5Point Film Festival opens two-night run at Wheeler Opera House | AspenTimes.com

5Point Film Festival opens two-night run at Wheeler Opera House

The vaunted Carbondale-based 5Point Film Festival is continuing to gradually expand its presence in Aspen. The nonprofit adventure-film presenter will host an expanded two-night stand in Aspen this weekend.

The typical one-night "5Point On the Road" January event — showcasing short films, skiers and adventurers in a concert-style presentation — has sold out quickly over the past five years. The additional night at the Wheeler comes after 5Point also added a May event at the Wheeler last year, which sold out, and the nonprofit will reprise in 2018.

"We hope to continue to grow our Aspen community and partnership with the Wheeler as we move forward," 5Point executive director Meaghan Lynch said in an email last week.

Tonight and Saturday night's programs promise a mix of ski films and 5Point's broadly defined idea of "adventure," which includes inspirational stories from beyond the mountains and standard outdoorsy fare.

Like the festival's signature springtime event in Carbondale — running April 19 to 22 at the Carbondale Rec Center — this weekend's presentations in Aspen will be themed "Our Stories Our Lands." A portion of proceeds will benefit the Hayden Kennedy Fund for public lands defense, named for the recently deceased young outdoorsman and son of 5Point founder Julie Kennedy.

The shows will be emceed by local favorite Paddy O'Connell — the skier, writer, nonprofessional stand-up comedian and unofficial 5Point mascot who moved to Carbondale after falling in love with the town during a visit to the festival.

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Films in the lineup include "Fall Impressions" by local mountain biker, artist and self-proclaimed "joyvangelist" Sarah Uhl. She'll be on hand to discuss the film and how she's using her art as a medium for activism and conservation advocacy.

Also screening is the 22-minute documentary "2.5 Million," which profiles American skier Aaron Rice on his quest to set a world record by skiing 2.5 million vertical feet in the backcountry — all human-powered — in the course of a year. It premiered at last year's Banff Mountain Film Festival.

"Why did I decide to do this?" the 26-year-old Rice asks at the beginning of the film. "I don't have a great reason, but I was bouncing between being a ski bum in the winter and scraping together summers for three years after college and I told myself I had to pick a direction. … This is what I came up with."

Rice skied some 330 days over the course of a year to top backcountry great Greg Hill's record of 2 million vertical feet. Director Tyler Wilkinson-Ray will be in Aspen to discuss making the film.

The program also includes the latest short documentary by Sherpas Cinema, the cutting-edge indie production company behind the groundbreaking 2013 5Point selection "Into the Mind." Sherpas' new title, "Tsirku," follows snowboarder Ralph Backstrom and skiers Hadley Hammer and Sam Anthamatten as they set out to find rarely attempted lines on a remote glacier in the Saint Elias Mountains, where Alaska and British Columbia meet.

atravers@aspentimes.com

IF YOU GO …

What: 5Point Film Festival, On the Road in Aspen

Where: Wheeler Opera House

When: Friday & Saturday, 7 p.m.

How much: $28

Tickets: Wheeler box office; http://www.aspenshowtix.com

More info: A special $150 donor pass is also available to benefit the Hayden Kennedy Fund. It grants tickets to both 5Point shows this weekend and another 5Point event at the Wheeler in May. A $500 all-access pass, also benefitting the Hayden Kennedy Fund, also grants entry to all of the Aspen and Carbondale events.

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