There aren’t many indoor, seated events that outdoor enthusiasts in Colorado look forward to more than the 5Point Adventure Film Festival. In its eleventh year, the festival is set to run April 19 through April 22, and will bring four days of outdoor films, art, conversations and performances. Amidst enjoying amazing filmmaking and engaging events around Carbondale, attendees can enjoy their own recreation and leisure in and around town.

Feel the excitement before it even begins with this year’s 5Point trailer here, and then plan on attending for some or all of these anticipated highlights.

1. Van Life Rally 

5Point Film Festival

5Point Van Life Rally. Photo courtesy of 5Point Adventure Film Festival

You can feel the pull of van life — the freedom of untethered travel to adventure in every place you land. While outdoor enthusiasts are often enticed by this free-spirited lifestyle, 5Point’s opening event let’s you dive into the van life for an evening without selling your house and everything in it.

In it’s fifth year, the Van Life Rally is an ever-evolving exhibition of live-able vehicles that line up along Colorado Ave in Carbondale. It’s easy to feel the excitement in the air as the anticipation for 5Point turns into a celebration of community and love of all things outdoors.

Grab your dinner from a food truck and get your koozie ready for a can of craft beer as you tour some van buildouts and the creative characters behind them. The rally runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, followed by Film Program at 7 p.m. in the Carbondale Rec Center.

2. Public Lands  

5Point Film Festival

A film at 5Point. Photo courtesy of 5Point Adventure Film Festival

This year’s festival theme, “Our Stories, Our Lands” will emphasize the importance and value of public lands. The theme is timely on a national level and in Colorado, as public lands use is under increasing debate by the U.S. government.

“Our Stories, Our Lands” is also tied to the festival on a personal level in the Carbondale community: on October 7, 2017, 5Point Film Festival founder, Julie Kennedy, and her husband Michael lost their son, Hayden Kennedy — a bright light among the new generation of young alpine climbers. Michael and Julie Kennedy created the Hayden Kennedy Public Lands Defense Fund to honor their son’s love of outdoor adventure. Hayden was an accomplished climber and skier who cared deeply about America’s public lands.

3. Live Art For A Good Cause 

Live art with Sarah Url

Sarah Uhl’s preparation for Life Art at 5Point in honor of Hayden Kennedy and public lands. Photo courtesy of Sarah Uhl

Local artist Sarah Uhl will create a live art installment at the festival that pays tribute to public lands seen through the eyes of the late Hayden Kennedy.

Uhl was the event director for 5Point for three years, and has since been actively pursuing art full time.

“I have started to create a role for myself in public land advocacy,” she shares. “I started doing these live art instillations about a year ago … they are part entertainment, part advocacy and part fundraising, so I always partner with a non-profit and the non-profit usually dictates the storytelling.”

For 5Point, Uhl and the Kennedy family wanted to honor Hayden. The work will depict 10 of Hayden’s most beloved landscapes in a 45-piece mural, painted live over the course of the four-day festival. Each piece will be for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Hayden Kennedy Public Lands Defense Fund. Uhl also will build in a “take action” section of the mural, inviting people to call politicians, comment on current political issues, use specific prompts for a social media petition, or sign up to volunteer for local grassroots activism.

4. 5Point Talks 

5Point Talks

New for 2018 are 5Point Talks, hosted around Carbondale. Photo courtesy of 5Point Adventure Film Festival

New for 2018 is 5Point Talks, a series of speaker events at venues across Carbondale including True Nature Healing Arts, Bonfire Coffee and Steve’s Guitars.

Friday from 12 to 1:30 p.m., Enormocast podcast hosted by 5Point emcee Chris Kalous will be at Steve’s Guitars with special guests to offer a glimpse into the climbing life through discussion, interviews and perspective backed by Kalous’ 27 years in the sport.

On Saturday from 10:20 to 11:50 a.m., Colorado non-profit organization Big Heart Big Hands and True Nature Healing Arts host the panel “Trauma, Loss and Resilience in the Backcountry.” This discussion will present diverse perspectives on the impact of backcountry rescue missions for those surviving and left behind.

See all the 5Point Talks throughout the weekend on the full 5Point event schedule.

5. Films & Fun 

Paddy O’Connell

Paddy O’Connell at 5Point. Photo courtesy of 5Point Adventure Film Festival

As always, 5Point brings a compelling line-up of filmmaking to the festival. Highlights include Tailwhip by Joris Debeij: the 14-year-old BMX rider Erik Aguilar is on track to reaching professional status in just a couple years, but in the meantime, he uses biking to keep himself out of trouble and off the streets. Ten Years Out by Meredith McKee: when the most tragic event happens to Summers Moore and her family, she uses art and the outdoors to cope with loss. How to Run 100 Miles by Hilary Oliver and Aidan Haley: the Run Rabbit Run race is a 102.9-mile ultramarathon with 20,000 feet of elevation gain, which is no small feat for a couple of guys who don’t know what they’re doing.

On Saturday afternoon, check out feature film The Bikes of Wrath by Cameron Ford: 2,600 kilometers, $420 dollars, 30 days, 5 bikes, 3 cameras, 2 guitars, 1 voice, and one of the most influential novels of the 20th century — the Bikes of Wrath is a story of adventure, physical struggle, human interaction, cultural commentary and the American Dream.

The schedule for each film program can now be viewed at the 5Point website.

And let’s not forget Paddy O’Connell. Local deejay and writer, O’Connell has been part of the 5Point family since 2016 when he first attended the festival. He soon moved to the town and in 2017 was asked to be part of the emcee line-up, making a dramatic entrance in a “flamed wing-suit” and multi-color spandex. The audience and 5Point regulars will no doubt be on the edge of their seats this year, waiting for his entrance. Paddy’s irreverent humor can be found on the local airwaves, deejaying on Carbondale’s KDNK.

Some tickets are still available, and there is currently a waitlist for nightly shows. Guests can also wait in line for stand-by tickets each night.

See you at 5Point!

Kim Fuller is a writer & editor based in Vail, Colorado.