Friday, October 9, 2015

On the Edge Film Festival goes extreme, October 9 and 10

Event preview by Charles Cassady Jr.

Are you too active and athletic and fond of extreme sports to just sit in a dark place and watch some movie for hours and hours? Here is the perfect solution: sitting in a dark place and watching hours and hours of movies that are about active and athletic people doing extreme sports.

Such is the On the Edge Film Festival, in Cleveland's Ohio City. It hails from the same management that, for a number of exhilarating years, brought the touring Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival to Playhouse Square.

It's very much cut from the same North Face/Polartec cloth, a two-day mini film fest devoted to outdoor adventure and "mountain culture," presenting the cutting-edge in outdoor/ski/nature/mountaineer filmmaking. These are the trails blazed by the likes of Warren Miller and Bruce Brown, and lately amped up by flying drones, GoPro and digital action-cam technology.

Friday night's feature-length program includes complimentary Red Bull, dessert and coffee, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and then the show starts. Highlights include the half-hour NOBODY'S RIVER, chronicling four American women paddling a vast waterway through Mongolia and Russia; DOG DAYS OF WINTER, about the rise of freestyle skiing by those who originated it in the early 1970s; and FRANK AND THE TOWER, about a senior-citizen mountaineer scaling the rock formation featured in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.

On Saturday night the refreshments and reception lasts from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Scheduled spectacle includes THE WATER TOWER, a portrait of a mountain in Kenya that provides the African nation with more than 70 percent of its fresh water; CRAZY BEAUTIFUL THING, following a young female BASE jumper who pursues the extreme sport even though it recently killed her husband; and MAKING WAVES, about a Moroccan teenage girl determined to be an ocean surfer despite the disapproval of her Islamic culture.

Members of Bike Cleveland will operate a cash bar on both nights.

It all happens at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts, at 1911 W. 30th Street. Admission is $25 per night, or a two-night pass for $40. For more information, surf/ski to the website

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