Sunlight film festival kicks off Thursday | PostIndependent.com

Sunlight film festival kicks off Thursday

Hunter Brown enjoys a powder day in one of his father's films.

Hunter Brown enjoys a powder day in one of his father's films.

The inaugural Winter Stoke film festival kicks off Thursday, just as the high country receives its first real blanket of snow for the season.

Sponsored by Sunlight Mountain Resort and produced by the TruMedia Foundation — also the beneficiaries of ticket sales — it takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue and Dec. 8 at Carbondale’s Crystal Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 for tonight’s nearly sold-out show, with a la carte refreshments available before the show. Tickets are $15 in advance at sunlightmtn.com or $20 at the door.

Each show will feature an hourlong film by an established director — Warren Miller’s “Here, There & Everywhere” in Glenwood and Level One’s “Pleasure” in Carbondale — as well as a series of local short edits. The upcoming 50th anniversary of the resort also has prompted an eight-part piece on Sunlight history by Chris Tribble of Versatile Productions.

“We wanted to show as many locally produced films as we could,” said Sunlight marketing director Troy Hawks. “There are amazing things happening on the slopes right here in our backcountry.”

Each short will run 2 to 5 minutes and, ideally, should fit the theme “so much to smile about.” The festival garnered 13 entries for its first year, with which Hawks is pleased.

“Now that folks know about it, maybe they’ll go out this season to be part of it next year,” he observed.

Sunlight has chosen three finalists to receive two free lift tickets, while the audience favorite will receive a free season pass. If the other entrants are anything like Russ Brown, they can use it.

Brown, an area native who has been skiing at Sunlight since 1970 and shooting video of it since the days of 8mm film, logged 62 days at the resort last year.

“There are no crowds, it’s affordable and the skiing is great,” he said. “It’s just the absolute freedom that you have out there.”

Until now, the videos he puts together have been viewed mostly by family, friends and the odd YouTuber who stumbles across his channel.

“I’m an old guy now, so I got up and I do the video of my son and all his friends, and we just have a great time with it,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to see what people think.”