VVAD Presents Fantasyland
Friday Jun 2, 2023 6:30 pm
“MISSION MT. MANGART”
A story about the legendary 10th Mountain Division of WW2
Written, directed, edited, and produced by documentary filmmaker and Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Anthony, with score by composer Carlo Nicolau, the documentary takes you through the 10th Mountain Division’s trailblazing efforts as world-class athletes creating an indelible legacy equally matched by their legendary heroism during WWII. Screening of the film will be introduced by Chris Anthony and the National Anthem performed by Eagle Valley local 13 year old Isabel Thomas.
ABOUT THE FILM: While many stories have been created about the 10th’s history, this documentary delves into those untold tales from a unique inside perspective by professional skier Chris Anthony who serendipitously stumbled upon the division’s exploits during his own skiing career. Taking six years to complete, the project truly began for Anthony the moment he was put on skis at 18 months old.
Anthony reveals the “Mission Mt. Mangart” timeline in reverse, from 2020 to 1939 with in-depth narration combining interviews with the original 10th Mountain Division soldiers and their detailed adventures from 1939-1945. Focusing on several key developments and the characters involved, the history of the 10th Mountain Division is brought back from the snowy depths of history to the big screen.
The film chronicles efforts of many characters including pioneers Deborah Bankart and Cruz Rios. Bankart’s involvement in the recruiting of the first wave of soldiers for the new experimental unit and her volunteer involvement on the front lines in Italy with the American Red Cross are brought to life by Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion Coloradoan Mikaela Shiffrin. Rios, a motorman and one of 300 Mexican and Native Americans who served in this internationally diverse unit, is illustrated as new to the sport of skiing but learned to ski was part of training at Camp Hale, Colorado; later making the sport a lifelong passion for Cruz.
The documentary also touches on the twenty-five men who went missing in Lake Garda, Italy April 29th, 1945 during the Battle of Torbole and Riva Del Garda – a sacrifice that until recently, went relatively unnoticed.
Portions of the documentary are filled with the voices and first hand accounts from veteran’s of the 10th, Many who have passed on. One of those still with us is of 10th Mountain Divison Veteran of the 87th Bruce Campbell who’s powerful voice and recall of the time period is amazing and plays a powerful roll in the documetnary.
The story then follows Germany’s surrender in Italy with the 10th being called upon to move eastward from Lake Garda into the Julian Alps and push Tito’s Yugoslavian Army back across the border into their homeland. The new deployment placed them in high alpine peaks, some of them still covered in snow.
During previous combat the 10th captured a supply of German ski gear with hopes it would prove useful. That opportunity arose after successfully pushing the Yugoslavian Army out of Italy then held the line as peacekeepers. It was at that moment they gazed upon the massive peak and snowfield of Mt. Mangart and remembered they were skiers long before they were soldiers. So, on June 3, 1945 on a majestic mountain in the Julian Alps, Mt. Mangart, the 10th hosted their first divisional ski race since the onset of war.
The story of the 10th Mountain Division is intertwined with that of Anthony and his six-year journey of discovery into this period of history. To complete this massive undertaking, Anthony received aid from the Slovenian Association of Mountain Soldiers, NATO, The Slovenian Mountain Troops, Slovenian Ministry of Defense, and United States Embassy in Slovenia as well as assistance from retired Slovenian Brigadier General, Janez Kavar – now a historian of mountain troops.
“Mission Mt. Mangart” was produced as educational programing under the umbrella of the Chris Anthony Youth Project whose mission is to build engaging educational tools, juxtaposing the innocence of the 10th’s ski race in the midst of wartime with the context of the international instability at the time. Much like his previous documentary effort in partnership with Warren Miller Entertainment and the Colorado Snowsports Museum, “Climb to Glory,” Anthony aims to keep alive the legacy and sacrifices made by American troops.
Majority of proceeds raised screening “Mission Mt. Mangart” go directly to the Chris Anthony Youth Project, providing educational experiential enrichment field trips for financially challenged youth.
GENERAL ADMISSION | [SOLD OUT]
VIP ADMISSION | [SOLD OUT] Includes post-show reception and Q&A with the filmmaker in the May Gallery, complimentary wine provided by Silver Oak, and light d’oeuvres.
ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL. NO REFUNDS. NO EXCHANGES.
VENUE POLICIES UPDATED AUGUST 20, 2021: Proof of vaccination now required at all performances, CLICK HERE for full complete venue health and safety policies.