Saugatuck/Douglas Welcomes Back Mountainfilm with Real to Reel Film Festival

Saugatuck/Douglas is excited to welcome back the acclaimed Mountainfilm On Tour: Saugatuck, for the third annual screening, March 21, 26-28, 2020. This year’s festival is an expanded version of the event called Real to Reel, which features the annual Mountainfilm Weekend. Real to Reel Film Festival highlights include three venues, 65 films, outdoor adventures, live music, a pop-up shop and more. Enjoy special rates and deals when you book your stay with one of the official festival lodging partners

What is Mountainfilm?

2019 Mountainfilm Pre-Party at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Originating in Telluride, Colorado in 1979, Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running documentary festivals, featuring inspiring films that touch on environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice themes. Each year, Mountainfilm travels “On Tour” with a selection of current and best-loved films from the annual festival in Telluride. For the past three years, Mountainfilm has partnered with Saugatuck Center for the Arts to bring this exciting event to our communities.

What’s New

Rather than just hosting Mountainfilm Festival on Tour, 2020’s Real to Reel Film Festival will include school and children’s programming, films for families, a feature film and a day of short films. In addition to the longer schedule and new programming, this year’s event will also feature outdoor adventures where you’ll challenge yourself and learn more about the Saugatuck/Douglas area, and artist demonstrations and talks.

Real to Reel Film Festival 2020 Schedule

Saturday, March 21

10 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m. – Film for Families

90 minutes of film-fun packed into one creative session. See Mountainfilm shorts, listen to a story, try your hand at climbing, create a project and meet animals from John Ball Zoo.

Thursday, March 26

7 p.m. – “By Hand” Special Welcome Event

Friday, March 27

10 a.m. – Real to Reel Festival HQ Opens

Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ box office opens and 2020 merchandise is officially available for purchase. Passes and single-screening tickets are available for pickup.

5 – 7 p.m. – Exhibitions Open + Pre-Party Begins

See new exhibitions: Sonder, by Megan Altieri and A Pursuit to Stay Wild by Cam McLeod. Cozy up by outdoor fire pits with food and beverages from local vendors before the feature film.

7 p.m. – Real to Reel Feature Film “By Hand” Premiers

View this feature length adventure documentary about twin brothers that paddled 2,200 miles from Alaska to Mexico. Meet Casey, Ryan and director, Kellen Keene as they introduce the film.

9:30 – 11 p.m. – Afterparty with The Mark Lavengood Band

Party under the Saugatuck Center for the Arts pavilion with booze, banter, snacks and comradery and meet featured artists and guests.

Saturday, March 28

Still from “Valley of the Moon,” showing on March 28 at the History Center

9:30 – 11 a.m. – “Moving Mountains” Playlist at the Women’s Club

9:30 – 11 a.m. – “Equity” Playlist at the History Center

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Adventure Climb up Mt. Baldhead

No prior experience needed for this adventurous stroll. Warm surprises and swag await you at the top of this local landmark. Learn about our local history, sip on cocoa and then make your way down the side of this epic sand dune where a shuttle awaits.

3 – 4:30 p.m. – “Indomitable Spirit” Playlist at the Women’s Club

3 – 4:30 p.m. – “Big Green World” Playlist at the History Center

5 – 6:30 p.m. – “By Hand” Director conversation: Beer, Banter and the Higginbotham Brothers

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes conversation with Casey and Ryan Higginbotham, stars of “By Hand,” and film director, Kellen Keene.

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Drinks, Demos and Discussions

Mix and mingle with featured artists, Cam McLeod, Megan Altieri, and Anthony Zart while enjoying drinks and folk melodies by Michigan Academy of Folk Music.

7:30 p.m. – A Mountainfilm Evening of Shorts Screening

“The Medley: A Classic Mountainfilm Mix” begins – sit back, relax and be awed. Following the film, stick around for drinks and conversation.


Tickets are now on sale for this exciting festival – purchase yours today at Enjoy special rates and deals when you book your stay with one of the official festival lodging partners

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