removed. These are people that work on these issues day in and day out, but you don’t see us. We’re in the background having these conversations, not out front. And that’s the problem.” Included in the feature, Baker brought together a coalition of BIPOC outdoor enthusiasts and activists to represent the new preserve. Baker also founded the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge, of which the Outbound is a signatory.

“Without having equity in spaces, it’s going to continue to reinforce systematic racism,” said Summer Winston, founder of Brown Ascenders. “So re-including these voices and reclaiming that space for ourselves is the way to move forward,” added Alejandro Lozano.

A similar ambition drove the Outbound’s second feature, “Where I Belong,” which profiles the life and activism of Chris Hill, Associate Campaign Director at the Sierra Club and an avid fly fisher.

"What I love about fishing is it’s another way to let your mind escape and not think about the things that are happening in the world or our climate crisis,” Hill said. "It’s a time just to stop thinking and focus on, 'Would a fish be right there? I think a fish would be right there.’”

“I feel like this is where I belong and—it makes me feel alive,” Hill added.

Without representatives from communities of color, traditionally exclusive and oppressive narratives surrounding the outdoors and nature will persist. “I think where it is challenging is when you are in spaces and you don’t feel safe,” said Chris Hill, “in a place where I should feel safe because it feels like home.”

The Outbound is proud to help elevate marginalized communities in outdoor media. If you have a story that you’d like to share with us, send inquiries to team@theoutbound.com.

Cover photo courtesy of Mountainfilm Fest/Flickr.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Jonathan StullAdmin

I build content for @theoutbound. You can find me elsewhere on the internet @jonathandstull and at jonathanstull.co.