The film event of the year is gearing up for its 16th annual flagship festival. That’s right, the 5Point Adventure Film Festival is right around the corner, kicking off Wednesday, April 19 and wrapping up on Sunday, April 23.
This year, there are 50 films to enjoy. Of those 50, 10 are showing in Colorado for the first time and 15 will ring in their world premieres.
Luis Yllanes, 5Point’s executive director, is settling into the role after coming in hot to last year’s festival, having just taken the job in December 2021. Prior to that, for a few years, Yllanes volunteered as a jury member for 5Point’s Dream Project which awards funding to local high school students to pursue a passion project.
When it comes to the festival, “It’s a big group of volunteers that, much like Mountain Fair, come together and work to put on this event because they love this organization and what it does for the community,” Yllanes told The Sopris Sun. “To us, volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.”
5Point had local artist Kessiah Carlbon, who has a fondness for 5Point and the outdoors, run loose with her creativity in creating this year’s poster — a heart separated into five sections with various adventurous landscapes in each.
A handful of films in the queue earned funding through 5Point. The revenue for 5Point’s film fund, at least in part, comes directly from film submission fees. “We take all of those fees and reinvest those back into the filmmakers as part of a film fund that they apply for,” Yllanes said. Additionally, Northwest River Supplies, based in Moscow, Idaho, partners with 5Point to offer $10,000 to fund paddle-specific films.
The feature film, “Wild Life,” from Oscar-winning filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, explores a love story between conservationists Kris and Doug Tompkins. The couple left behind outdoor brands they helped pioneer, such as Patagonia and The North Face, to pursue what some might consider an insurmountable goal: creating National Parks in Chile and Argentina. When tragedy hits, Kris is faced with giving up their lives’ work or pressing on.
This year’s Changemaker film, “Range Rider,” is quite relevant for Colorado viewers. It focuses on wolf repopulation in Washington State, and follows range rider Daniel Curry who’s tasked with creating a buffer between cattle grazing on public lands and the wolves. As the state’s lethal management measures and illegal poaching sets in, Curry contends to prove that coexistence is possible.
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is sponsoring the Changemaker film. “ACES is thrilled to co-present this film,” the organization said in a statement to The Sopris Sun. “In keeping with our mission, we are eager to engage with our community on complex environmental issues which require creative, ecologically-minded solutions — like the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado. Through thoughtful discussion and education, we can work to restore ecosystems that human beings have drastically altered, and know this film screening will help foster this important dialogue.”
For the second year, STIO will present the Adventure Filmmaker Pitch Event, where select finalists will make their pitches, but only one will be awarded $15,000 to help fund their project.
5Point boasts a few new additions to the festival as well. Live bands will perform on the “Heart Beat” stage, including Denver-based rock band iZCALLi, Colorado’s only New Orleans-esque brass band, Brothers of Brass, and “local yacht rock legends” The Davenports.
Up for some late night laughs? Check out “5Point Late Night Laughs” at The Black Nugget, where there’ll be three standup comedians (Salma Zaky, Gabby Gutierrez-Reed and Sammy Anzer) performing Thursday, April 20 at 10:30pm.
If you aren’t still recuperating from all the laughs, come on down for the first 5Point 5k. Registration starts bright and early, at 8am on Saturday, at Independence Run and Hike.
As is customary, First Friday, April 7, 5Point will host a Dream Project Presentation and the “Festival Trailer Drop” at the Launchpad at 5pm.
“I’ve always believed that film as a medium of storytelling — and a medium of powerful change — is something that can continue to have an impact, especially in the documentary realm,” concluded Yllanes. “This is something that speaks truth and I hope that people see that and feel moved and inspired by that.”
Visit www.5Point.org for tickets and more information.