(Awards were announced about an hour ago. Parts of descriptions below adapted from the 5Point festival guide.)
Best Cinematography: “Unicorn Sashimi.” (Film makers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel produce stellar work. The idea for this short was conceived at 5Point last year when they were dining with their friend and fellow film maker, Nick Waggoner.) In Hokkaido, you might find the best powder snow in the universe. Skiers and snowboarders journey there each winter in search of fresh powder and the fabled unicorns said to linger in the mountains’ mysterious silver birch groves. Set to a powerful Japanese drumming soundtrack, this 5Point World Premier is pure impact. (We can’t find a trailer, but see this when you get a chance. Lisa’s favorite ski flick of the festival.)
Most Inspiring: “Freedom Chair.” In 2004, Canadian Josh Dueck was paralyzed from the waist down attempting a back flip on skis. After years of determination, and despite his success in the world of competitive sit-skiing, Dueck couldn’t shake his dream of tackling the steep and wild backcountry (not to mention doing what we got the impression was the first back flip on a sit-ski). Yes, a ski flick that wins a 5point award! Congratulations Josh! (Lou’s favorite ski film of the three in the festival.)
Creative Excellence: “The Summit.” High on a mountain, a rope ties together a climber and a mountaineer. They climb or fall as one. This band is worn and strained as they ascend the treacherous peak. Textured with hand-painted watercolors, this animated film is a story of surviving in the mountains. Or did the younger climber return from the summit? You decide.
Spirit of Adventure: “Kadoma.” World-renowned kayakers Hendri Coetzee, Ben Stookesberry and Chris Dorbulic attempt a 1,000 mile first descent in the mighty Congo River Basin. The heart-wrenching story of an incredible, and ultimately tragic, journey through the heart of Africa. Hendri dies due to a crocodile attack, resulting in an introspective component to both the film as well as the talk by the film maker on stage at the festival.
Best of Festival: “Obe & Ashima.” Nine-year-old Ashima Shiraishi, from New York City, has taken the bouldering world by storm. Under the tutelage of her coach, Obe Carrion, this tiny master is raising the bar for climbing’s youth. Obe brings her to Texas’ Hueco Tanks, bouldering’s proving ground, where he experienced his own breakthrough 13 years earlier. (We can’t find a trailer.)
WildSnow applauds the 5Point crew. Thank you for another fabulous festival! I especially liked the two questions asked at the end of the closing film, “A Story For Tomorrow.”