Vail Symposium brings kayaking film ‘Chasing Niagara’ to Little Beach Park |

Vail Symposium brings kayaking film ‘Chasing Niagara’ to Little Beach Park

Rafa Ortiz, the subject of “Chasing Niagara,” paddles over Spirit Falls, a 30-foot waterfall in the Pacific Northwest. The falls is featured in the film as Ortiz trains for his dream of kayaking over Niagara Falls.
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Vail Symposium free film series

All films scree at Little Beach Park in Minturn. Doors open at 7 p.m., and films begin at 8:30 p.m., with free entry and $2 Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. beer. Visit to learn more.

• Saturday, Aug. 20 — “Chasing Niagara”

• Saturday, Aug. 27 — “The Rider and The Wolf”

• Saturday, Sept. 3 — “The History of Future Folk”

The Vail Symposium’s free film series gets underway today with a screening of “Chasing Niagara.” This Red Bull Media House film directed by Rush Sturges follows kayaker Rafa Ortiz as he pursues his dream of making the first successful descent of Niagara Falls.

The film will be shown for free outdoors at Little Beach Park in Minturn. Doors open at 7 p.m., with $2 beer deals from Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. and burgers and hot dogs for purchase. The film begins at 8:30 p.m. with introductions from the stage by local kayaker Ken Hoeve, who is close with Ortiz, Sturges and Evan Garcia, three kayakers featured prominently in the film.

“I’ve known Rush (Sturges) and Rafa (Ortiz) for a long time and Evan (Garcia) since he was a little kid getting into kayaking up in Montana,” Hoeve said. “The film does a great job following these three and all they go through. It also does a good job of explaining some of the very hard decisions they were faced with.”

The film has gathered rave reviews, scoring a four-star rating from IMDb. It also won “Best Film” in the Mountain Sports category at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. said of the movie, “‘Chasing Niagara’ is hands down one of the most visually extreme, breathtaking and thought-provoking documentaries of 2016.”

The film will be shown under the stars, just after sunset. Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 60s and mid-50s. The audience is encouraged to dress appropriately and bring pillows and blankets. Food will be permitted. However, outside alcohol will not be allowed. Parking is available in the lots beside and below Little Beach Park, located just outside of Minturn and across the Eagle River.

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Two more movies will follow “Chasing Niagara” on subsequent Saturdays. “The Rider and The Wolf” will be shown on Saturday, Aug. 27. “The History of Future Folk” will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 3.

“We have a terrific selection of movies, but the setting of Little Beach Park is what lends itself to a beautiful Colorado experience,” said Dale Mosier, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Vail Symposium. “Just imagine watching a movie between the tall cliffs of Minturn, under the stars and beside the Eagle River.”

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