THE San Luis Valley premiere of “Where the Cranes Meet the Mountains,” a short documentary to commemorate the 40th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, is slated for Saturday, March 11 at the Ski Hi Events Complex.

Filmmaker Christie Bode-Skeie and Crane Festival volunteer Jenny Nehring joined The Valley Pod for a conversation on the making of the film and all events scheduled for the 2023 Crane Festival.

“We wanted to tell the story of how it feels to see the cranes at the Monte Vista Crane Festival and the impact of that to someone new to the Valley,” explained Nehring.

The film features South Fork artist Amanda Charlton Hurley, who is a new arrival to the Valley experiencing for the first time the sights and sounds of Sandhill Cranes. For Bode-Skeie, it was a perfect way to recreate her own initial experience with the Sandhill Cranes and bring that to life through the documentary.

“I really wanted to strike a deep emotional chord,” Bode-Skeie said, “and I think I had to put myself back in the place when I first saw the cranes in the Valley 10 years ago and what that experience was like and looking at it with fresh eyes. It’s so easy to take things for granted when it’s right in your own backyard.”

The documentary also gives a subtle nod to other attributes of the Valley for residents and tourists alike to appreciate and provides a sense of the small town vibe of Monte Vista and surrounding communities.

In addition to the “Where the Cranes Meet the Mountains” documentary, the 40th Monte Vista Crane Festival will feature a keynote address by George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. The International Crane Foundation is celebrating its 50th year and bringing Archibald in to speak was a natural fit for Monte Vista’s 40th Crane Festival, said Nehring.

Tickets to the documentary premiere and to Archibald’s keynote address are available at

Photo by: Arrow Myers photo courtesy Monte Vista Crane Festival