Mountains of Color Film Festival celebrates stories from people of color in the outdoors

The festival will screen films June 7 to 10. Also on deck are filmmaking workshops, hikes and panel discussions.
Mountains of Color aims to change how people of color see themselves in the outdoor industry. (Courtesy of Mountains of Color)

The second Mountains of Color Film Festival returns to Jackson to challenge narratives and make the outdoors more inclusive.

KHOL’s Dante Filpula Ankney sat down with festival co-director, Jr. Rodriguez, to talk about why this kind of event is important. Listen to the full conversation above.

Jr. Rodriguez is the founder of the Mountains of Color Film Festival. (photo courtesy of Mountains of Color)

“This film festival is trying to counteract the gatekeeping nature with the outdoors,” Rodriguez said.


A study by the National Park Service in 2021 found that while people of color make up about 40% of the United States population, less than 20% of national park visitors are.

“Mountains of Color creates spaces to showcase and celebrate BIPOC+ [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] in outdoors, adventure and conservation filmmaking to inspire our community and beyond to cultivate a welcoming and inclusive outdoor culture for all,” Rodriguez said.

Mountains of Color will screen 15 films June 7 to 10. Additionally, there will be workshops on filmmaking, hikes and panel discussions. The films feature people of color and are made by people of color—with a focus on connection and belonging.

“If people want to learn about a different experience, I think you want to come and see these films and listen to these amazing people speak their truth,” Rodriguez said. “I think so much of what we’re missing in the outdoor media is more truth. And a lot of these films do that. I think a lot of the characters and people behind these films really want to show that the outdoors is for everyone, and that can look in a myriad of ways.”

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About Dante Filpula Ankney

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