Former local writer named to head up MountainFilm | AspenTimes.com

Former local writer named to head up MountainFilm

Aspen Times Staff Report

Former Aspen resident and journalist Hal Clifford has been named executive director of MountainFilm in Telluride.

Clifford, a former columnist for The Aspen Times and once editor for the Aspen Daily News, will handle fund-raising for the film festival and help the nonprofit organization adapt to a major reorganization that created his new job, which he began on Monday. The duties of executive director and program director have been split into two positions. Rick Silverman is MountainFilm?s program director and handles the content of the festival, which is gearing up for its 25th run over Memorial Day weekend next year.

Now a Telluride resident, Clifford had been working as a freelance journalist.

?This is a career change for me. Did some good work. Time to do something else,? he said.

MountainFilm, which bills itself as ?America?s premier festival of mountain adventure, culture and environmental films,? is a combination of both films and presentations by guest speakers and panelists. In addition to the annual event in Telluride, parts of the program go ?on tour? for presentation elsewhere.

?The neat thing about MountainFilm is we?re not just here to entertain people. We are here to entertain, educate and inspire,? Clifford said.

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Clifford lived in Aspen from 1983 to 1998. His work as a local journalist included a stint as a reporter at the Aspen Daily News and then as editor/general manager at the Daily News before he left the paper in 1992.

As a freelance journalist, his work was published in the likes of Outside, The Wall Street Journal, Orion and High Country News. He was also formerly a contributing editor for Ski magazine.

Clifford is also the author of several nonfiction books, including ?The Falling Season,? inspired by his work as a member of Mountain Rescue-Aspen, and ?The Highroad Guide to Colorado?s Mountains.? Due out next month is ?Downhill Slide,? a look at corporate involvement in the American ski resort industry.

Clifford is scheduled to read from ?Downhill Slide? and sign copies of the book on Nov. 12 at Explore Booksellers in Aspen.