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'Fantastic Fungi' Opens 40th Annual Aspen FilmFest

Sep 23, 2019

Still from "Fantastic Fungi," directed by Louie Schwartzberg

The 40th annual Aspen FilmFest starts Monday. This year’s lineup includes films and discussions about everything from Judy Garland, to underwater photography, to mushrooms. 

Aspen Film executive director Susan Wrubel says the week-long festival is all about quality.  


“We really look at FilmFest as the accumulation of some of the top films, and also some of the most groundbreaking and provocative documentaries, of the year,” she said. 


One of those documentaries kicks off the event today.  “Fantastic Fungi” takes a deep dive into the living network in the earth’s soil, the largest organism in the world. Director Louie Schwartzberg says the underground web of fungi benefits the health of the planet and offers some lessons to people.


“They can all share nutrients, enable each other and prosper, and that’s a beautiful idea for perhaps how human beings could live above the ground,” he said.  


A Q-&-A with Shwartzberg follows the film, which starts at 3:30 Monday at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.  Films will also be screened at Aspen’s Isis Theatre and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.