To the uninitiated, a "mountain film festival" might sound like one of those high-altitude annual showbiz markets held in Park City, Utah, or Telluride, Colorado. Hollywood -or Cleveland - movie wannabes dressed in their florescent-colored parkas, matching sunglasses and loads of cocaine, try to be "discovered" by Hollywood talent scouts. Don’t forget to pack lip balm and lots of staples to affix the handouts on your sucky-ass digital BLAIR WITCH knockoff to every available phone pole, bill board, bystander or caribou who don't get out of the way enough.
No, not quite. Mountain Film Festivals, held at different venues around the world, are curious oxymorons, celebrations of adventure-sports movies whose primary message is to get up from your auditorium seat and OUT. Here is where real-life adventurers bring the fruits of their passion for skiiing, rock climbing, cycling, kayaking, BASE jumping, fishing, caving, snowboarding, dogsledding etc. No dealmaking over some hot "Hulk" script cranked out.
The recently inaugurated On the Edge festival bids to be Cleveland’s resident annual display of mountain film. Abetted in no small way the advent of GoPro cameras, the two-day event masterminded by Christina Russell of Brecksville is devoted to outdoor adventure fare - usually but not always documentaries, submitted by gifted amateurs and total pro athlete-filmmakers of all ages.
At the Breen Center for the Performing Arts on the St. Ignatius campus, a special hand-picked assortment of extreme-sports and adventure shorts and features unreel (digitally, anyway) in two different feature-length lineups. Subjects include a BASE jumper (who is afraid of heights), sled dogs, mountain bikers going to extremes, a modern guy trying to revive the ancient art of axe-throwing, and Bolivia’s “cholitas,” lady wrestlers who are a lesser-known variant of Mexico’s notorious luchadoras.
Expect reps from local hiking and ski clubs, and even a visiting filmmaker or film subject or two. And Red Bull energy drink in the only venue where it really fits in.
Tickets are $25 each night. Admission includes a reception with refreshments, raffle prizes and VIP guests. The shows start on Friday at 6 p.m. (with a one-hour opening reception followed by film) and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
For a full schedule and more information go online to www.theedgefilms.com.