February 22, 2007 — Jackson, Wyoming — Alpinist Magazine announced today the dates and speakers for the 2007 Alpinist Film Festival. The Festival will be held in downtown Jackson, Wyoming, from March 15-17, at the new Center for the Arts. Featured presenters for this year’s Festival are Mark Newcomb, Gerry Lopez, and Steve House. Proceeds from the event will benefit One Percent for the Tetons.
The Alpinist Film Festival, formerly known as the Barry Corbet Film Festival, began in March 2004 in Jackson, Wyoming. Founded by Alpinist Magazine Editor Christian Beckwith, the Festival was created to honor the athletic and artistic spirit of the late Barry Corbet through films that celebrate the adventure lifestyle. Since the Festival’s beginning, all events have sold out, and the Festival has received notable press, both locally and nationally, from National Public Radio to The New York Times.
The Festival’s philanthropic inclinations have resulted in the donation of more than $10,000 to various charities to date. For the 2007 Alpinist Film Festival, the beneficiary is Teton County’s One Percent for the Tetons, the first local chapter of One Percent for the Planet. One Percent for the Tetons is dedicated to protecting the natural resources of the Tetons and its surrounding area through the financial support of local business and organizations. A September special screening of the Alpinist Film Festival raised more than $1,400 for One Percent for the Tetons.
“One Percent for the Tetons is a perfect choice for us,” notes Festival Producer Wayne Roberts. “They focus on sustaining this community. By choosing them as our recipient, we can help preserve the places of our inspiration.”
The Alpinist Film Festival is composed of three nights, each dedicated to a different genre of adventure filmmaking. The Festival kicks off on Thursday, March 15 with Snow Night’s skiing and snowboarding films. Friday’s Surf Night (March 16) showcases surf films. The closing evening of the Festival, Stone Night, on Saturday, March 17, features climbing films. In addition to presenting some of the best films in the respective genres–and oftentimes premieres, either world or US–a featured speaker will be on hand to personally present each night.
Ski mountaineering legend Mark Newcomb will be the featured presenter for Snow Night on Thursday, March 15. Mr. Newcomb, born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming, is part owner and Senior Guide of Exum Mountain Guides. His accomplishments include three separate first descents of the Grand Teton within a three-year period, the first ski descent of the Black Ice Couloir, and the first ascent of Sepu Kangri in Tibet, among many others. He is also a guide for Geographic Expeditions and an avalanche course instructor for the American Avalanche Institute, which his father, Rod Newcomb, founded. Mr. Newcomb will present “The Line,” which follows him from his home in Jackson to a first descent on the 8013-meter Himalayan giant Shishapangma with a small group of like-minded friends, including fellow Jackson local and Exum guide Kent McBride and Victor, Idaho, photographer Gabe Rogel.
On Friday, March 16, surf pioneer Gerry Lopez will be the featured presenter for Surf Night. Mr. Lopez, a native of Honolulu, is widely known for his mastery of Hawaii’s Pipeline (for which he is often called “Mr. Pipeline”). In 1972 and 1973, Mr. Lopez won the prestigious Pipe Masters competitions; he made the finals four other times. In addition to his involvement in the surfing industry, Mr. Lopez also acts on occasion, most notably in “Conan the Barbarian,” co-starring with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also serves as ambassador to Patagonia and is the founder of his own surfboard, snowboard and clothing label. Not only will Mr. Lopez be introducing Surf Night, he has also been commissioned to create a program of surf films for the Festival that have helped shape his admirable and highly successful career.
Climbing provocateur Dean Potter will present Saturday’s closing event, Stone Night, with a world premier of the most dynamic vertical exploration on the planet. Mr. Potter is widely regarded as one of America’s wildest rock climbers, and his efforts to link up, in a day, El Capitan, Half Dome and Mt. Watkins in Yosemite by free climbing one wall and then BASE jumping to the foot of the next are characteristically revolutionary. From unprotected slacklining thousands of feet above the ground to solo first ascents of Patagonia’s most challenging routes to BASE jumping–barely–some of the deepest caves on the planet, Mr. Potter has been electrifying the outdoor community for more than a decade.
“Having Dean close our Festival with a world premier is perfect; he’s remarkably intriguing and his films are as frightening as his feats,” said Beckwith. “But it also rounds out our Festival. Just one of our featured presenters is strong enough to make the Festival, but having all three, each of them wildly successful at their respective sports, is truly inspiring.”
Also noteworthy is the venue for this year’s Festival. The 2007 Alpinist Film Festival will be one of the first events to take place in downtown Jackson, Wyoming’s new Center for the Arts theater. Working in conjunction with the Town of Jackson and Teton County, the Center for the Arts is a $36 million, 41,000-square-foot arts venue; the theatre, which seats 525, is the final element of the venue’s construction. Planning for the Center, which was envisioned as a showcase for local arts organizations and artists, began in 1991. Construction is nearly complete and the grand opening for the Center’s theater is currently schedule for a March 3rd premier.
“There?s obviously much to be excited for: our program, our featured presenters, our charity of choice, our venue. This year will stand as an example of what is to come from future Alpinist Film Festivals,” said Roberts.
The 2007 Alpinist Film Festival takes place March 15-17 in Jackson, Wyoming at the Center for the Arts. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 at the door (price does not include six percent sales tax or the Center for the Arts’ ten percent surchage ). Tickets will be available through the Center for the Arts and can be purchased through their box office and online by visiting the Center’s website at www.jhcenterforthearts.org. Information on the 2007 Alpinist Film Festival can be found on the web at www.alpinist.com/p/film or by calling Alpinist Magazine at (307) 734-0600.