Climbers and non-climbers alike gathered in Mission Plaza Saturday, Nov. 9 to watch “Climb On,” a SLOMotion Film series of six short films all inspired by rock climbing.
Although “climb” is in the screening’s name, the topics of each film ranged from exploring nature to climate change.
“In one night you’re going to see six different films, which is a fun way to do it because you come across six different opinions, six different creative visions, six different stories,” SLOMotion co-founder Hayley Nenadal said.
Cal Poly climbing club members and other attendees were joined by some of the film’s subjects. Bryant Huffman, a climbing guide who starred in the film “Climbing Out of Disaster,” came to San Luis Obispo from Puerto Rico for the screening.
After Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico in September 2017, the island was left in ruins. The film centers around Huffman, a native who used his knowledge of climbing ropes and gear to help repair his hometown.
“He’s an average day hero doing something for his community,”Nenadal said. “[The film] is a story of someone persevering through a lot of consequences.”
Attendees paid an entry fee of $20 per person. All proceeds from the screening supported El Bloque, or the Pad, the first bouldering gym in Puerto Rico. According to Huffman, El Bloque is a place of resilience and a symbol of community in the wake of the hurricane’s destruction.
Huffman, along with “Climbing Out of Disaster” directors Dominic and Nadia Gill, stayed after the film for a brief question and answer session. The event also featured live music and local food and drink vendors like Whalebird Kombucha.
Nenadal said she didn’t hope attendees walk away with a strong desire to climb, but rather with a stronger connection to those around them.
“There is so much going on in the world, and you need your community to make it through,” Nenadal said.