I was waiting till they made this official and got the People’s Choice voting counted. We’re on board with all except “Chasing Water,” which covered water issues on the Colorado River. We liked “Chasing Water” but felt it lacked power in its story. Three or four other flicks offered a quantum leap in inspiration, e.g., Swiss Machine or Skatistan. I mean, what was “Chasing Water” supposed to have inspired me to do in comparison to kids in Afghanistan rising above war? Oh well, that’s the fun of a film festival and how art works. Not everyone likes everything — opinions vary. (Yes indeed, no backcountry skiing films on the list! That is, dare I say, criminal?)
My inconsequential disagreement about awards aside, what amazed me about this festival was, while I could clearly see some films rise to the top, I could not find one lemon.
Other years were not quite so perfect. For example, last year 5 Point presented a BASE jumping movie that I was not a huge fan of (see review.) But this year, Dean Potter’s flick “Fly or Die” about free BASE climbing was much more thoughtful, with an interesting story and a tasteful dose of heroics that went a bit bombastic at times (seems like that’s part of BASE jumping), but still worked. While I didn’t agree that Potter’s free BASE solo climbing is the future of alpinism (nor does it even look sustainable), he most certainly got the climber side of my brain tied up in knots — and fantasizing. Also, regarding the 5 Point principle of commitment, you can’t deny the commitment of what Dean Potter does in climbing, so in terms of a metaphor it is pretty cool.
At any rate, here are the results, with my editorial comment in parentheses:
BEST OF THE FEST WINNER: The Wolf And The Medallion, Jeremy Collins. (Deserved it.)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER: Eastern Rises, Felt Soul Media, Travis Rummel and Ben Knight. (Only the best fishing film ever made.)
BEST ADVENTURE FILM: COLD, Anson Fogel and Cory Richards. (Raises the bar for alpinism movies.)
MOST INSPIRING FILM: Chasing Water, Pete McBride (?)
JURY SPECIAL SELECTION: ScraperTown, Drea Cooper and Zack Canepari (We tend to exalt anything involving human muscle power, nice to see that validated, as sometimes it just feels so “white.”)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dark Side Of The Lens, Mickey Smith (Whew, we thought Life Cycles was going to win this, while stunning, their effects are a bit repetitive and over baked, so we’re psyched “Dark Side” go the kudos. Actually, if there was a prize for Best Writing, this or “Cold” would have been contenders.)
By the way, praise goes to 5 Point for keeping the awards simple. It’s tempting to have a bunch (writing, humor, environmental, and on and on), but for a live audience any more than a few makes the awards ceremony go on forever. So good.
Oh, and how about a little bonus treat? Below shot here in little old Carbondale, edited and written by Anson Fogel and Skip Armstrong, Forge Motion Pictures, to introduce a scholarship program instigated at this year’s 5 Point Festival.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.