Homegrown Film Festival Celebrates the Colorado Mantra

RE/MAX of Boulder’s Featured Friend, Community Cycles, was proud to promote the ninth annual Adventure Film Festival that took place last weekend.

With snow-dusted Flatirons as the backdrop, the festival took place at locations throughout Boulder. As the name suggests, it featured 33 films that celebrate community activism, environmental protection and, of course, the raw spirit of adventure. Covering everything from preventing blindness in Sudan, to chronicling the first American summit of Mt. Everest in 1963, choosing which films made the cut was no underwhelming task.  This year’s search began in December 2012.

“We literally go through and watch hundreds of shorts and trailers from all over the world in order to see if they’re a close match so that we can invite them to submit,” says Jose Yavari of Adventure Film Festival.

Yavari is one of several AFF film selection committee members who closely observe other film festivals that feature adventure sport, cultural, or environmental films. The committee assembles in May and spends months combing through the 200+ submissions, viewing and critiquing them during 4-hour sessions. Every year, many of the films are submitted by members of the strong Boulder adventure sport and environmental activist communities.

This year, the beautifully curated film selection was composed of 2 to 81-minute films that covered a spectrum of topics. Facing Climate Change: Plateau Tribes, was a powerful short film that documented the Umatilla tribe of northeastern Oregon and their struggle to keep traditions alive when faced with the realities of climate change. The film, Sensory Overload, followed Erik Weihenmayer on his journey to be the first blind person to kayak the Grand Canyon. The films chosen left crowd members with a feeling inspired, to say the least.

The festival went beyond film screenings and encompassed all things adventure. Family activities and discussion panels took place throughout the weekend. Between films, the Patagonia-clad crowd was entertained by raffle giveaways and messages from organizations working to support outdoor adventure and environmental protection.  Panels addressed topics ranging from the hardships faced by Sherpa on My. Everest to the effects of climate change.

A two-day filmmaking and photography workshop took place at Impact HUB in Boulder as a key part of the festival. Filmmakers featured in the festival and elsewhere offered their expertise in a series of lectures. The accomplished industry professionals covered topics addressing the new age of filmmaking, technique, storytelling and the importance of networking.

Adventure Film Festival is a Boulder grassroots festival and masterpiece of the late Jonny Copp. Representing all things Colorado, Jonny created a film festival that celebrated his passions. It’s been ongoing for nine years and seems to only be gaining momentum. Winners of the Jonny Copp Foundation Grant were honored during the Saturday night film screenings. The organization works to support the develop and exchange of creative ideas by offering grants, outreach programs, exhibits and a forum that stimulates individual creativity, intellectual promise, respect for our environment, and the spirit of adventure.

For more information on this nonprofit, visit www.jonnycoppfoundation.org, and to prepare for next year’s festival, check out www.adventurefilm.org.

photoMC, Timmy O’Neill, works the crowd at the 9th annual Adventure Film Festival


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