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5Point Film's new Education Week Program

5Point Film Festival recently announced that students from middle schools in the Roaring Fork Valley will get to experience their Educational Film Program. The program will last 60-minutes each, beginning February 20th running through the 23rd. KDNK News Director Hattison Rensberry sat down with 5Point Executive Director Luis Yllanes to discuss what makes this programming different from their other programming.

"Yllanes: What's important to note is that this programming is really focused just on middle schools. So it's not something that's open to the public. We're bringing our program to middle schools throughout the Roaring Fork Valley with a host, Eeland Stribling, who's been at the festival before. He's a fly fishing guide, wildlife biologist, educator, and also a stand up comedian.
So, we really wanted to start to Segment our audiences, realizing that we have programs that are there for high school students. We have our family film program during the festival. That's really geared more for the younger audiences. And so this was an opportunity to say, okay, let's bring something to middle schools in a way that we hope impacts them.
What's been really interesting about putting programming together for that age group that it's a challenge. It really is. I think when we look at our programming, we primarily focus on our festival, which is an audience that starts in its late twenties. And then there's really younger demographic, which is the family film program.
So those are kids typically like 10 and under. So this interesting range between middle school and sometimes high school as well can be more of a challenge. How the films, you have to have a certain pace to them. They can't be too slow. Otherwise kids might be disengaged. There has to be a message and something that they can really kind of connect with in our films in a different way that other audiences can.
I want to say that we want them to take something out of it, but if they come in and they feel that they're, that it's not for them, then that would for us be kind of a way to be like, okay, we need to learn from this and find ways to continue to develop our program.

Rensberry: Can you talk a little bit about how this is an example of taking arts and bringing them into a more accessible realm?

Yllanes: I think, you know, there's so many amazing non profits here in the Valley that look to have that youth focus, right? Whether it's through visual art or radio. And so for us, through film, we want to take that, what we bring, what we have with our program, and continue to explore ways to engage different ages, different audiences through our program.
And focusing on the diversity aspect of our films, I think is a good way to kind of say, Okay, well, we know what this population needs. looks like for the Roaring Fork Valley. So, if we're programming in Glenwood Middle School, we're also, and we're also programming in Aspen Middle School, the challenge is, I think, we don't, we're not going to change our program right now for this one because this is the first year we've done it, but how can we find something that can connect that, you know, thread from the kids, the youth that are there, to the youth that are at Valley.
I think that for us is kind of, We're pushing ourselves to say, okay, how can we continue to kind of connect with those audiences that maybe right now we don't serve.

Rensberry: Speaking of audiences that are traditionally underserved when it comes to arts, a large portion of our students in the Roaring Fork School District are Latinx.
Does that also play into some of the programming that you're looking at?

Yllanes: It certainly does. I mean, we have a film, um, Waiting for Change that's all about really being, um, The filmmaker being taken out of his element, like exploring and challenging himself to be in places that maybe, that as a Latino man, have not been really all that welcoming.
Um, so this is somebody who's moved to Jackson Hole from Houston, started taking up fly fishing, and really created community around this, right? I think because we sit at this intersection of the um, As a cultural organization with film, but also as one that really tries to promote and advocate for access to the outdoors.
I think we have an important responsibility to say, okay, how can we have this on screen that then can get kids excited and encourage them to kind of try that, right?

Rensberry: Speaking of encouraging kids to try things, people who've been part of the films or have been involved in the production of them, they've started really young.
Do you think that that's something that kids, who now have more access to film equipment of any capability now than they ever have, will start taking advantage of?

Yllanes: We focus so much right now on the content, and that's an area that we hope to continue to expand into, which is to encourage, you know, kids to create content that documents their own adventures.
I think we already see it, you know, in terms of some of the stuff that people post. But once you start to then kind of weave a narrative into it, hopefully that can, Encourage them to consider, you know, future careers as filmmakers or storytellers. So, um, yeah, I think that's, that's kind of the future, we'll say, for us, for Five Point.

If we can, you know, work with other organizations to kind of start to develop that, so. Yeah.

Rensberry: Let's talk a little bit more about the future of Five Point. These sort of outreach projects are, are a big piece that you've been moving forward with. Is there anything else we should be looking forward to?

Yllanes: So what we've been doing, obviously, a lot of the work we're doing now goes, is going towards the film festival that'll happen at the end of April.
And really for us, that's an opportunity to kick off our season. It's new content that comes in from filmmakers from all over the world, really. Um, You know, being able to have premieres at the festival, bring the community together, uh, to celebrate, you know, what inspires us as, as individuals and as a community.
Beyond that, then we start to think about, you know, well, we have a tour that's pretty robust, uh, covers Colorado pretty well, but we're also looking at, at, um, different markets and different places where we've been to in the past and we want to return to. So we did, uh, a show out in Rifle. In 2022, which was my first year.
We weren't able to do it in 23, but we want to come back there in 24, uh, later this fall and really hopefully partner with other organizations who want to serve that area. We're currently in conversation with other organizations who really start to create more. Let's say, uh, in an election season, voter drive, vote drives advocacy to kind of encourage people to, to participate.
So that's a good way to, you know, like a lot of that depends, on our environment and everything that we value, you know, is, is hinges on what might happen here in November. So, uh, I think that's an important area that we also push into. And then beyond that, it's just, you know, starting to think about what we develop for 2025."

5Point Film will be launching a new website just before the release of tickets for their general festival, on March 12th.

Hattison Rensberry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Drawing, but has worked for newsrooms in various capacities since 2019.
She also provides Editorial Design for the Sopris Sun.