5Point scores a 10 | AspenTimes.com

5Point scores a 10

Paul E. Anna
Aspen, CO Colorado

There are any number of festivals in this valley, but this past weekend a new one emerged that will likely have the legs to last.

The 5Point Film Festival, founded by Julie Kennedy, was an inspiring, technically well-produced community event that should be a staple in Carbondale for years to come. It has the potential to become a magnet for those in the adventure community around the world and to cement little ol’ Bonedale as a destination for adrenaline junkies.

The event began Thursday night in the new Carbondale Rec Center, which had been turned into Cinema Paradiso with chairs set up across the two hardwood basketball courts, and food and drink concessions in the rear of the room. For three nights the room flickered with images of adventure, beauty, fortitude and fun as the sold-out crowds went crazy with enthusiasm for the athletes and the filmmakers.

As great as the films were, it was the vibe that was truly amazing. While it seemed that there was a shortage of Aspen people (perhaps most are on vacation or think that an extreme sport is a stroll up Smuggler) the downvalley folk came out in droves. It seemed that everyone knew everyone else and the chatter in the beer line (the Mother Wit Wheat from New Belgium was summer in a cup!) revolved about climbs for spring skiing, trips the next weekend to Moab, and reminiscences of events past inspired by the films they had just seen.

The films ranged in length from three minutes to an hour. The range of subjects included a fly fishing film by RA Beattie, who is carrying on a family legacy of bringing great visuals to folks, to mountain biking in British Columbia, to surfing In South Africa, to climbing in Patagonia to, well just about any adventure sport performed just about anywhere.

While I missed more than I saw, I was truly blown away by a short film called “Balancing Point.” Made by filmmaker Danny Brown, this short was shot partially at Weller Lake and features meditative eye candy of people tearing down rock sculptures in reverse. Huh? You gotta see it to get it. Also on Friday night there was a surfing film called “Chasing Dora” made by Wes Brown, the grandson of Bruce Brown, who made the original “Endless Summer.”

Saturday featured films with local interest as well. Bridger Gile was one of the “Kids Who Rip” in a short film about the next generation of extreme athletes. “Ski the 14ers” profiled Chris Davenport’s quest to ski all 54 of Colorado’s highest peaks (I wish there had been credits for all the support people who helped Davenport. There were a lot of un-acknowledged locals). And there was a film about the changes and challenges that Bode Miller has had over the last seven years.

In addition to film, 5Point also had world-class speakers. Yvon Chouinard spoke. There was symposium on “Living Passionately Through Adversity” that included panel-members Chris Klug and Aron Ralston. And John (Johno) McBride spoke about his time with Bode Miller in this championship season.

The festival stated that its guiding principles, its 5 Points, are Respect, Commitment, Humility, Purpose and Balance. I would like to add Soul and Success to that list.

Kudos to Julie Kennedy and all who made this a great festival, and I look forward to the party celebrating the 25th 5Point Film Festival in 2033.

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