What: Adventure Film Festival
When: Thursday through Saturday
Where: Boulder Theater, REI Boulder
Cost: Tickets start at $15
More info: adventurefilm.org
A t this year's Adventure Film Festival, films forged in outdoor adventures will be the centerpiece of the festival, as usual.
But a live performance overlaying a film -- a "mixed media film" -- at the end of Saturday night's festivities at the Boulder Theater just might steal this year's show.
"The Wolf and the Medallion" is only part film. Artist Jeremy Collins is on the borderlands of China and Mongolia when he writes a letter home to his 4-year-old son. The letter becomes a script, not just for a film, but a live performance that includes dance, an instrumental ensemble playing an original score and Collins himself, creating art out of sculpture, then canvas, on stage.
"There's a fog machine, there's strobes -- I don't know if the Boulder community understands what's about to happen to it, but it's out of control," said Sara Close, the Boulder producer for the Adventure Film Festival, with a laugh.
Films from the festival start Friday night at the Boulder Theater and continue Saturday at both the theater and the Boulder REI store. But the festival is more than just showings of the adventure- and environment-inspired flicks. There's a community night Thursday and filmmaker workshops through the weekend for adults and kids.
Several Boulder residents have either made films or appear in them at this year's festival. Close -- who started volunteering for the festival in 2007 -- said that though local filmmakers have work in the festival every year, this year, it's more than usual.
"I don't know how that ended up happening, but I feel honestly like this community is putting out some great filmmakers," she said. "There's an awesome culture here for that, it's a really creative community. We have the Outside Adventure Film School, and Serac and Sender -- so there are these amazing companies here."
"It's always nice to have a lot international films, but... I think there's pride in it," Close said of the local films. "This is Boulder's homegrown Adventure Film Festival."
One of those local filmmakers, Renan Ozturk, had three films selected for showings at the Boulder festival. (The festival travels to several locations: France, Chile, Australia and Asheville, N.C.) Ozturk's "Living the Dream 2" is an unexpected sequel to "Living the Dream," which was a fun day-in-the-life short about living and climbing (and skateboarding to a climb) in Boulder and Eldorado Canyon. The sequel, however, is about his recovery from a serious skiing accident that left him with two fractured vertebra in his neck and a fractured skull.
"It was something creative for me to do while I was recovering," Ozturk said of the sequel. "I wasn't really supposed to be doing anything. That I was even shooting at all was pushing my limits."
In the film, Ozturk removes his neck brace and climbs the First Flatiron.
"I just like to create things on a day-to-day level, and that was part of the recovery process for me -- not only coming back to climbing but back to shooting."
In another locally-made film, "Driven," Boulder cycling advocate Ryan Van Duzer lands his dream job hosting a show for the Travel Channel only to learn his contract includes a stipulation that "was like a dagger through the heart," he said.
He had to drive a car.
"I've chosen my one way of helping the world, and that's riding a bike," he said.
So at the age of 32, Van Duzer tries to learn how to drive -- a manual transmission, since that's what he'll find in many places around the globe. But a lot of the film, which was made by Asha Mevlana, is about why he doesn't drive, Van Duzer said. "Only a little bit of it is me goofing around in the car," he added.
He's been trying to keep whether or not he learned to drive and got a license a secret ahead of the film's premiere at Adventure Film, he said. But he did reveal:
"I did learn, somewhat, how to drive. But I wouldn't trust me behind the wheel."