Aspen Times Weekly: The Art of Adventure |

Aspen Times Weekly: The Art of Adventure

"Rey Del Rio" is featured in tonight's film program.
Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: 5Point Film Festival

Where: Carbondale Rec Center, Carbondale

When: Thursday, April 23 through Sunday April 26

Tickets and more info:

Forty-plus short films, 35 guest speakers, and four days of outdoor inspiration in Carbondale. Yep, it’s 5Point Film Festival time.

The annual gathering, since its founding in 2008, has become more movement than movie showcase — a call to action for a adventurers of all stripes to inspire awe through something more meaningful than hucking the biggest cliffs.

Headquartered in the Carbondale Rec Center, over the four days of 5Point locals mix easily with filmmakers and world-renowned adventurers (this year’s slate includes climber Tommy Caldwell, who in January completed a historic free climb of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, and pioneering alpinist Jeff Lowe, who is currently battling ALS).

Curated with its titular five points — respect, commitment, humility, purpose and balance — the festival has a spirit about it that’s hard to put in words and impossible to replicate.

The diverse films in this year’s lineup range from “Baybe Champ and the Scraper Bikes,” about a bicycle arts movement in Oakland that has transformed the lives of at-risk kids there, to local photographer/filmmaker Pete McBride’s “Delta Dawn” about stand-up paddling the Colorado river delta, to “An Education,” about a father-daughter trek across Antarctica, to the kayak adventure of “Rey Del Rio.”

The movie screenings include 12 world premieres, across six film programs, beginning with 7 p.m. lineups on Thursday and Friday night. Saturday morning includes a special Youth Adventure Film program, with all-ages-friendly offerings and animation (free for kids under 13).

Artist and rock climber Jeremy Collins’ four-years-in-the-making “Drawn” plays in a Saturday afternoon double feature with “Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia,” with both men in attendance. Saturday night’s 7 p.m. film program is hosted by Carbondale poet Wade Newsom, whose performances of the spoken word poem “Participate” have become a 5Point staple (Newsom also recently published the collection “Poetic Notions,” and will sign books Sunday at 1 p.m. alongside other attending authors).

The festival closes out with “Yosemite Sunday,” hosting presentations by Caldwell, climber Lynn Hill and a final stretch of screenings.

Between the films and speakers, there’s an ice cream social, late-night parties around town and artist Chris Erickson’s community public art installation at the Rec Center, asking attendees to share what places draw them and why. Some off-screen highlights from the festival:

Kickoff Party and Van Life Rally

Thursday, April 23, 5 -7 p.m.


Live music, lawn games, barbecue, beer and open house tours of some of the finest dirtbag digs you’ll ever see. Livable vehicles lined up along Colorado Avenue will be open for tours. Seeing the inspiring converted vans that bring adventurers to their destinations has been a social highlight of recent 5Point gatherings.

The Enormocast Live

Friday, April 24, 10 – 11 a.m.

Bonfire Coffee


Coffee and conversation with Enormocast podcast host (and 5Point emcee) Chris Kalous.

Cleanup with Roaring Fork Conservancy

Saturday, April 25, 8:30 a.m.-noon

Lions Park, Basalt


Help clean up the Frying Pan River, with prizes from NRS and Chaco, with a barbecue at the Carbondale Rec Center to follow.

Dirtbag Diaries Live

Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Steve’s Guitars


Last year, legendary folksinger and activist Katie Lee talked with “Dirtbag Diaries” host Fitz Cahall about her hikes in Glen Canyon before it was flooded to create Lake Powell. At 94, Lee was among the boldest guests 5Point has seen. Cahall is a thoughtful interviewer who always produces insightful conversations, and this year has five guests joining him on-stage.

Out Living It

Sunday, April 25, 11 a.m.


A panel discussion about the outdoors and surviving — or living with — a major illness, with nonprofit First Descents, rock climber Ben Moon, skimo racers Doug Stenclik, Jason and Amanda Dorais, alpinist Jeff Lowe and more.

Community Brunch

Sunday, April 26, Noon-2 p.m.


Meet the special guests and filmmakers of this year’s 5Point over a brunch hosted by Aspen Valley Land Trust.

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