This weekend, Carbondale, Colorado is the place to be. On Thursday, 5Point Film Festival kicks off four days of outstanding adventure films, rowdy dance parties, and intimate get-togethers with filmmakers. Over 50 films on climbing, skateboarding, kayaking, hockey, skiing, even hunting fill the program. To whet your appetite we’ve pulled a few shorts. Yes, some of these films can be found online, but nothing compares to letting the giant screen immerse you in a breathtaking world of crisp, vibrant visuals and booming audio. Our recommendation: come.
“The Burn” perhaps could have been cut a bit shorter — extended shots of hucking pillows almost feels like porn, but stunning footage of skiing through burned out forests sparks our lust for that white stuff.
In Fitz Cahall’s film, “Road to Karakol,” Kyle Dempster, one of the world’s top alpinists, embarks on a solo adventure with only his bike. He’s blissfully unaware of the adversity he’ll face when he sets out across the abandoned landscape of Kyrgyzstan. When outdated Soviet maps promising a paved path through to China prove wrong, bringing Kyle to the end of the road, he decides to keep pedaling. His off-the-road journey takes him through military corruption and treacherous river crossings that test his will, and leave him with the realization that he might never return.
5Point Film brings in filmmakers and athletes every year that push the limits of adventure and film, but its roots lie in stories about characters like the bus boys, weekend warriors who are inspired to pursue what they love and simply adventure for adventure’s sake, foolhardy as they may be.
“With the bus films, it’s all about capturing pure fun. No drama, no epic tales of endearment, just 100% pure go out in the world and have fun,” says Joey Schusler, Bus Filmmaker, Professional Mountain Bike Downhiller.
With their film, “The Bus: A Journey Up North,” the boys take us on an exhilarating adventure into Canada. Bringing their bus to Carbondale for the premiere this weekend, they will be surrounded by not only top explorers like Alex Honnold, Chris Davenport, Hayden Kennedy, and Kevin Pearce, but also many of the world’s elite outdoor filmmakers.
WildSnow reviewed “Vaya a La Cumbre” when it played in Aspen this winter. For those who missed it, Anton and Toni Sponar will be in Carbondale on Thursday evening. Their film tells the story of a father’s dream and his son’s legacy, both caught between two lives in two worlds. Toni and Anton spend the North American winter as ski instructors in Aspen and the summer months in Chile, operating a struggling backcountry cat-ski operation. After 30 years of this, along with false starts, an avalanche, and the increasing challenges of owning a ski area, it’s time for Anton to decide whether to follow his father’s dream or end it altogether.
For Saturday afternoon, 5Point offers “The Crash Reel,” a feature length film about professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce. He was at the top of the snowboarding world, winning competitions around the globe. In 2009, however, while training, Kevin took a bad fall and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Working back to regain his health, he has not been able to return to snowboarding in a competitive capacity, but instead dedicates much of his time to awareness organizations, like his own, Love-Your-Brain.
“The Crash Reel,” produced by Lucy Walker, a two-time Academy Award nominee, documents Kevin’s progression through the sport of snowboarding and his epic rivalry with halfpipe legend and childhood friend Shaun White. Fifteen years of footage showcase this veritable competition, as well as some of the events that have impacted it. As Shaun and Kevin push each other to tackle dangerous tricks, the pair become number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. And as Kevin recovers from a near-fatal crash, Shaun wins Gold, upping the challenge to a level it’s never been at before. Now Kevin wants nothing more than to get back on his board, despite the fact that his medics and family fear it could be the very thing that ends his career and life.
With my roots in Southern California, I’ll never watch enough surf films. Delightfully, 5Point always finds a few and they are unique. “North of the Sun” is a prime example.
For more info, check out 5Point Film Festival. Hope to see you there!