5 Point Festival; Telling Stories that Inspire

Photo+courtesy+of+5PointFilm.org
Photo courtesy of 5PointFilm.org

Photo courtesy of 5PointFilm.org

Photo courtesy of 5PointFilm.org

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Respect, commitment, humility, purpose, and balance are the five points that the annual 5Point Film Festival revolve around. It takes place in Carbondale each spring during a four day long program. It all began in 2007, when Julie Kennedy wanted to start an adventure film festival.

“5Point Film is on a mission to inspire adventure of all kinds, to connect generations through shared experience, to engage passion with a conscience, and to educate through film,” their mission statement says.

Those who attend 5Point are consistently captivated by the uplifting and inspiring films about both local and global stories about people who embark on adventures in the pursuit of challenge or change, either personal or for a bigger cause.

The festival kicked off on a Thursday with a “van life” rally and its first program. It featured 11 films, two of which were about an aspiring young jockey in Ireland (which later won the award for best cinematography) and a hilarious short film about toddlers who climb.

AHS sophomore, Reed Beidelman, attended the festival and spoke about a few of his favorite films.

“ I liked the one about a guy who biked through all these different climates and in the snow [entitled Dream Ride],” Beidelman said.

“It meets the five points, they do a great job of that.” Beidleman said. “It was just a big community thing, but it makes you want to go out and make a film.” 

Estelle Sweeney, fellow sophomore, chimed in as well.

“It makes you want to go out and do stuff. I was insanely inspired,” Sweeney said.

Friday featured a high school program, an art gallery opening, and the second film program. On Saturday there were several events, among them an ice cream social before a kids program. Next was a program entitled “The Best of Ten,” and was compiled of festival favorites from the last 10 years of 5Point, meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the festival.

Stephanie Drake, AHS English teacher, appreciated that the festival encompassed people of all backgrounds, something she thinks in lacking in film. Additionally, Drake enjoyed the community aspect of the festival.

“I think there was a lot of positivity because people thought, ‘wow, this is here in our community, this is all of our friends and this is possible,’ Drake explained. “It’s inspirational to see how everyone came together and makes you want to go out and do something.”  

Saturday evening brought the third program and featured among other gripping yet moving films, “Edges”, the story of a ninety year old women who continued to pursue her passion of figure skating, and the story of “One Husband’s Tribute to a Timeless Love” about a man who had been married for 59 years who creates a museum to commemorate his wife.

At 5Point there are films featured about adventure of all kinds, one of the 5Point mantras is that their films aren’t “solely about hucking yourself off a cliff.”

On Sunday I saw a film about 3 paralyzed men who enter a sailing race that runs from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska and has been compared to the Iditoriod of sailing. The grueling race is difficult for an able bodied person let alone someone who is paralyzed from the waist down.  Despite encountering many hardships these teammates pushed on, displaying perseverance and determination to overcome their personal obstacles and the natural ones. This is just one more example of the stunning stories of grit and human spirit that 5Point displays.

It’s difficult to imagine that anyone left 5Point any less than inspired by local and international stories of meaningful adventure, and now we begin the countdown for next year. Maybe creating stories of our own to tell next year…

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