Highly Anticipated Film, “MERU” To Screen as Hit Adventure Reel Features Four Nights Of Programming:
Introduced in 2013, the Breckenridge Film Festival’s Adventure Reel has grown into four nights of programming for the 2015 – 35th annual – festival. Three films headline the lineup, including the highly anticipated alpine drama/documentary “Meru”, which screens at the Riverwalk Center at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, following Thursday’s opening night film, “Snowman.” On Saturday, Sept. 19, the full lineup of Adventure Reel films up for audience awards takes place from 3 – 11 p.m. “Being Evel,” a “fascinating, exhaustive and well-researched” documentary about daredevil motorbike star Evel Knievel created by Colorado’s own Daniel Junge, closes out the festival on Sunday night.
“Meru” showcases an epic wall climb of a not-so-well known Himalayan peak by Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin, both of whom have visited Breckenridge to speak at the North Face Speaker Series presented each fall by The North Face Store in Breckenridge and hosted by store owner Steve Lapinsohn. The film won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and features the Shark’s Fin on 21,000-foot Mount Meru in the Himalayas – a climb that has shunned the best climbers for 30 years.
“Meru is the culmination of all I’ve done and all I’ve wanted to do is this peak, this climb,” said Anker in the trailer for the film, which is being released across the nation this fall and which will be priced at $20 for admission, with tickets available two weeks before the festival.
With commentary from renowned author Jon Krakauer, the film focuses on nearly two attempted ascents toward the elusive summit. The first, a month-long rock, ice and mountaineering climb in which most of the group’s resources were gone by Day 16 with most of the mountain still ahead. It was unsuccessful, turning them back 100 meters below the summit and leaving the threesome vowing to never return. But, in 2011, the mountain called them back in an excursion that faced more extraordinary circumstances than the last.
“Jimmy and Conrad have climbed Everest 4 or 5 times. This is a whole different kind of climbing,” Krakauer says in the trailer.
Newsweek claimed the film is “a meditation on life, death and everything in between.”
Closing out the festival, the stunts and story behind Evel Knievel will take over the performing arts center for Sunday’s Closing Night festivities, featuring the acclaimed documentary, “Being Evel,” by Academy Award winning Colorado-based director Daniel Junge.
According to critics, this new documentary on Evel Knievel is unlike others in that it’s not just a biography of a saint. Instead, it details a 360-degree view of Knievel, including his darker nature and volatile personality. The film has breathtaking and stomach-turning footage, including its centerpiece, the attempted jump across the Grand Canyon in a purpose built miniature rocket – and the speculations surrounding what might have gone wrong.
Junge won his Oscar for “Saving Face” in 2012, the Best Short Subject Documentary winner. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 2010. Junge will be in attendance at the festival and following at the Closing Night Wrap Party at Briar Rose – a new location for 2015! The Closing Night awards, film and party are priced at $15 per ticket.
The all-day adventure programming on Saturday means fun for all ages as shorts and feature length film on adventure and the outdoors show on the Riverwalk Center’s big screen from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The day is broken into three “blocks” of film, each priced at $10 per session. Alternatively, guests may purchase all-day access for $25.
More programming for the Adventure Reel includes a paragliding voyage across the Canadian Rockies in Red Bull Media House’s “The Rockies Traverse”, a meditation on the outdoors and intentional living in “A Deliberate Life”, a study of light during a night-time ski session in Sweetgrass Entertainment’s “Afterglow”. and a look at rivers in our backyard and across the world in Fiji through the lenses of Peter McBride in “Delta Dawn”and “River of Eden”.
Featured in the Adventure Reel this year is the “Bob Craig Memorial” film, which showcases the quiet mountaineering giant Bob Craig who passed away in early 2015 but not before making a huge imprint on Summit County by way of founding The Keystone Center – now the Keystone Policy Center – a global solutions center which parented the Keystone Science School before recently parting ways.
The short film precedes the feature-length “X: The Search for Freedom”, which is the story of a cultural revolution grounded in living in the moment and doing what makes you feel most alive, as seen through the eyes of pioneers and top practitioners of action sports like surfing, snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding and more. It’s an uprising that has changed the face of recreation in only a few decades, with an electrifying new world in place through pure energy and imagination and the infinite possibilities of self-expression available to anyone willing to drop in.
“With more than 400 films submitted this year, we were bound to experience an influx of more, quality adventure films,” said Janice Kurbjun, Breckenridge Film Festival executive director. “The past two years, since the launch of the Adventure Reel in 2013, the program has grown. This year, with four nights of adventure programming and an all-day Reel on Saturday, we think we’re achieving what we set out to do: attract new faces to the festival through interesting programming without compromising the quality of film we present. Adding to our adventure offerings only grows our vision and mission of encouraging the production of and interaction with intriguing and unique films.”
“We want the festival to incorporate what is special about Summit County and why people love it—which is the outdoors! Although film festivals and outdoor adventure don’t always go hand in hand, we successfully created an element of the Breckenridge Film Festival that would integrate the two and offer a unique experience. It’s growing – which was our goal!” film festival board member Lisa Korry Cheek said.
Saturday’s Adventure Reel is made possible by sponsorships from Bob & Jen Mcintosh, the Breckenridge Dental Group and the Keystone Policy Center.
The Breckenridge Film Festival is presented by HP Workstation. Other festival support comes from Wyndham Vacation Rentals at Main Street Station, Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge Resort, Town of Breckenridge, The Summit Foundation, Trilogy Partners, Climax Molybdenum, the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media, Colorado Creative Industries, more than 200 volunteers and many other supporters in the community.