From silly to sick, NEPSA films show off Aspen talent
October 6, 2014
The local paid parking scam, the folderol over the new Aspen Art Museum, and some serious shredding hit the big screen Thursday night at the NEPSA Film Awards.
The irreverent annual competition of local filmmakers, opening the 10th annual ski film festival The Meeting, showcased nine short movies from local talents.
"Aspen Problems," by brothers Andy and Charlie Curtis and James Newman, won the top prize of $2,000. A clever take on the local "Aspen problems" meme, it features Newman as a consultant ready to serve the needs of locals and their so-called problems. Need an expired gift card to scam the downtown parking meters? He's got one. Trouble opening the bear proof trash cans? He'll help. Lift lines got you down? Sorry, that's not an Aspen problem. You're in Vail.
He prescribes goggle tans and sells 100-day pins. The stack of notes on his desk include problems like, "Art Museum too big!"
The new museum also got a jab in Darrin Carelli's "Sicklical," which opens with fake title cards announcing it was produced by "Tortoise Studios" (featuring a turtle with an iPad on its back, in a nod to Cai Geo-Qiang's controversial installation), "Gift Card Films" (another nod to the parking scam) and "West End Traffic Productions."
Carrelli took second place, a $1,000 prize, and won the Audience Favorite poll. The film includes vivid time lapse shots of the local sky and GoPro footage of navigating the knife edge on Capital Peak in a dynamic celebration of local beauty.
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The third place winner was "The Best End of Season Video of All Time," by Pat Sewell and Chris Tatsuno, chronicling an early summer trip to ski Independence Pass. It features an epic "Wayne's World" styled head-banging session to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the drive up the pass and some bare-butt skiing, among other ski bum hijinks.
Other highlights included "Yeti Hunting," from Nathan Ratledge and Will Roush, featuring the pair dropping their more buttoned-up local images – as the former head of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency and as the conservation director of the Wilderness Workshop – to head into the backcountry searching for a yeti and goofing around in a bigfoot costume.
Colter Hinchcliffe's "#notoverit" didn't take home any prize money, but featured some of the best on-mountain footage among the NEPSA entries – including some dizzying GoPro footage of skiing Shadow Mountain last winter – from the local pro. Hinchcliffe is also featured in Teton Gravity Research's new film, "Almost Ablaze," which screens Saturday night at The Meeting.
Before the nine local films screened to a packed Wheeler Opera House, the Aspen Skiing Co. showed a preview of its new web series, "Mind Body Spirit," which debuts online Monday at 11 a.m. The clip featured local Olympian and four-time X Games Superpipe snowboard champion Gretchen Bleieler talking about Aspen and riding the pipe at Buttermilk.
The Meeting closes Saturday night with screenings of Jeremy Jones's "Higher," Sweetgrass Productions' "Afterglow," Teton Gravity Research's "Almost Ablaze" at the Wheeler and "Shredbots The Movie" at Belly Up.