By Dakota Parks for Pensacola Magazine
Freshly popped popcorn, a cool, crisp evening and a big white screen are perhaps the three best ingredients to a film festival—even if we happen to get more humid than crisp nights here in Pensacola. Currently, Pensacola is home to two reoccurring film festivals: the Stamped LGBT Film Fest and the Pensacon Short Film Festival. One surrounding the identities, lives, and issues of those within the LGBT community and the other celebrating all that is enveloped within the Pensacon comic convention. On February 21, a third film festival is coming to Pensacola: Mountainfilm.
Mountainfilm originated in Telluride, Colorado in 1979. The festival showcases nonfiction films and shorts about environmental, cultural, political and social justice issues. While the festival was originally held in only Telluride, Mountainfilm began touring the globe in 2000 to spread their films to a larger audience and educate the public on pressing issues.
Jacey J. Cosentino, Financial Advisor for The Radcliff-Schatzman Group at Morgan Stanley is one of the directors for the Pensacola Mountainfilm event. The Radcliff-Schatzman Group is sponsoring to bring Mountainfilm to Pensacola. Cosentino focuses on sustainable, environmental and social governance focused investments. She is also a self-proclaimed “filmanthropist” with a passion for film and giving back to the community.
“The main objective is philanthropy. 100 percent of the proceeds from the festival go to charity. Our selected organization is Healthy Gulf, so we’re trying to select a few films that reflect their work in protecting and preserving our waterways,” said Cosentino.
Cosentino’s first experience with Mountainfilm came from a family trip to Telluride. After experiencing the festival first-hand, she decided that not only would it become a family tradition to attend the festival, but that she also had to work on bringing the festival to Pensacola.
“Telluride is a small town, so they block off most of it for the festival. Picture Palafox Street stretching from Main to Garden just covered with people there to watch these environmentally conscious films—walking or biking to get around. Some of the venues are in smaller theaters, similar to our Saenger or Pensacola Little Theatre. Most people stay up in the mountains and ride the gondola down the mountain to the festival. It's a trip that you don't leave from feeling rested or rejuvenated—you leave wanting to do so much more than you’re currently doing,” explained Cosentino.
Environmental and social activism are pillars for the film festival. The films can range from minutelong shorts to 90-minute matinees. The screen might open on a picturesque mountain view or a surfer gliding across waves, but the bigger picture is aimed at protecting and preserving those mountains and waterways for future generations.
“The directors of these films work tirelessly to bring them to the masses, and they’re just beautiful. They’re not like the standard documentaries you see on TV. Sometimes it takes them years to work on them, immersing themselves in communities and staying put in one concentrated area for years to really document an issue. I think the visualization is what drives these issues home for people. I know that when I went to Mountainfilm Festival, I went into it thinking I knew so much about all of the issues on our planet, and I just didn’t.”
The films shown at Mountainfilm are curated works of art that promote sustainability and education. They also promote cultural exchange and learning about the issues affecting other people around the world.
“I think that we’re in a day and age, not only globally and nationally but locally here in Pensacola, that we need to be exposed to the larger picture—the bigger view of what’s happening in our world because it’s affecting everybody. It’s all of our duties to attend events like this and educate ourselves to better relate to the problems and people in the world,” said Cosentino.
The one-night only premiere of Mountainfilm will be hosted at the Museum of Commerce downtown Pensacola on Feb. 21 from 7 pm to around 9 pm, with doors opening at 6pm. End of the Line Café will be catering food and general admission tickets will cost $15. Come out for a night of cinematic adventure and learn a thing or two in the process.
Jacey Cosentino is a Financial Advisor with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Pensacola. The information contained in this interview is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.