ASPEN, CO (September 12, 2019) – As part of its 40th Anniversary Filmfest, Aspen Film is excited to host three panel discussions with local and film industry guests as part of the festival taking place September 23-29, 2019. Panel discussion tickets are free for Aspen Film and Here House members and general admission is $10 at the door. Festival passes and memberships can be purchased online at 


Filmmaker + Panel Discussion “The Magic Beneath Us: Mycelium & Mushrooms”
Tue, Sept 24 | 10:30 AM | Here House
(614 East Cooper, Aspen)
Aspen Film + Here House Members FREE | General Admission $10 at the door

FANTASTIC FUNGI is a vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit— the mushroom. A story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi makes the soil that supports life, connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet, like an underground Internet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we experience the power, beauty and complexity of the fungi kingdom. The film is a blueprint for what connects all humanity and the natural world.

There is much to learn from the mycelium network, and FANTASTIC FUNGI is an inspiring place to begin the process of bringing us together as interconnected creators of our world. Delving into the world of mycelium and mushrooms, we discover an organism that feeds, heals, reveals secrets of the universe and could help save the planet…! Please join Aspen Film for an in-depth conversation digging into the wonders of fungi and their effect on world nutrition, brain health, and the wellbeing of the planet.

PANELISTS: Louie Schwartzberg, Eugenia Bone, Barclay Dodge
Glenda Greenwald
Here House, Paradise Bakery
SPONSORED BY: Aspen Brain Institute


FILMMAKER + PANEL DISCUSSION “Cracked Up The Movie: Letting The Light In”
Fri, Sept 27 | 10:30 AM | Here House (614 East Cooper, Aspen)
Aspen Film + Here House Members FREE | General Admission $10 at the door

Understanding the long arm of childhood trauma through ex-tensive scientific research has become an inspirational movement dedicated to bringing trauma informed care to every community around the globe. Childhood trauma is not a mental illness, but a mental injury, and understanding its biological effects is lifting the stigma and shame and freeing people from believing they were born broken. The good news is that we know how to treat trauma — but first we need to understand what it actually is; how it affects the brain and body and where it comes from.

In CRACKED UP, director Michelle Esrick’s Award-winning documentary, we witness the impact that childhood trauma can have across a lifetime through the incredibly courageous and personal story of comedian, actor and Saturday Night Live legend Darrell Hammond. Renowned for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Sean Connery and more, Hammond wowed SNL audiences for a record-breaking 14 seasons. Although Hammond performed brilliantly on live TV, behind the scenes he suffered from debilitating flashbacks, self-injury and addictions, symptoms which were misdiagnosed by over 40 doctors as mental illnesses, including: multiple personality disorder, manic depression and schizophrenia. Not until a suicide attempt that brought Hammond together with Dr. Nabil Kotbi, was he properly diagnosed and treated, unleashing the memories his brain had locked away for over 50 years. Esrick, gracefully weaves comedy and tragedy, helping us to understand the biological effects of childhood trauma in a new light. Breaking down barriers of stigma and replacing shame with compassion and hope, Esrick explores what is possible when science meets the human spirit. CRACKED UP also features Saturday Night Live creator and producer Lorne Michaels, SNL writer and producer Steve Higgins, Tony Award winning director Christopher Ashley and Dr. Nabil Kotbi, who helped Hammond finally understand that he was not mentally ill rather was suffering mental injury. Also appearing in CRACKED UP is trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Academy Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg and Hammond’s childhood friend, Larry Laskowski.

Join us for a powerful, honest and enlightening conversation that will lift your spirits, bring you answers, connect us and bring us hope! Award-winning filmmaker and trauma survivor Esrick will share her personal experience and hope as well as her extensive research with renowned trauma experts. Ms. Esrick will talk with Aspen Hope Center’s Michelle Muething and Sandy Iglehart to get to the heart of truly healing trauma.

PANELISTS: Michelle Esrick, Michelle Muething, Joyce Bulifant
MODERATOR: Sandy Iglehart
Here House, Paradise Bakery
SPONSORED BY: Aspen Hope Center


FILMMAKER + PANEL DISCUSSION “Changemakers Rising Up: Get Connected, Take Action, Make A Difference”
Sat, Sept 28 | 10:30 AM | Here House (614 East Cooper, Aspen)
Aspen Film + Here House Members FREE | General Admission $10 at the door

WeRiseUP b​rings together some of the most brilliant, accomplished & high-impact leaders of our day to redefine a new model of success and to uplift & empower people to live radically fulfilled, purpose-driven lives. ​WeRiseUP The Movie features key global leaders including His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Amina J. Mohammed (Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of Environment of Nigeria), Blake Mycoskie (Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes), Moby (Grammy Musician), John Mackey (CEO, Whole Foods Market), Dwight Howard (NBA All-Star), Luke Nosek (Co-Founder PayPal), along with many others.

