Vail Symposium kicks off free film series in Minturn | VailDaily.com

Vail Symposium kicks off free film series in Minturn

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

The Vail Symposium is offering three opportunities to get outside and enjoy a movie screening at Little Beach Park in Minturn.

The free summer film series starts today with "Valley Uprising" and continues on Wednesday, Aug. 23, with an evening of three short films, and then runs the finale on Wednesday, Aug. 30, with "Third Eye Spies."

"The film series provides another great opportunity for our community to come together to learn and explore," said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. "In addition to a great outdoor venue and exciting films, we also have special guests at each of these screenings to go behind the scenes as well as answer questions from those in attendance."

About the Films

"Valley Uprising" chronicles the Yosemite climbing scene over the past 50 years, and Boulder-based climbing legend Jim Erickson will be in attendance. Erickson, who pioneered the idea of climbing without damaging the environment, lived the sort of life detailed in the movie and will be seeing the film for the first time on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, An Evening of Shorts will feature three short films with Colorado ties, including "The Time Travelers," which follows the local members of the U.S. Whitewater Raft Team as they set their sights on breaking the speed record on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon on a 48-foot custom boat they built themselves. Team members John Mark Seelig and Jeremiah Williams will also attend the showing.

"Your can connect with it even if you've never been on the Grand Canyon; even if you've never been on a boat," Seelig said. "It's just the story of multiple guys that have real lives and have challenges, and we try to do things like this."

"The Time Travelers" tells the riveting narrative of the speed record attempt, but it's the layers of the film — the themes of working through challenge and adversity, and all the individuals that contribute to a dynamic team — that really make it a lasting story.

"I want people to be inspired to go do something," Seelig said. "We do love the challenges, and we love them because we are changed by them."

The evening of Aug. 23 will also feature "Martin's Boat," a film that honors the legacy of Martin Litton and follows the newest boat in the Grand Canyon Dories fleet, the Marble Canyon, on its maiden voyage down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

"Melting Away," a documentary that explores the impact of climate change on the ski industry, will also premiere that Wednesday. Liam Walton, the young filmmaker behind the film, will be in attendance.

"To be 18 and premiering a film at a film festival is an amazing accomplishment," Walton said, "and I am looking forward to meeting the people who are interested in this subject and being in an environment where I can express my thoughts on climate change and people will listen to what I have to say."

Walton said he is trying to target his generation on this crisis, and he hopes that this film will make people realize that something needs to be done.

"Or else we may not have a future for our generation and the generation below us," he said. "Something needs to change and this film may help the slightest amount on that subject and that is enough for me. To know that I am impacting people in a positive way makes me feel optimistic about the future."

Wednesday, Aug. 30, will be the screening of "Third Eye Spies." The film details how for more than 20 years, the CIA used psychic abilities operationally in a top-secret spy program. Director Lance Mungia will be there for the screening.

"I right away understood that a story like 'Third Eye Spies' could not be told by only one point of view," Mungia said. "It was too incredible and a quite unique unsung era in U.S. military history. It needed to be told by everyone involved, with the credibility of the PhDs and metals these folks brought to the table. Surprisingly, almost everyone we approached agreed to talk readily. It became obvious that this story was burning a hole in their guts."

Mungia said the film is actually still being completed, so the audience on Aug. 30 will be there for a "final screening test."

"We can predict trends, which many good remote viewers are now making a living doing in the corporate world," he said, "yet the future is always changing, and the way we see our own consciousness, our sense of empathy for ourselves and others, colors our experience. I hope that comes through."

Little Beach Park will open for viewing at 7 p.m.; the movies will start when it gets dark. Arrive early and bring your blanket and chairs and make an evening out of it. There will be a food vendor at each program, plus $3 beer for sale from sponsor Crazy Mountain Brewing Co.

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IF YOU GO …

What: Vail Symposium Summer Film Series.

Where: Little Beach Park in Minturn.

When: Aug. 16, 23 and 30; Park opens each evening at 7 p.m. Movies begin at dark.

Cost: Free.

More informatiuon: Visit http://www.VailSymposium.org or call 970-476-0954.