The 5Point Adventure Film Festival is one of the multifaceted jewels in the crown of adventure film festivals, which includes Mountainfilm in Telluride, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in California and the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta, Canada. .
Luis Yllanes, who took over as executive director of Carbondale-based 5Point Film last December, happily announced that 5Point would be returning with its pre-pandemic format in person April 21-24 at the Carbondale Recreation Center.
Charlie Turnbull, programming director of 5Point Film, said the single-site screenings provide viewers with a unique festival experience. He said: “There are about seven hundred people watching a movie and then they all go to a bar afterwards and talk about it, so it feels very community driven and special. I’ve been to 20 or 30 film festivals, and haven’t seen anything close to 5Point.
Turnbull, an Australian from Austin, Texas, may be known to some former festival-goers for his film “The Bikes of Wrath”, which premiered at the 2019 5Point Festival.
“I’ve shown films at many festivals and 5Point has always had a special blend of welcoming spirit. We came from Australia to show our film, and I felt like the whole city welcomed us. I think it’s really special,” Turnbull recalled of his 2019 experience at 5Point.
The final selection criteria, Turnbull explained, “are simple – it has to be compelling storytelling.”
“Learning to Drown” from filmmakers Ben Knight and Felt Soul Media’s Travis Rummel follows professional snowboarder Jess Kimura after the death of her partner. “It’s about how far she takes the sport, but also a personal story of loss, grief and rebuilding her life,” Turnbull explained.
While coping with the loss, Kimura’s situation is further exacerbated by head injuries and depression. The physical and emotional pain led her on a journey of self-discovery where she decides to give back to girls and women in snowboarding, directing an all-female snowboard movie called “The Uninvited”, because as said Kimura, “We [the girls] are never invited.
“Kachalka” is by Irish filmmaker and director Gar O’Rourke, whose brother lived in the Ukrainian capital of kyiv a few years ago and sent him a video of a huge outdoor gymnasium widely considered “the gymnasium the most most hardcore in the world”. Opened in 1966, on what was once a junkyard, “Kachalka,” Turnbull said, “is also a look at the useless things in life. [The gym is] such innovation and people are thrifty with what little they have. It’s quite inspiring in that regard and it’s a timely look into the minds of the Ukrainian people. It really is a very, very funny movie.
Trumbull said the adventure industry and the genre of adventure storytelling has evolved, and so has 5Point. “We have expanded our meaning and definition of ‘adventure’. It is more focused on the human side of people; all with accessible stories.
There will be new faces and voices taking part in 5Point conversations, including Jedidiah Jenkins, the New York Times bestselling author of “To Shake the Sleeping Self.” “I look forward to hearing Jenkins speak with [filmmaker] Taylor Reese,” Yllanes said. “She’s a playmaker who’s a veteran of 5Points and it’s going to be a great conversation that will be broadcast by our community partners on KDNK radio.”
Yllanes said Saturday “people can go out and just enjoy all day” with movies and events, which include a free ice cream party.
Also on Saturday, the first “Adventure Filmmakers Pitch Event”, presented by festival sponsor Stio, will give seven filmmakers the opportunity to pitch their film ideas in front of a live audience. The filmmaker with the winning pitch will receive $15,000 to launch their project. The event takes place Saturday, April 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Thunder River Theater and is free and open to the public.
Yllanes pointed out that 5Point’s work is done all year round. He said, “We continue to work on other opportunities to showcase adventure films. We seek to work with other partners to engage with our community and provide filmmakers with other opportunities throughout the year.
All festival attendees must show proof of vaccination before attending any festival event or show proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours. Masks are optional at all indoor venues.
For more information about the festival, go to www.5pointfilm.org