This past weekend we made a sort of last minute decision to head up to Carbondale, CO to attend the 5 Point Film Festival. The lineup of films looked great and the description of the festival sounded like something we might really enjoy. Heading out of Tucson on Wednesday night, we blasted up to Carbondale in time for the kickoff of the 4 day event on Thursday evening. Here are a few favorite moments from our weekend.
Fitz and Guests
Saturday was the busiest day at the festival. There were three different showings of movies during the day, an ice cream social at mid-day, and podcasts being recorded at a local retailer (Steve’s Guitars). After a morning run followed by ice cream, we decided to head to the recording of The Dirtbag Diaries. Here’s how this goes down. You walk into the funky little guitar shop, which is just a stone’s throw from the community center. Thirty or forty seats are set up inside, under a ceiling and walls lined with a collection of instruments. As you enter, a nice fellow from New Belgium Brewing hands you a beer mug. He pours you some beer from one of their current brews. You sit down and listen to a 25 minute interview with host Fitz Cahall and an interesting person from the festival. There will be four interviews, with a short break between each. After each interview, more nice people walk around and refill your beer with another brew. You don’t even have to get out of your chair. They tell you all about the beer. Then you listen to another good conversation. Repeat.
Among those interviewed was Kevin Pearce, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2009 during his preparation for snowboarding at the 2010 Olympics. His struggle with the injury is the subject of the soon to be released HBO documentary, The Crash Reel. Kevin spoke of his challenge overcoming his injury and how it has shaped his life. For a young man, he had deep insight into the role of sports and family in his life.
Next up was Chris Davenport, a local with a passion for the Colorado mountains and one of the most noted extreme skiers on the planet. Instead of talking about extremes, Kevin spoke mostly of the value of being outside, and some of the projects he has pursued to keep himself out there as much as possible. James Walsh, a South African filmmaker, was next. James is striving to create adventure films that reflect the history and culture of Africa, but also inspire others to chase their own adventures. He described his struggle to make films that capture the unique challenges and landscape of Africa. Finally, Fitz spoke with Kyle Dempster, a world class alpinist and generally insightful, funny and inspiring fellow. It's hard to capture Kyle in a few sentences. He took a bicycle, climbing gear and a camera to Kyrgyzstan in 2011. There he peddled in search of new mountains, all by himself, through remote southern Asia. Fitz and his team edited the footage into a story which won the Best of the Festival award. If you get a chance to see The Road to Karakol, don't miss it. Kyle is a character and inspiration in just about every sense of the word. We also tasted four fun beers, and learned a little bit about beer subtleties from the New Belgium crew. Oh, and this event (including the beer tasting) - was free - just another part of the festival.
I enjoy watching films about people who make creative choices regarding how they live. I was particularly taken with North of the Sun. This film highlighted two young Norwegians and there decision to live on a beach all winter, surfing in the far north, in the cold and dark and wind. They also built their own shelter on the beach, using the appalling amount of trash that floats up on exposed open beaches throughout the world. Another good one was Death of the Bar T. Click that link and watch it.
We spent 14 hours watching films in 4 days, and we didn’t get bored. I can't possibly do justice to all the films that we enjoyed. But we did get psyched and inspired, and laughed and cried a little bit.
On Friday we had some free time, so we went for a run and hike in the Maroon Bells Wilderness, near Aspen. It was deserted, sunny, and coated with untouched fresh spring snow.
We’ll make an effort to get back to 5 Point next year. It leaves you with nothing but good karma, smiles and jazzed to get outside.