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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Film festival highlights local community

Bellingham’s 5Point Film Festival brought residents and students together for a three-day event featuring trivia, s’more booths, dance parties and film showings on Thursday, Oct. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 17.

5Point originated in Carbondale, Colorado, as a four-day event showcasing adventure films alongside artistic performances, guest speakers and community building events, according to their website.

Bellingham was chosen as a location for the festival’s tour because Executive Director Sarah Wood believed the local values matched those of the organization.

“Bellingham is a community that had the right recipe for us,” Wood said.

Dana Thornton, the event’s director for the Pacific Northwest region and graduate of Western’s recreational program, said Bellingham’s incredible sense of community is what drew the most attention.
“People stay here because there is quality here you can’t find elsewhere,” Thornton said

The festival’s main goal was to connect all types of people regardless of age or favorite activity, as well as bring in profit for the city.

“We hope that it builds a stronger community here that’s focused on conservation and paying attention to its surroundings,” Wood said. “We also hope that it is an economic driver for the city.”

The 5Point Film Festival aimed to promote five values they felt should be a part of everyone’s lives: balance, respect, humility, commitment and purpose.

The 5Point team selected films that demonstrated its five values and also show there is a lot more to an outdoor activity than going harder, bigger, faster or more extreme, Thornton said.

“We don’t want to focus on the ego-driven side of adventure or the action-porn side of adventure.,” Wood said. That’s not where we feel the inspiration lies.”

Film director and producer Leo Zuckerman showcased a documentary film about a friend’s battle with cancer.

“It’s a great opportunity to share my work and the work of the other film makers with people in person, ” Zuckerman said.

Zuckerman touched on the fact that a lot of the time it’s only possible to see the digital world’s reaction to a film, through number of views and viewers’ comments.

“To actually see people watch your film and to be able to actually connect with them after is a pretty unique experience in our world,” Zuckerman said

5Point is also working toward expanding their program that helps high-school students pursue their passions.

The program is called the Dream Project and offers five students the chance to explore their own personal boundaries by granting them a $1,500 scholarship to go toward any dream that coincides with 5Point’s core values, according to their website.

The website also showed a video of students, who have received this scholarship in the past, putting the money toward things such as developing a lightsaber and traveling across the world and volunteering at health clinics.
The team hopes to bring this project to Bellingham and may even open it up to Western students, Thornton said.

Often people graduate and they feel the need to go elsewhere to find a job or whatever they need to move forward, Thornton said.

“If we could start by offering one scholarship, we would be thrilled,” Wood said.


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