The Meeting reconvenes in Aspen |

The Meeting reconvenes in Aspen

Janet UrquhartAspen, CO Colorado
Optimistic? chronicles a search for powder. It shows Saturday as part of the snow-film festival The Meeting, which convenes Thursday in Aspen. (Absinthe Films)

ASPEN Sick pow, sphincter-clenching vertical, urban sliding. Its all on the agenda when The Meeting reconvenes in Aspen Thursday for three days of on-screen chills and spills, featuring athletes taking shots in front of, and behind, the camera lens.The celebration of ski and snowboard films/annual excuse to party kicks off with the NEPSA Video and Art Awards, honoring regional athletes who break into the art realm. Ten entrants in this years NEPSA (thats Aspen, spelled backward) competition will vie for $3,500 in cash prizes, plus Target gift cards. Theres $2,000 on the line for first place.Two nights of film screenings at the Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up Aspen follow, plus a Friday night dose of hip-hop at the Belly Up. New this year are three daytime sessions geared for athletes/industry types on such topics as sponsorship and music licensing.The so-called breakout sessions are an effort to broaden the scope of The Meeting, according to event spokesperson Melissa Rhines.A Friday session will focus on music licensing for filmmakers who need to know the ins and outs of using music to back those tracks theyre filming on the slopes. Saturday brings two more sessions one on marketing, with tips for athletes on getting and retaining sponsorships; and a forum on setting up a competition that features execs with the ESPN Winter X Games, Jeep King of the Mountain ski race series and the USSA Grand Prix.The Meeting, always an opportunity to party, is getting greater notice from the industry, according to Rhines. Reps from 411 Videos and Transworld Snowboarding will attend for the first time, she said, and Transworld has voiced interest in having a film screened at next years event. VIPs will be treated to taking laps at the race track in Woody Creek, among other perks.This years slate of screenings brings six ski movies and six snowboard films to the big screen, including the latest from names like Teton Gravity Research and Poor Boyz Productions.Again, the Sky Hotel is headquarters for attendees, but a repeat of last years Sunday pool party wont adjourn this years Meeting, unless its an impromptu sort of thing. Apparently, many of the assembled attendees had difficulty getting out of bed for last years scheduled closer. Tickets to the NEPSA awards and nightly movie screenings are $7 per night (two films per screening), available at the Wheeler Opera House. Admission to the Friday night event at Belly Up Aspen, including music from the CunninLynguists, is $15.THE MEETING AGENDAThursday8 p.m. NEPSA Video & Art Awards, Wheeler Opera House.10 p.m. D&E Ski & Snowboard Shop Fashion Show, Belly Up (no cover).Friday3 p.m. The Meeting session 1 Music Licensing in Action Sports with Paul Anthony of Rumblefish, The Little Nell grand salon.4 p.m. Welcome and happy hour, The Little Nell grand salon.5 p.m. Ski screening 1, Wheeler Opera House, featuring Eric Ibergs Idea and Poor Boyz Productions Yeah Dude. The latter continues the Poor Boyz tradition of sick action in sick locales with a new twist after the snow melted, athletes and filmmakers visited the studios to offer candid accounts of their season. Look for local Peter Olenick, as well as Simon Dumont (both household names for Winter X fans)8:30 p.m. Snowboard screening 1, Wheeler Opera House, featuring Mack Dawg Productions Picture This and We are People Too. 9:55 p.m. Ski screening 2, Belly Up Aspen, featuring Level 1s Realtime (watch for footage of local Steele Spence) and Rage Films Enjoy with speed demon Daron Rahlves among others and some of the most technical urban, backcountry and big mountain lines the industry has seen to date, say the films makers. Southern hip-hop trio CunninLynguists performs at midnight.Saturday10 a.m. The Meeting session 2 Sponsorship featuring Issa Sawabini, partner at Fuse Marketing, The Little Nell, terrace room.11 a.m. The Meeting session 3 Competition Forum featuring Chris Stiepock with ESPN Winter X Games, Kipp Nelson of Jeep King of the Mountain and Calum Clark with USSA Grand Prix, The Little Nell, terrace room.5 p.m. Snowboard screening 2, Wheeler Opera House, featuring Absinthe Films Optimistic? and Standard Films Catch The Vapors.8:30 p.m. Ski screening 3, Wheeler Opera House, featuring TGRs Lost & Found, with footage ranging from terrain park features at Snowmass to the unexplored Tordrillo Range of Alaska, and Tanner Halls Believe the Winter X Games medalist takes freestyle skiers out of the park and into the deep pow.9:55 p.m. Snowboard screening 3, Belly Up Aspen, featuring Underpar Productions Keep Talkin and Mongo Pros The Constant Struggle. Breckenridge local and Winter X Games competitor Chad Otterstrom stars in and produced Keep Talkin, taking his friends from big snow in Denver to the East Coast, Minnesota and Winter X in Aspen. Local rider Doran Laybourne makes an appearance in The Constant Struggle.