5Point Film Festival is a Wrap


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 12, 2008      

Wow, what a weekend. We opted for the traditional style of enjoying a mountain film fest, wherein you burn the rope at both ends doing adventure sports during the day, then sitting through flicks ’till you faint from exhaustion.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
The show was sold out every day of the event, capacity of about 600 people.

After being there for most films, the beauty of what 5Point organizer Julie Kennedy and her crew had put together hit me like the powder face shots we’d been getting just that morning. By sticking with a strong mission statement that emphasizes values such as balance, humility and respect, they screened a mix of films that with a few small exceptions went beyond the plotless hucking flick we get bombarded with from nearly every corner. More, a scarcity of what I’d call “guilt films” about environmental or cultural badness was a welcome quality, as was a minimum of enviro preaching.

Instead, we were stunned by big-screen presentations of adventure films with a human side. Examples:

— King Lines (Chris Sharma’s amazing blend of rock climbing creativity and skill.)

— A Dozen More Turns (Honest look at how bad decision making comes so easy.)

— The Endless Knot (Sweet look at how Conrad Anker and Jennifer Lowe have dealt with the death of Jennifer’s husband, famed climber Alex Lowe.) Trailer.

— Flying Downhill (What makes Bode Miller tick — he talks.)

— Ski the Fourteeners (In depth look at Chris Davenport’s project.)

Beyond all other world-class eruptions of creativity, denouement of the festival was to finally see Ben Galland’s film about ski mountaineer Chris Davenport’s project. (“Dav” skied all Colorado 14,000 foot peaks in an incredibly short time — which ended up being within a 12 month window.)

Dynafit backcountry skiing.

Galland’s flick is controversial in that during production the issue of a Forest Service film permit came up (they didn’t have one) and the USFS denied giving the flick an after-the-fact nod. While we of course vilified the USFS for such a slap to our small, low impact sport, one had to admit that the USFS was within the law and there are indeed good reasons they have a permit system for commercial filming.

On the other hand, there are grey areas in the USFS permit system. For example, what is the meaning of “commercial?” More, what is the meaning of “film” as opposed to shooting stills which can be strung together into animations (as is indeed done quite frequently)? And is it fair to apply a permit process designed for big old-fashioned film production to the elegant and low-impact way this sort of film is done? In the end, by showing the Davenport film at a non-profit film fest, stripping it of blatant sponsorship plugs and keeping lots of humanity along with a dose of environmental awareness, “Ski the Fourteeners” is now the non-commercial and environmentally sensitive flick that hopefully fits in the vague mold the USFS wants. Meanwhile, is it any good?

Having a cameo in the flick and being the first guy to ski all the 14ers makes me biased, but such bias could go anywhere. I could like the movie, or hate it. Knowing Dav and the folks working on the film, I always figured the former would be the case; that they’d put together something that honored the mountains and other alpinists, and showed the human side of what we do out there. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, “Ski The Fourteeners” is hands down one of the best ski mountaineering films you’ll ever see, and ranks high in the greater genre of alpinism films in general.

Why? It’s all in the recipe, and what you’re bold enough to pile on the serving spoon. In Dave and Galland’s case, they were not afraid to at least skim the surface of spirituality. As Dav shares in the flick, he’s got some mystical stuff going that gets stirred up when he’s on those summits. And Galland even includes a quick bit of myself being interviewed about the part that spirituality can play in mountaineering, along with words from religious scholar Edwin Bernbaum.

Not to worry, however, as Galland doesn’t go so far as to make atheists uncomfortable — the woo woo stuff is just a teaser. Going farther, the humble ethos of “Ski the Fourteeners” emphasizes how important mountain camaraderie is to the sport, and tries to show how Davenport balances family life with being a professional skier who’s admittedly doing some risky stuff out there.

Risk vs reward is a hard subject to cover, but since Davenport is willing to share his thoughts that’s one area where Galland could have perhaps done more with the film. But you can’t let the talking overwhelm the scenics and action — “Ski the Fourteeners” dances on the edge of that sword so I shouldn’t whine about wanting more verbiage. To that end, the film does have exceptional action and scenics that could carry it as an art film even without the documentarian side. Colorado’s mountains have their own unique look and feel due to being heavily eroded and often made with technicolor stone. Enhance that look with snow, and WOW!

More, doing this sort of human powered skiing in the nearly deserted winter wilds of Colorado easily gives this film a unique feel compared to the helicopter assisted huck cratered and sometimes even urban footage of most ski movies. (Dav saw only a handful of other people out there during his months of mountaineering). In all, an amazing mix that is compelling — perhaps even addictive.

WildSnow three thumbs up, and the best flick of the festival as far as I’m concerned.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
And what were we doing to stay true to the mountain flimfest lifestyle? Well, backcountry skiing every day — including Mother’s Day. That’s her with son, on Mount Sopris yesterday. Happy Mother’s Day!



IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING SITE, TRY WHITELISTING IN YOUR ADBLOCKER, OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTACT US USING MENU ABOVE, OR FACEBOOK.

Comments

6 Responses to “5Point Film Festival is a Wrap”

  1. MichaelB May 12th, 2008 9:24 am

    Given the USFS issues, is there much chance that Ski the Fourteeners will be released more broadly?

  2. Carver May 12th, 2008 10:18 am

    Yes, I want to see it too!

  3. Lou May 12th, 2008 11:52 am

    Let’s hope Ben or Dav chime in here and let us know what the score is on that. If I hear anything I’ll leave a note.

  4. Scott May 13th, 2008 11:25 am

    I was so pleased with the 5 point festival and look forward to (hopefully) many more years of this for our valley.

    Has anyone been up Pearl Couloir recently? A group of us are heading up there soon. Any info on the cornice/conditions would be appreciated.

  5. powderjunky May 13th, 2008 11:30 am

    I wish i could see it! At first hearing bout the movie project i was so psyched that a movie was coming out that actually had a plot and not just the same old overdone acrobatics that are more dominant in todays ski flicks. These guys didn’t just get cropped off by a helicopter and ski down in the burliest of alpine gear. They earned their turns, accomplishments, and skied some ridiculous lines that would make any ski veteran cringe!

    Come on USFS! Give them permission to release it!!!

  6. FrameNZ May 28th, 2008 2:19 pm

    Lou,
    Found this video of a group of mates ski touring in the Zermatt area. They are all speaking French, but it’s not hard to tell they are having a great time and the scenery is outstanding. If you have a spare half hour, maybe take a look.
    http://www.vimeo.com/1072560





Anti-Spam Quiz:

You can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box to left, but you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments


  Recent Posts




Facebook Twitter Google Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed



 



  • Blogroll & Links


  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version