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5Point festival will inspire

Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma GhandiDear Editor:I recently came across these words painted larger than life on a wall in downtown London. The simple, profound meaning of these words, not to mention their actual size, made a lasting impression on me. Be the change The stunning reaction I felt in myself is quite similar, I am guessing, to what a lot of us are feeling these days, a yearning to reconnect with one another, reaffirm our humanity and do something positive for the greater good. This chance happening halfway around the world made it all the more clear to me: The 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale is really onto something. Change, social change, is the focus of the 5Point Film Festival for four days this May. A reflection of Carbondale itself, this scrappy, soulful event will bring our valley-wide community together to celebrate our common spirit and positively affect social change. Not just a festival of films, 5Point stimulates the exchange of ideas through discussion and connects community to the filmmakers and guest speakers who gather here.How lucky we are to live in this beautiful place and to be a destination for some of the most amazing outdoor adventurers of our time. A highlight of the festival, 5Point has assembled two panel discussions that center on everyday people who choose to do extraordinary things. These guest speakers will tell their incredible stories of shifting focus away from themselves to giving back to their local communities and the world. A special Mothers Day panel will focus on six courageous women who have stared down fear and now thrive as competitive athletes, mothers, wives and friends.Well get to hear Dr. Geoff Tabin explain how hes restoring sight to people stricken with cataracts and how extreme kayaker Brad Ludden is helping young adults cope with cancer. Well get to listen to the valleys own Amanda Boxtel, a co-founder of Challenge Aspen, tell her story of learning to walk again after being paralyzed from the waist down. And this is just a sampling; there are many stories to engage and inspire.In addition to live presentations, every evening filmmakers will transport us to all corners of the world and compete for awards. Their films feature themes of mountain culture, climbing, skiing, surfing, biking, mountaineering, base-jumping and so much more. What a perfect combination of film and conversation to ignite a spark of wonder and see where it may lead If all of this sounds pretty heady, dont worry. The festival has plenty of fun, relaxed entertainment planned as well. Theres the festival kick-off party followed by some high-energy films. There are smoothies made with bike-powered blenders, a climbing canine, theatric comedy and unicycling, too. Theres art in the park with Jenni Lowe-Anker and book signings at Dos Gringos. A little something for everyone, including an All Age Adventure Film Series for the young adventurers and the young at heart.I have had the honor and the privilege to be a part of the 5Point Film Festival team since its inception. And, without a doubt, I can say it has given me many gifts. But, most importantly, this festival has given our great community a place to gather, exchange ideas and promote passion with a conscience. If just one conversation, one moving image can spark something in you to make change and get you out of your box, then I do believe that is the greatest gift of all. See you at the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale!Jennifer SlaughterBasalt


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