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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Inspiring adventure.

That is the tagline the folks at the 5Point Film Festival use to help define their mission. It is, of course, a double-, or even triple-entendre because it can mean different things to different people.

For some in the audience, the films and the discussions simply provide a view of the “inspiring adventures” others participate in. You get to watch surfers, climbers, sailors, fliers, bikers, hikers, runners, kayakers, fishermen and women, and others who do things that have no possible verbal description, get out and live their adventures.



Then there are those for whom the festival actually “inspires” adventure. Those who come to see the films and get all jacked up to get out and surf, climb, sail, fly… well, you get the idea.

The 5Point (also a double-entendre, I assume, because it can also refer to the scale used to define the difficulty of a climb) has been inspiring adventure ever since Julie Kennedy dreamed it up around her kitchen table three or so years ago. The five “points” that guide the festival are the principles of respect, commitment, humility, purpose and balance. Good things all, that are as important in life as they are in challenging the outdoor environment




The 5Point festival has become a true locals festival, coming at a time of year when the only folks around are those who live here. In fact, it has become such a hit with locals that they stick around for the weekend instead of running off to Moab, or someplace else, to play.

The festival kicks off next Thursday evening, April 29, at 5 p.m. at the Carbondale Rec Center (another great community asset, by the way) with a celebration featuring the fine foods of local culinary adventurer Mark Fischer and the brews of New Belgium Brewery. The first films are at 7 p.m., and that’s when the first whoops and hollers of audience members will be heard.

Timmy and Sean O’Neill’s climbing film, titled “First Ascent,” should inspire adventure for all as it chronicles their attempt to climb the 3,000-foot vertical rock that is El Capitan. Oh, by the way, Sean is paralyzed from the waist down.

“Gum for my Boat,” a surfing film about a club in Bangladesh, highlights Friday’s film festival. Saturday has great films all day, with “180 degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless,” about a young man retracing the 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia, standing out. “Rowing the Atlantic,” profiling Roz Savages’ solo journey across the sea, looks to be great on Sunday night.

The films will be augmented by a 5Point gallery exhibition at the Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities, and Fat Belly burgers will be available to all on Saturday.

Once again the 5Point crew have put together a weekend that will be as fun as it is inspiring. Hope to see you there.


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