Steamboat nonprofit group hosts film festival to reach new audience |

Steamboat nonprofit group hosts film festival to reach new audience

Jack Weinstein

— Yampatika is taking a new approach to reaching a different audience.

The Steamboat Springs-based nonprofit organization that provides outdoor education for youths and adults is sponsoring the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Depot Art Center.

"We're always looking for new ways to educate the community in what we do," Executive Director Sonja Macys said. "For Yampatika, the demographic has typically been older, our typical demographic has been retirees. We're looking for things to engage more young people. The Backcountry Film Festival feels like something more affordable that people can go out (and do) on a Friday night."

Tickets are $10 and include a ticket for a door prize drawing. Proceeds support Yampatika. Backdoor Sports and residents Russ and Carol Atha also are sponsoring the film festival.

Macys added that Yampatika supports this year's Backcountry Film Festival theme of celebrating the human-powered experience. She said connecting with the backcountry, as opposed to thrill-seeking, is more of Yampatika's message.

But if the trailer is any indication, Macys said the nine short films that make up the film festival should include plenty of thrills.

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According to a Winter Wildlands Alliance news release, film submissions come from renowned filmmakers as well as simply weekend adventurers armed with video cameras. It stated that a panel of judges selected the top films that were compiled into a 90-minute program.

The Backcountry Film Festival, in its seventh year, will travel to 75 communities in the U.S. before heading to Antarctica, Europe, Australia and Asia. Funds raised at the screenings in local communities aim to support human-powered recreation, raising awareness of winter management issues, avalanche training and safety and winter education programs.

Macys said the opportunity to participate in the film festival arose because Yampatika is a member of the Winter Wildlands Alliance. She thinks doing something different is something Steamboat residents will see more of as nonprofits look for new ways to diversify their programs and increase awareness.

"I think the community is tired with the same-old, same-old," Macys said. "Hopefully you'll see more of that with Yampatika and other nonprofits to make (programming) more lively."

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

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