With annual Aspen presentation, 5Point Film launches into 2020
IF YOU GO …
What: 5Point Aspen
Where: Wheeler Opera House
When: Friday, Jan. 17 & Saturday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
How much: $20-$28
More info: Friday’s short films are ‘Night of the Turn,’ ‘The Running Pastor,’ ‘Out on a Limb,’ ‘Camel Finds Water,’ ‘Return to Earth,’ ‘Circle of the Sun,’ ‘The Mighty Finn’ and ‘Broken;’ Saturday’s include ‘Banking on Bailey,’ ‘Gone Tomorrow: The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing,’ ‘Billder,’ ‘Chasing the Sublime’ and ‘The Scenic Route’ with special guest Alex Ferreira; 5pointfilm.org
When 5Point Film started hosting an annual Aspen show seven years ago, it was a sort of best-of program with encore presentations of crowd favorite films from the previous year’s flagship festival in Carbondale.
But after consistently selling out its Wheeler Opera House shows and expanding to two nights in 2018, the Aspen event has evolved into a higher profile happening with all new 5Point-curated films about thoughtful adventure with inspirational special guests and a signature 5Point concert-style program.
It’s evolved into the nonprofit’s annual kickoff.
“I’m seeing Aspen as setting the stage for what’s to come,” said 5Point executive director Regna Jones.
The 2020 program runs Friday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Wheeler.
Friday night’s films, presented in partnership with Challenge Aspen, include three inspirational shorts about adaptive athletes and adventurers: “Out on a Limb” profiles rock climber Kai Lin and his “badass prosthetic foot”; 5Point regular Fitz Cahall’s new film “The Mighty Finn” tells the story of an adventurer with cerebral palsy; “Broken” goes inside skier Jon Wilson’s life after losing a leg to cancer.
Saturday night’s mix of films includes a screening of local hero and Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira’s “The Scenic Route,” a travelogue about the X Games champion’s recent travels in Japan.
Built on its five titular points of purpose, respect, commitment, humility and balance, 5Point is more than a showcase of ski porn for adrenaline junkies.
“It has a power to impact people, especially when you get people in a room watching films as they should be seen at this level of craft,” Jones said. “It does have a power to transform people.”
Both nights in Aspen will be emceed by the inimitable Paddy O’Connell, the skier and sometime comedian who settled in the valley after a trip to 5Point in Carbondale several years ago.
Now in its 13th year, 5Point has evolved into more than a once-a-year film festival and gathering of the tribes in Carbondale. It has become a valley nonprofit with a year-round presence and impact as well as a national tastemaker for adventure films and the people who love them. It has established its Aspen event as a pillar of the winter season here along with the vaunted April flagship festival in Carbondale, an ongoing “5Point On the Road” tour (there’s a tour stop in Stratton, Vermont, on Saturday night) and its Dream Project scholarshops funding initiatives by Roaring Fork Valley students.
Jones said 5Point also is in expansion mode as a resource for filmmakers, the brands that produce most adventure films and the natural environment that the 5Point community cherishes.
Jones said she expects 5Point this year to expand its footprint and programs in education, possibly with a college partnership, and with a new master class at the Carbondale festival.
The nonprofit is also taking a leadership role on both the activist and business sides of the outdoor industry, building upon its annual Denver program at the Paramount Theater in partnership with the Outdoor Retailer expo and conference.
For filmmakers, 5Point is growing its established 5Point Film Fund, which helps finance productions that embody its five points. The Jackson Hole-based clothing company Stio recently committed $10,000 for 5Point film funding, which will go to a filmmaker who wins a public movie pitch contest at the festival in April.
All of these initiatives are built upon the 5Point foundation of gathering to honor storytellers and share the experience of watching films.
“I want 5Point to continue pushing the envelope of what the future is for adventure film and storytelling, keeping that spark around how important it is, while also keeping some levity around it,” Jones said. “We need places to go to laugh and cry and cheer and sweat and feel everything together with a bunch of people. And then we go out and stand a little taller.”