On the Road

5Point Film Festival heads out

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It’s been a sweltering summer in the Pacific Northwest, but signs of fall are on the horizon in the form of cooler mornings, surreptitiously falling leaves and a plethora of back-to-school sales.

But it’s not time to head inside just yet.

Case in point: The Colorado-based 5Point Film Festival will return to Bellingham Sun., Aug. 30 to share a number of short documentary films culled for an “On the Road” series from their homegrown festival that are, per usual, focused on adventures of the outdoors variety.

If you’re not familiar with 5Point’s modus operandi, you should know you won’t be showing up at the appointed hour to sit in a dark room and quietly view the selected films. Being that 5Point organizers have dubbed the event an “Adventure Disco Block Party,” those in attendance are encouraged to don retro duds, show up early to partake in a number of out-of-the-box happenings—more on those in a second—and enjoy all that a summer night has to offer.

Starting at 5pm on the evening in question, the 1300 block of Bay Street will be ground zero for a number of strange and wonderful sights including street yoga, a tandem ski course, an outdoor bouldering wall and—wonder of wonders—human-sized hamster ball races.

That should be more than enough to entice you to make your way downtown, but in case you need more impetus, there’ll also be a disco photo booth, food trucks, live music and—after the films are shown and adventure-based adrenaline is still coursing through your veins—an after-party at the Wild Buffalo.

The excitement doesn’t end after last call, however. The block party also acts as a precursor to the two-day 5Point Film Festival taking place Oct. 16-17 at the Mount Baker Theatre and various spaces around Bellingham.

In addition to the more than 30 short films that will show on the big screen that fall weekend, there’ll also be a youth adventure program, a Van Life Rally (featuring a showcase of converted and livable vans, trucks, cars and more), a community picnic, a discussion with Bend-based filmmaker and professional outdoor photographer Ben Moon (from the award-winning short Denali), a conversation with Dirt Bag Diaries’  hosts and filmmakers Fitz and Becca Cahall, and a late-night after-party at Make.Shift Art Space.

“We are creating a unique experience with Bellingham,” 5Point Executive Director Sarah Wood says. “It is a great fit, and we look forward to celebrating the best adventure stories with this vibrant community.

“We try to help folks redefine adventure in their lives,” she says. “We take away the ego-driven adrenaline junkie side of it, and showcase the human spirit in an exciting and inspiring program.”

That’s par for the course at 5Point. They believe their five guiding principles—respect, commitment, humility, purpose and balance—also “form the foundation for individuals who lead lives of adventure and connect all of us who share an elemental passion to explore and expand our boundaries.”

Remember those principles Sunday night after the hamster ball races have ended and you’re watching the films—which could focus on anything from a downhill mountain bike racer unexpectedly fighting for his life, a National Geographic explorer on a skiing expedition with his daughter in Antarctica, a pint-sized surfer and skater, or adventures in the Grand Canyon, the Himalayas, Mexico, and beyond. Chances are, they’ll give a new meaning to “on the road.”

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