Like most meetings of our tribe the 9th annual Adventure Film Festival
in Boulder had the feel of a family reunion. And in many ways that truly matter that's exactly what it was. When the late Jonny Copp
started this gathering of outdoor artists and athletes so many years ago he established a place in time when kindred spirits rallied in celebration of their shared culture in adventure, to applaud their accomplishments of the recent past, make bold plans for the future and sadly honor the dead. Now directed by Copp's sister Aimee
, Adventure Film continues to be far more than a collection of mountain inspired movies. An intimate moment over a long weekend the festival is a meeting place for a community whose bonds beyond blood forge friendships and collaborations to explore the literal heights of human endeavor, illustrated with camera and canvas.
It's that sense of community which is Adventure Film's greatest strength. At a time when many of the features included in the program can be easily viewed over the Internet for free the price of admission provides those who attend a seat at the table where the festival not only serves up great content but company. Together among the best adventure filmmakers and explorers of our time aspiring creatives can mingle with and learn from real people like themselves who defied the odds of failure to achieve success.
The festival began with a exhibition of flavor for each of the five perceptions of art. Senses of Adventure
curated by Devaki Murch
at the Prana
store put on display an expression of beauty for the ear, eyes, nose, tongue and fingertips. Featured artists included professional climbers Renan Ozturk
, Jeremy Collins
and Katie Rutherford
. Their paintings depicted landscapes and mountain summits of their travels.
Throughout the weekend other programs like the Outside Adventure Film School
brought to the festival a range of talented filmmakers to share their experiences and offer guidance. Filmmaking veterans including Michael Brown
and Tyler Young
provided invaluable advice alongside relative newcomers like Alexandria Bombach
, people who's award winning films are setting a high standard for the latest in adventure media. In attendance as a student was the Oscar-winning producer of "The Hurt Locker" Tony Mark
The movies presented at the festival over two days of screening included 44 of the best adventure films of 2012. Across a broad range of topics from people with disabilities to the plight of oppressed women in the Middle East filmmakers brought back stories from all over the globe. Unlike the adrenaline driven movies of the not so distant past contributions to Adventure Film have incredibly compelling narratives, strong characters and excellent cinematography. Gone are the days of ski porn with gratuitous orgies of snow, altitude and speed. What remains is the true essence of adventure as art form, as depicted in the lives of those who follow their dreams.
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