By Michael Brody
In its nine years of existence, the Crested Butte Film Festival has shown nearly 900 films, but few of those films were actually made by filmmakers living in Crested Butte. Laura Yale is changing that.
With the premiere of her new film, Treeline, produced with director, Jordan Manley, Yale is both creating content from Crested Butte and also drawing filmmakers to it.
Yale’s Treeline will show on Friday, January 11, 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts as part of Friends With Films, a three-part night of short documentary films featuring Yale and highly acclaimed director Ben Knight, of Salida. Over the years, Knight has shown upwards of eight films at Crested Butte Film Festival, including the highly controversial audience-favorite, Damnation, a film espousing the virtues of tearing down dams.
Starting off the Friends With Films program will be the world premiere of Knight’s new film, Life of Pie. Pie takes place in Fruita, Colo. and features a lesbian couple whose love of pizza matches their love of local mountain biking and Fruita’s über-cool community.
Next up in the program is Knight’s The Last Honey Hunter, a film shown at Crested Butte Film Festival ‘17, and on many people’s list of best short documentary films. Honey Hunter takes us a world away to the cliffsides of Nepal where a man, who has been “chosen,” climbs dangerous, bee-infested cliffs securing psychedelic honey for his people.
Yale’s Treeline will close the evening. Made by Yale’s long-time co-producer, Jordan Manley (whose film, Dubai: A Skier’s Journey is an internet sensation), Treeline travels to both Japan and British Columbia (often in waist-deep powder that skiers and boarders will love) not to just stoke and thrill us, but better, to explain why we are drawn to the forests of the world and our human connection to them.
Not necessarily an outdoor adventure program at all, Friends With Films explores the human heart of outdoor pursuits and our larger connection to the universe. Ben Knight and Laura Yale will both be there in person, as will Anne Keller and Jen Zeuner of Life of Pie. There will be Q&As after each film: Life of Pie, The Last Honey Hunter, Treeline (85 minutes).
The evening has been locally supported by the dZi Foundation and also Old Town Inn. Tickets are $12 and are available online at cbfilmfest.org, at the Center for the Arts, and any remaining tickets at the door.
In February, the Crested Butte Film Festival will present all three categories of the Oscar-nominated short films: Documentary, 7 p.m., February 15. Live Action, 7 p.m., February 16. Animated, 2 p.m., February 17. All shows are at the Center for the Arts and admission is $12.
The 9th Annual Crested Butte Film Festival brings 100 films and 30 visiting filmmakers to town, September 26 -29, 2019. More information at cbfilmfest.org.