Carbondale’s 5Point Adventure Film Festival is a big one for the group. It’s the first time attendees will interact with their outdoor heroes. And it’s also a year in which the festival has the most films by, or about women, that it’s ever had.
5Point’s executive director Sarah Wood said people were coming to her asking why films weren’t featuring women. The issue was because of who the films were submitted by.
“When you have 300 films submitted by, or about men, and you have 10 submitted by or about women, most of your program is going to be by or about men,” said Wood.
“We have to pick up the camera if we want to see it,” he added. “We can’t wait for someone else to do it. If we want to see this change, we have to pick up the camera, and Hilary (Oliver) did.”
When Hilary Oliver would go to film festivals she felt that something was missing.
“Women I knew were getting frustrated because they would go to these adventure film festivals and not see anything that represented what they felt like was their experience in the outdoors,” said Oliver.
“They’d come back and be like ‘where were all the women? We didn’t see any women climbers, we didn’t see any films by women, we just saw guys’ stories.”
But now the writer, turned film director, is having her first ever production premiere at the 5Point Adventure Film Festival later this week. Her movie “Being Here” is a poem of shots of her doing what she loves — spending time outside.
The idea for Oliver’s film came from the time she spent living in a van with her boyfriend travelling around the American West.
“I remember waking up at home and thinking, ‘I just wish I was waking up in my sleeping bag outside, and watching the sun rise and missing that quiet moment.’ The way you can really think in a moment like that in a way you can’t when you’re alarm is going off and you’re thinking about work,” she said.
Emily Harrington stars in the film “Role Reversal”. Harrington is a professional climber and helps her father to achieve one of his climbing goals. Harrington said her father pushed her to go outside when she was younger. Maybe now that’s becoming more common, she said.
Hilary Oliver’s film crew was all women. It wasn’t intentional, but it helped her to put a feminine touch on what she was trying to convey in her film. She missed the time she spent outdoors, both alone and with her boyfriend.
“It was a really special time for me and for both of us in a lot of ways,” Oliver said. “I spent more mornings waking up to sunrises and hearing the birds sing, and going to sleep looking at the stars more than any other time in my life.”
And now she is sharing her love of the outdoors in her film, which debuts on Saturday.