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5Point Film’s Adventure Encore

5Point Adventure Film Festival screens prizewinners and favorites from 2022 festival

“Learning to Drown” (Courtesy 5Point Film)
IF YOU GO …

What: 5Point Encore

Where: The Arts Campus at Willits & Wheeler Opera House

When: Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3

How much: $22/Wheeler; $40-$55/TACAW (includes food and drinks)

Tickets and more info: 5pointfilm.org

The Canadian snowboarder Jess Kimura reflects on her on-snow exploits and opens up about her mental health journey in the documentary “Learning to Drown,” a standout of the 2022 5Point Adventure Film Festival.

At the April festival in Carbondale, the 40-minute film won the Hayden Kennedy Award and the audience-voted People’s Choice Award.

A searing and inspirational portrait of despair and, eventually, hope, the intimate and artful new title from 5Point regular Ben Knight (“The Last Honeyhunter”) gives Kimura, 37, a platform to open up about her fall from the top of her sport, her head trauma, her schizophrenia diagnosis, her deep struggles following the death of her partner and finding a path forward.



She finds it in the ocean, overcoming a lifelong fear of water through surfing.

“It’s like pushing your mind to push your body to do something crazy that is expressive of all of this stuff that I have inside of me,” she says of her extreme athletic pursuits. “That is just my nature. I’ve tried to tone it down, but I get so fired up.”




“Learning to Drown” and Kimura herself are the centerpieces of 5Point’s two encore shows this week, with a program of films at the Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW) on Thursday, June 2 and another on Friday at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.

The film lineup varies over the two nights, but “Learning to Drown” plays both nights Kimura will be on-hand for a Q-and-A.

Additional films on the schedule both nights include the much talked-about “The Ballad of Pecos Hank,” about a musician and stormchaser, and Nick Rosen and Peter Mortimer’s bouldering film “Big Things to Come” the 5Point (Pure Joy Award co-winner).

The TACAW screening also includes Nicholas Maher’s tragic skateboard doc “You and the Thing That You Love” (Spirit of Adventure award winner), Sami Ortlieb’s 4-minute stop-motion ski film “Maneuvers” (Creative Excellence Award) and Ryan Lovell’s profile of skater and cancer survivor DJ Stewart “Rare Enough” (the 2022 Pure Joy Award co-winner).

Also on the bill is “This is Beth,” a deep look at the climber Beth Rodden that had its world premiere at 5Point. Rodden seemed to be freedom personified as she became one of the most famous and accomplished free climbers in the world — making first ascents and free ascents on El Capitan.

“This is Beth” (Courtesy 5Point Film)

“People saw the magazine covers and videos, but they didn’t know what was underneath,” Rodden, now 40, says in the film.

Underneath there are crippling body image issues and negative self-talk and a dark period following her divorce from climber Tommy Caldwell.

Directed by Jen Randall and supported by evocative archival footage, the film was made with grant support from the 5Point Film Fund.

The April flagship festival was the first in-person since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic, showing more than 50 shorts and three features. 5Point director Luis Yllanes called it “a drive towards reconnecting with our community. And we do that by gathering.”

The festival is aiming to continue bringing people together around these films.