Bike-in film fest tests new genre of action flix on Routt County Courthouse lawn

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— When the Ski Haus 5Point bike-in film fest makes its debut at 8:45 p.m. tonight on the Routt County Courthouse lawn, its pace may remind viewers of a pop music concert more than that of traditional film fests in Telluride and Park City.

“We’ll have 12 films – the longest is about 21 minutes, and it’s surrounded by three-, four-, five- and 10-minute films. You are going to go on an emotional ride tomorrow,” Five Points Executive Director Sarah Wood promised on Monday.

There is no charge for the festival, and cyclists are encouraged to swing by Ski Haus, at the corner of U.S. Highway 40 and Pine Grove Road, at 6:30 p.m. for beverages and food.

Wood compared the process of assembling the short outdoor action films into a festival to that of a band assembling a set list to take its audience on a journey.

“The films include biking and a good mix of different outdoor activities – skiing and kayaking. We’re finding pieces that have these (outdoor adventure) elements, but that’s just the backdrop for highly cinematic storytelling. The filmmakers are pulling from traditional themes and tools of cinema. They’ve really raised the bar for this genre,” Wood said.

A special guest at the film fest will be filmmaker Zach Ormitz, who with Ollie Nieuwland-Zlotnicki, produced the film Vaya a la Cumbre. It portrays the struggle of a son trying to realize his father’s dream of establishing a backcountry skiing operation in Chile.

5Points has hosted a four-day film festival in Carbondale for the past six years and strives to break out of the traditional powder or surfing film genres, Wood said, replacing them with more serious filmmaking. Now, 5Points hopes to export that successful model to other mountain towns.

“We’ve been ready to expose some more audiences and bring it to new communities,” Wood said.

Already, she has firm plans to return Sept. 12, this time to Howelsen Hill, with an entirely new program. There will be a charge for the September event, Wood said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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