Memorial Day weekend, 2012, The Dan Eldon exhibit took a trip to Telluride, CO for the world renowned Mountainfilm Festival; a symposium where filmmakers, photographers, and artists of all mediums gather every year to showcase their work to try and educate, inspire, and motivate audiences about “issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing, and conversations worth sustaining.” The Dan Eldon Center and Creative Visions Foundation have found a kindred spirit in The Mountainfilm Festival, and we hope to be a part of this incredible community for many years to come.
Every year, the Mountainfilm judges vote to give out various awards and prizes to some of the more exemplary filmmakers, artists, and activists they experience at the festival. One of the most coveted of these awards, The 2012 Moving Mountains Prize, was given to a nonprofit organization called the Peaceful Uprising, co-founded by Tim DeChristopher, the man behind the film, Bidder 70.
Sometimes, I ask myself…where have all the heroes gone? Growing up, I remember learning about such noble men and women, and how they changed the world they lived in to shape the world we live in today. It seems my parents’ generation had a whole host of heroes and heroins to look up to; JFK, and his brother Bobby, MLK and Rosa Parks, all of them arose out of a dire need for social and political change. Well, in a world without heroes, I’m here to tell you that Tim DeChristopher is a true bonafide hero through and through.
On December 19, 2008, Tim DeChristopher effectively sabotaged a Utah BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Oil and Gas lease auction, safeguarding thousands of acres of pristine Utah land that were slated for oil and gas extraction (fracking). Tim Entered the auction as “Bidder 70” and outbid industry giants for 22,000 acres of land ($1.7 million worth before the auction was halted).
Sounds pretty awesome right? Well, no heroes are born without sacrifice. DeChristopher was soon indicted on two federal felonies with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Tim knew full well the legal implications of his actions going into this thing, and he is not only prepared, but determined to serve out his entire two year sentence. Luckily, while Tim is biding his time in jail, his message and incredible story are being carried out through this wonderful film, and the nonprofit organization behind it. Tim, following the ways of the great heroes before him, wields the mighty power of nonviolent action, and has co-founded, the Peaceful Uprising.
WE are committed to defending a livable future through empowering nonviolent action.
WE seek to change the institutional and social status quo at the root of the climate crisis, and move toward a just and healthy world. By pushing the reality of the climate crisis to the forefront of the public forum,
WE will secure the attention and inspire the revolution the climate crisis requires.
I was more moved by Bitter 70 than by just about any film I saw that weekend, and trust me there were a slew of incredibly moving films. It wasn’t the saddest film I saw. And the tears streaming down my face certainly weren’t of the happy kind either. I think the sheer power and emotion of it all just hit me so hard because I felt like I finally found a real hero I could look up to. It was also slightly scary realizing the sacrifice one must go through to become a real hero, yet empowering knowing what one person, one single act of bravery can do to change this world forever.
To learn more about Tim DeChristopher, and the film Bidder 70, visit their Facebook page:
or their website at,
For more information on the incredible Mountainfilm Festival, visit their Facebook page:
or their website at,
Dan’s exhibit and the folks behind Bidder 70 and the Peaceful Uprising movement will once again mingle this week, February 27th-March 3rd, at the Durango Film Festival in Durango, CO. Images from Dan’s Journal #14 will be on display at the Open Shutter Gallery throughout the festival where Bidder 70 will be one of the feature films.
You can find more information on the Durango Independent Film Festival, and Open Shutter Gallery at: