Carbondale hosts film adventures | PostIndependent.com

Carbondale hosts film adventures

Stina SiegGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
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CARBONDALE, Colorado I hope Im giving you some juice, said Julie Kennedy, a few days ago. What an understatement.Kennedy, former Climbing Magazine editor, was nothing but juice. She was laughing over the phone, talking rapid-fire about her new creation, the 5Point Film Festival. The Carbondale fest, which continues through Saturday, is more than a collection of 24 outdoor and adventure films. Its an event of lofty goals, and it feels just as focused on discussion as it does on movies.

CARBONDALE, Colorado I hope Im giving you some juice, said Julie Kennedy, a few days ago. What an understatement.Kennedy, former Climbing Magazine editor, was nothing but juice. She was laughing over the phone, talking rapid-fire about her new creation, the 5Point Film Festival. The Carbondale fest, which continues through Saturday, is more than a collection of 24 outdoor and adventure films. Its an event of lofty goals, and it feels just as focused on discussion as it does on movies.My whole vision for this is to create a venue, to create a forum for outdoor, mountain people who are really going for it in a variety of ways, she said.5Point has two roundtable talks, each featuring outdoor athletes and experts. Dubbed Inspiring Lifestyle and Passion with Your Children and Living Passionately Through Adversity, they are meant to bring forth sharing, education, maybe even some change. This kind of thing isnt the norm for film festivals, and thats just how Kennedy wants it.The event revolves around five key points, guiding principles Kennedy has chosen to live by. Respect, commitment, purpose, humility, balance thats what keeps us in-check when were doing amazing things, she said.Fests such as Tellurides MountainFilm changed her life, she went on, and something about them made her want to take risks, push herself out into the world. Soaking up that sort of celluloid for decades, she always knew she wanted to start her own festival. This summer, after getting the support of her friend, Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard, she realized the time had come.As she explained it, I wanted to experience what I had in my life and sort of pass the torch on to the younger generation.And shes not the only person who has big ideas for this event not by a longshot.Program director Michele Cardamone, who helped choose the films and shape the festival, referred to it as her baby. Each piece has a real purpose, she said, and their effect on her has been profound. She explained that now she doesnt feel quite so stuck in her comfort zone.Thats just the response panel member Erik Weihenmayer is hoping for.

I want people to walk away with the idea that life is unexpected, he said.The blind climber, the first ever to scale Everest and the Seven Summits (the highest points on seven continents) will be part of the Adversity talk. He will also give his own presentation later in the day, and he stars in the film Blindsight, which will be screened the day after the festival. He laughed when he said that being a blind climber is akin to being a Jamaican bobsledder. Its against all odds, and it amazes people.Its not about how extreme these stories are, he continued. What counts is their human quality.Its just sharing the passion and the love and understanding, he said.Director Britton Caillouette might not know too much about this festival yet, but transporting viewers out of their everyday lives is what his work is all about. Bucking the trend of the average surfing film, his piece, Sliding Liberia, focuses just as much on people as it does on waves. Recently, he and co-director Nicholai Lidow traveled to the war-torn country, where Lidow had earlier discovered unknown, pristine swells, as well as one of the nations first surfers. The directors interviewed locals and got right into the culture. For them, surfing and film were the catalysts to get to the heart of people.Its (film is) a poetic way, a wordless way, to bring people into a world that might be completely alien to them, he said.Though his film has already been screened more than 20 times, he still sounded excited about this upcoming experience. Unlike other festivals, hes going to have time to hang out, look at the other films, see fellow filmmakers love of the outdoors. After all, nature is part of what landed him where he is. At 16, he lost his leg to cancer and, not surprisingly, fell into a deep depression. Being in the ocean and bodyboarding is all part of what brought him out of it. To him, 5Point seems like the right kind of place to tell his stories.Its one of the few film festivals that exists solely for its purpose, he said. To restore the soul to this genre.As Aron Ralston put it, This is an entire community festival.The famed climber will join Caillouette and Weihenmeyer on the Adversity panel. Ralston became a well-known figure several years ago when he cut off his own arm in order to free himself from a fallen boulder. Like Caillouette, he painted no rosy picture of adversity, and admitted to all the depression and pain that accompanied his experience. He also sounded entirely thankful for it all. Suffering creates empathy, he said, and so does sharing. Being real and honest about his story is what matters to him.Its part of what we do for each other through this complicated and troubled web of our humanity, he concluded.So, whats Kennedy to make of all these words, all these people, all this support? Truthfully, she still sounded a bit shocked by how much the event had taken off. Hopefully, she said, this will make people realize the world is big, so much larger than just work.Go see it, smell it, taste it, she said, slightly hoarse with excitement.You heard her go.Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111ssieg@postindependent.com


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