WeRiseUP The Movie & Movement had recent launch events at 2019 Sundance Film Festival, 2019 SXSW in Austin, TX, and during the World Economic Forum in Davos. WeRiseUP was also invited by San Diego Unified School Districts, during the San Diego International Film Festival, to participate in school programs which brought WeRiseUP to over 20 high schools in San Diego in order to promote meaningful exploration for students into what their role is in creating the future of humanity.

The Colorado-based team includes Kate Maloney, Ph.D., Creator and Executive Producer of WeRiseUP the Movie, a social-impact founder and entrepreneur with nine successful company exits, and an INC 500 company founder named Top Boulder Entrepreneur by Inc. Magazine. Michael Shaun Conaway, Director, CEO of Storyworks, and Alex Melnyk, Producer, President of Storyworks, founded the Boulder-based creative agency and production company, creating films and branding for leading companies such as NASA, Hewlett Packard, Telus, Microsoft, Gap International, and Nike. The award-winning team also includes Peter Kater, 2018 Grammy Award-winning Composer, and William Gazecki, Academy Award Nominated Editor.

With the world in the midst of a tremendous period of transition, our current success models aren’t adequate to support the future that is quickly emerging. ​WeRiseUP The Movie articulates a new model of success in the world. WeRiseUP curates an intimate inquiry to explore what it will take for humanity to create a thriving future. Transitioning between penetrating dialogue and cinematically stunning visuals accompanied by resonating music this film is a radical departure from the expert-driven documentary, into a profound personal journal of inquiry, reflection, and action.

PANELISTS: WeRiseUP creators Kate Maloney, Michael Shaun Conaway, Alex Melnyk, Paul Miller AKA DJ Spooky
Here House, Paradise Bakery



Eugenia Bone
Eugenia Bone is a critically acclaimed journalist, with an emphasis on nature and food, and former president of the New York Mycological Society. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. Her books include Microbia, Mycophilia, The Kitchen Ecosystem, At Mesa’s Edge, and Well Preserved. Her books have been nominated for a variety of awards, including a Colorado Book Award and James Beard Award, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, among many others. Eugenia has lectured widely, in venues like the Denver Botanical Garden and the New York Pubic Library, and been on radio and in podcasts many times, most recently, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge.” Visit her at eugeniabonebooks on Facebook, #eugeniagbone,

Joyce Bulifant
TV Actress
Joyce Bulifant’s extensive credits on stage and TV have made her a familiar face and popular personality. Most notably, as Marie on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” playing Gavin MacLeod’s wife. Also, the film, “Airplane,” a Disney Musical, “The Happiest Millionaire” and many appearances on Game Show’s especially, “Matchgame.” Under contract at Universal, she guest starred with Fred Astaire and on “The Virginia, Destry Rides Again,” “Thriller” and many others. Among her many TV credits are staring on Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, My Three Sons, Just Shoot Me and Weird Science. She has performed in many theatres across the United States. Among her writing credits are two one woman shows, “My Life Upon the Wicked Stage” and,“Remembering Helen Hayes with Love” which she has performed in various theatres. Miss Bulifant is the executive vice president of The Dyslexia Foundation; she has served on many boards and founded an Advocacy Center in Colorado for abused children. “My Four Hollywood Husbands,” a book written by Miss Bulifant has received excellent reviews from readers across the US and Europe. This has led to many speaking engagements and TV interviews regarding the book and her extensive career. Miss Bulifant’s latest films are a spoof of “Taken” called “Tooken” and the soon to released, “I Hate Kids.”

Michael Shaun Conaway
Director, WeRiseUP
Michael Shaun Conaway is the Director of WeRiseUP The Movie and CEO at Storyworks, a social impact creative agency. His mission is to liberate greatness in people and organizations to redesign our failing systems and create an anti-fragile, anti-rival world, one that works for all. At Storyworks, he helps companies grow their purpose, profit and impact focusing on their authentic why and their true north story. He has developed major interactive training and leadership development programs for hundreds of thousands of people for companies including Coca Cola, Dollar Shave Club, Owens Corning, Telus and Landmark Education.

C. Barclay Dodge
Executive Chef/Owner, Bosq

Chef C. Barclay Dodge has spent the last thirty years traveling to and living in far away places from North Africa, Spain, South East Asia, Central America, Australia and all over Sub-Saharan Africa. The flavors & cultures of his travels have always intrigued him and he finds himself heavily delving into the markets and restaurants (white tablecloth to street food) wherever he may be. Working in Michelin starred restaurants in Spain and New York are also where he draws deep inspiration.

