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The Mount Baker Film Fest welcomes you!

Local independent film festival returns for its 23rd year

A composite image shows a skier doing a flip on Mount Baker, depicting content that can be found in many of the films featured at the festival. // Photo courtesy from the Mount Baker website; October 2022

If you like both winter sports and movies, you’re in luck!

The Mount Baker Film Fest is returning for its first in-person show since 2019 and is excited to share some of the latest films that have come out of the Mount Baker community. 

Filmmakers submit pieces focused on winter-based activities, films that were shot locally or films featuring local personalities pursuing winter-based activities around the world.

The event, set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham, will feature eight selected films. Tickets for two showings, 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., are available now at $8 a piece or free for Mount Baker season pass holders. 

“This year we’re feeling better about the state of the world and looking forward to having another in-person event,” Mount Baker Events Coordinator Eliah Drake said. “The last one was 2019, where we sold the show out. Majority of those seats have gone to pass holders, and we expect to see a lot more pass holders coming back this year.”

The event was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. Now, organizers are excited for the community to be able to gather in-person at a theater venue again to share the art of film.

“For some people, going to see a show at a venue where it’s loud or the screen is not very large doesn’t give the same experience as a sit-down theater, and there isn't a lot of ski film premiers in the area, so I think it's a great way for people to connect,” Drake said.

Competitors at the film festival can gain recognition for their work, as well as the opportunity to win a People’s Choice Award or a cash prize. Last year’s winners, Matt Roebke and Dave Kercheval, took home the People's Choice Award for their film titled  “Island Day,” which explored some of the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor activities including sailboating in the San Juan Islands and skiing in the Cascade Mountains.

The event allows for aspiring filmmakers who have a passion for shooting the outdoors and recreational sports to network with others in the industry.

“I think for a lot of people [film festivals are] an important way to meet people like them and make some creative connections amongst peers,” Student Film Director A.J. Urquhart said. “There’s a certain respect we give the big screen, and I really like that small festivals can be a space where conceptually anybody can have that. Film is kind of an elitist thing sometimes, so it’s nice when an event can break those walls down.”

Winter sports are important to many members of the Bellingham community, and filmmaking that highlights outdoor experiences and locations draws a wide range of viewers.

“I think making movies in general brings people out into places they wouldn’t have gone otherwise,” said Urquhart. 

With many Bellingham residents being Mount Baker season pass holders, attendees can expect to see some familiar faces.

“Everyone who goes are people you’ll see up on the mountain,” said snowboarder Riley Hughes. “It gets you stoked for the season.”


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