Carbondale-based 5Point Film Festival makes a point to offer its curated mix of adventure-inspiring and conversation-starting films around the country. This weekend the fest plays it closer to home, coming to Aspen's Wheeler Opera House with three must-see shows: a collection of all-new short films; a reprise of the award-winning, feature-length film Bikes of Wrath, which was a hit at the flagship event last April; and a new youth adventure program of shorts on Saturday afternoon. All of the screenings will also be a fundraiser for this year's Carbondale festival, April 25–28.
Says 5Point's new executive director, Regna Jones, "It's important to be in Aspen because the message of 5Point is very much community oriented, as is the vibe of the festival, with stories about human spirit, adventure, and the great outdoors—common threads for all of us in this valley."
The films for the Aspen shows were selected for their exploration of what it means to be an adventurer through storytelling and diversity; they look beyond "ski porn" and perfectly executed expeditions to demonstrate how the human drive for adventure unearths commonalities and unites communities.
"There can be a disconnect between 'up' and 'down' valley, even though everyone cross-pollinates a lot, so it's nice to bring audiences together to experience the festival's values-based mission and five key points of purpose, commitment, respect, humility, and balance," adds Jones.
A few highlights:
Friday night's program includes the Colorado premiere of The Quiet Force, which delves into the lives of immigrant workers at several ski resorts across the country. The 5Point Film Fund provided support to have the film subtitled in Spanish, too. Following the screening, a panel discussion will include John Fox-Rubin of the non-profit Valley Settlement, SkiCo's Matt Hamilton, and Jackson Hole–based filmmaker Hilary Byrne.
Also showing Friday night will be the beautifully shot Altay Wild Snow, about the origins of skinning in China. (Be assured, it's no boozy full-moon uphill.)
Saturday night is all about Bikes of Wrath, which was inspired by the novel The Grapes of Wrath. As the first festival to screen the film last year, 5Point has a special connection to the filmmakers, who covered 2,600 kilometers in 30 days with just $420, three cameras, two guitars, and five bikes. (Editor's note: We saw the film at its premiere last spring, and it received two, if not three, standing ovations.)
Also highlighted will be the 10th year of 5Point's Dream Project, which gives local high school applicants who best embody 5Point's guiding principles a $1,500 grant to embark on a potentially life-changing journey. Previous recipients have led a youth backpacking trip in the Roaring Fork Valley, shadowed writers in New York, taught soccer in Puerto Rico, and kayaked and performed malaria prevention work in Uganda.
Tickets are $15 (kids under 12 are free) for Saturday's Youth Adventure program, 4:30–5:45 p.m., and $28 for the evening shows, which start at 7 p.m. Tickets for the VIP opening party Friday night are $150, with a portion of sales donated to Valley Settlement.