Since opening Bosq in Spring of 2016, Chef Dodge has truly honed his style, pulling from his relationships with local biodynamic farms and from his love of foraging deep in the local woods. Together with his team of extremely driven chefs, the cuisine of Bosq is just that…Bosq Cuisine. It is our belief that collaborating with these farmers and the wild products, we grasp flavor at its highest level, one that is symbiotic with our environment. Cooking with what lives and grows in our backyard is what drives Bosq. We strive to always create an experience that will leave you craving the bold flavors of Aspen.

Michelle Esrick
Director, CRACKED UP
Michelle Esrick is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and social activist. Esrick’s directing credits include CRACKED UP, THE WAVY GRAVY MOVIE: SAINT MISBEHAVIN’, and the music video LET’S RISE! which CNN dubbed the anthem for the March for Our Lives Movement in protest of the epidemic of gun violence in America. She is also the Executive Producer of the Netflix Original film, RAM DASS, GOING HOME, which was short-listed for a 2017 Academy Award®.

Glenda Greenwald
President & Founder, Aspen Brain Institute, Aspen Brain Forum and AspenBrainLab
Greenwald is a Brain Health advocate, a social entrepreneur and innovator in the area of applied Brain Science. Greenwald organized the first Aspen Brain Forum conference in 2010, an annual meeting of International Brain Researchers. In 2019 Aspen Brain Institute began shifting its position from a focus on fighting Brain Disease to becoming a global forum for Brain Health. Greenwald was Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Aspen Center for Integral Health, a national institute convening conferences on integrative and preventive medicine from 2000-2010.

Sandy Iglehart
Board President, Aspen Hope Center
Sandy helped found the Aspen Hope Center in 2010 after losing her daughter Courtenay to suicide. Because of this loss Sandy was determined to try to eradicate the shame and stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Her daughter’s spirit continues to inspire her to “Shine A Light” on mental health and honor her memory. Sandy has been the Board President of the Hope Center for 6 years and served as Secretary on the Susan G. Komen Foundation for 11 years.

Kate Maloney
Creator & Producer, WeRiseUP
Kate Maloney, PhD is the Creator & Producer of WeRiseUP The Movie and Movement that features the United Nations and key global leaders. Kate was featured as a top entrepreneur in Inc Magazine and is an INC 500 Company Founder. Over the last decade, Kate has founded over a dozen technology companies primarily in the healthcare sector. She has served as Co-Board Chair with John Mackey (Founder & CEO, Whole Foods Market) to bring together conscious business and thought leaders together in a non-profit context to solve some of the most serious problems facing the planet today.

Alex Melnyk
Producer, WeRiseUP
Alex Melnyk is a Producer of WeRiseUP The Movie and the President of Storyworks, a social impact creative agency helping brands grow purpose, profit and impact. Alex became the co-manager of the international pop band, The Thompson Twins, at the age of 19. After several years leading the band’s marketing, communications, and tour production Alex found her way to the legendary film production company, Propaganda Films, where she became an Executive Producer. In the early nineties she made the jump to digital as the VP of Interactive at MCA/Universal.

Paul D. Miller
aka DJ Spooky
Paul D. Miller is a composer, multi-media artist, and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. Miller has collaborated with an array of recording artists, including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich, and Yoko Ono. In 2014, he was named National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He produced PIONEERS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CINEMA, a collection of the earliest films made by African American directors, released in 2015. Miller’s artwork has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries.

Michelle Muething
Executive Director, Aspen Hope Center
Michelle helped create the Hope Center in 2010 and serves as the Executive Director. She received her graduate degree in Clinical Psychology with a subspecialty in neuropsychology from Western Carolina University. She has worked as a crisis clinician in various inner city and rural emergency departments, has conducted psychological evaluations for prison inmates, functioned as Juvenile Coordinator and then Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center in Beaufort, South Carolina and was part of the administration team as the Corporate Compliance Officer at Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Louie Schwartzberg
Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than four decades providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Louie’s theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD with National Geographic, narrated by Forest Whitaker; the theatrical feature, WINGS OF LIFE for Disney nature, narrated by Meryl Streep, and AMERICA’S HEART AND SOUL for Walt Disney Studios. His TED Talks have over 55 million views on YouTube.


The 40th Anniversary Filmfest is made possible by the generous support of Alpine Bank, Aspen 82, Aspen Public Radio, The Aspen Times (Presenting Sponsor), The Gant, Hotel Aspen/Molly Gibson Lodge and Modern Luxury/Aspen Magazine. Aspen Filmfest is also charitably underwritten by grants from AspenOUT, the Brenden Mann Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media, Les Dames d’Aspen, Thrift Shop of Aspen, and the Wheeler Opera House (City of Aspen) Arts Grant Program.