Winter Stoke film festival expands to Rifle in its second year
Sunlight Mountain Resort will open Thursday, and that’s “set in snow,” said Marketing Director Troy Hawks. Lift tickets will be $40, or $20 for children, through Christmas. The special pricing is available only in person. Opening day will also feature free doughnuts from Sweet Coloradough. With snow in the forecast, Hawks said the staff hopes to open more terrain during the holiday weekend.
After seeing the success of last year’s film festival, Rifle is set to host its own Winter Stoke on Thursday, giving locals a chance to see what their neighbors are up to all winter long.
The second-annual film festival showcases the best one- to three-minute video submissions out of a pool of more than 20, featuring a variety of winter sports activities enjoyed by those that call Garfield County home. The three finalists get the chance to win free lift tickets and the Golden Boot Award.
After successful shows in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale already this year, the Rifle show will close out the Winter Stoke Film Festival season.
Sunlight Marketing Director Troy Hawks said he approached the Ute Theater and Rifle about hosting a show last year, but the timeline didn’t work.
“We’re so excited to get it done this year,” he said. “We’re ‘stoked’ on the local response so far. Glenwood Springs sold out, and Carbondale just about sold out.”
Hawks wanted to create a film festival that “got people ‘stoked’ for ski season and featured short videos produced by local rippers,” according to the website.
With three shows in separate Garfield County towns, Hawks thinks that each show will have its own unique audience.
Auston Tribble of True Media Foundation, one of Sunlight’s sponsors for the festival, said the “goal is to make each festival as local as possible.”
Tribble hopes expanding into Rifle will lead to more diverse submissions next year and in years to come.
“Rifle wanted to do something like this last year,” he said. “We think [a show at the Ute] will allow us to show more diverse films. People are interested in different things in each community. We hope more shows will lead to different visual representation of Winter Stoke.”
Along with the local shows, the festival features Warren Miller’s film “Line of Descent,” which explores the ties that bind ski culture.
Rifle Recreation Coordinator James Vaughn said there will be a lot of information for people in attendance to learn about winter sports opportunities they might not have otherwise known about and to find new experiences within their community.
Doors open at the Ute on Thursday at 6 p.m. and those in attendance will receive free pizza and prize giveaways. Attendance is free with donations going to the Sunlight Winter Sports Bus, which shuttles western Garfield folks to Sunlight Mountain on Saturdays. Season passes are available for $20 or one trip for $5.