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Film: serious to sublime

Wren Wertin

The Vail Symposium is bringing a “best of the best” selection of the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival to the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek Sept. 13 and 14, with a wrap-up discussion the morning of the 15th. Organizers at the symposium have been working on it for the past 6 months.

“We really liked the themes the film festival had and thought it would be good for our community,” said Ebby Pinson, president of the Vail Symposium. “We went to Telluride in May, and thought it would be of interest to a broad selection of our community.”

All of the films selected to go on tour have a mountain theme and deal with the arts, politics and adventures that identify those regions. Be they short documentaries, animated films or comedies, they all deal with their subjects in different ways. Selections include Monty Python’s “Ascent of Both Peaks of Kilimanjaro,” Tim O’Neill and Peter Mortimer’s “Front Range Freaks,” Chel White’s “Dirt” and Ken Bailey and Michael Friedman’s “Ode to Avalanche.”

Susanne Horizon-Franzel’s “The Flight of the Stone” is a German-made film shot in Greece, Germany, France, the United States, Japan, Thailand and India. It follows the path of a stone that – after being thrown in anger and missing its target – enters into orbit around the earth. There is no dialogue in the film.

Each evening’s session lasts from 7 to 9:15 p.m. and shows several films which vary in length from 3 to 26 minutes. No film will be shown twice.

“A lot of the issues they bring up, such as cultures and the environment, are meaningful to all of us,” said Pinson. “We’re trying to reach a broad selection of the Vail population.”

In addition to the evening sessions, there are afternoon premiers. Sept. 13 brings the Colorado premier of “Dinner Rush,” and Sept. 14 marks the world premier of local filmmaker Jonathan Bricklin’s “Minimum Wage,” shot in Eagle, Summit and Lake counties earlier this year. Neither of these films are associated with the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, but capture the spirit of the event.

“It’s actually pretty ironic that it’s working out this way,” said Bricklin. “I submitted a 10-minute children’s short last year, and it didn’t get shown. It was a pretty poor quality tape, but a lady on the committee asked me to send a better one, so I did. But they never watched it.”

Bricklin’s short was titled “Bellybutton and the Flying Saucer People.”

In addition to the films, there will be filmmakers and film critics on hand to lead discussions after the viewings.

“This event is designed to invite public discussion with not only other members of the audience, but also films critics and some of the filmmakers themselves,” said Pinson.

Single tickets and packages are still available. The premieres are $5 each (less than minimum wage, Bricklin pointed out), evening sessions run $15 apiece and the weekend package is $75 and includes entrance to all events, including cocktail parties and morning breakfast buffet with panel discussion.

For more information call the Vail Symposium at 476-0954. To purchase tickets call 845-TIXS.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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