Preview: 5 Point Film Festival 2011

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This weekend is the annual 5 Point Film Festival, and there should be plenty to see. With 35 films on schedule, including 10 premieres, attendees have plenty of footage to look forward to. We went through and picked some of the films we're looking forward to most.

Adam Roy

Chasing Water

In the documentary Chasing Water, photographer Peter McBride traces the course of the Colorado River, attempting to follow it from his family's ranch in western Colorado to the delta where it pours into the Sea of Cortez. He doesn't make it, for a disturbing reason: the Colorado doesn't reach the sea. It hasn't for over a decade, drained dry by farmers, cities, and power plants.

Filmmaker McBride is a National Geographic contributor, and the images he captures of dry, cracked riverbeds are as powerful as they are scary.

 The Love Letter

This soulful 12-minute short centers around two climbers, Fitz and Becca Cahall, who ditch work and the frustrations of city life to trek and climb new routes in the Sierra. Along the way, they face off with weather, exhaustion, and several rounds of disease. It's the kind of movie that makes me itch to get out from behind my desk.

The Love Letter was created by Fitz Cahall and Bryan Smith and filmed by Mikey Schaefer. If you can't make it to the festival, you can watch the full film on the small screen above.

 GII In Winter

In February, Cory Richards, Denis Urubko, and Simone Moro solved one of the long-standing problems of Himalayan climbing when they made the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II, (See “Partly Crazy With A Chance of Frostbite,” in the May print edition, by Grayson Schaffer.) the 13th-highest mountain on Earth. Just three months later, Richards and filmmaker Anson Fogel are releasing this film on the expedition. Shot during the climb by the team itself, GII In Winter is a great example of what's possible with modern from-the-field climbing filmmaking.

The Swiss Machine

 We've seen it before, and damned if we won't see it again. While not new, this profile of Swiss speed alpinist Ueli Steck is one of the most impressive climbing films released in a long time. The helicopter-cam footage of Steck racing up the north face of the Eiger is nothing short of mind-boggling, and with the Machine now crushing in the Himalayas, the film is more relevant than ever.

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