Climbing film hopes to impact mental health

Reel Rock Film Tour airs Jan. 18 at Visalia Fox Theatre to raise money for Mental Health – Partners and Allies in the County of Tulare (M-PACT)

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – Mental health can feel a lot like rock climbing. If you don’t have access to treatment that adequately equips you for an ascent out of depression or addiction, it can feel like you are constantly on edge, hanging on by a thread as you stare up at a seemingly impossible goal. 

A year ago, Danelle Evangelho, a Visalia woman who has struggled with depression, shared her experience seeking mental health treatment in Tulare County on social media. Her post sparked a conversation among others suffering from mental illness and blossomed into a nonprofit dedicated to finding better treatments for local mental health patients. 

M-PACT (Mental Health – Partners and Allies in the County of Tulare) is a grass roots effort to support the work of the Tulare County Mental Health Advisory Board, raise awareness for mental health and fight stigma in local communities. Their current goal is to work towards opening a residential mental health treatment facility in Tulare County to provide a more compassionate alternative to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

The organization is raising funds toward that goal by sponsoring the Reel Rock Film Tour on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Visalia Fox Theatre. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with showtime at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased online at www.foxvisalia.org or at the box office located at 308 W. Main St. in Visalia.

“The Reel Rock Film Tour presented by The North Face” is one of climbing’s greatest celebrations and is offering a new collection of world premiere films in its 14th year. In the High Road, the powerful and bold Nina Williams tests herself on some of the highest, most difficult boulder problems ever climbed. In the United States of Joe’s climbers collide with a conservative coal mining community in rural Utah, to surprising results. And in The Nose Speed Record, legends Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold battle Yosemite dirtbags Jim Reynolds and Brad Gobright in a high stakes race for greatness.

Founded in 2005 by groundbreaking filmmakers Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer, Reel Rock has grown into the premiere global platform for award-winning climbing films that weave bold action, humor, heart, and soul into larger-than-life human stories for a wide audience, from the core climber to the armchair mountaineer. From feature documentaries like The Dawn Wall and Valley Uprising to surprising shorts like Dodo’s Delight and Alone on the Wall, Reel Rock films have earned dozens of festival awards, rave reviews, and even Emmy’s. And all are available to stream or download for endless home entertainment and inspiration.

In addition to Reel Rock, The Fox is ready to captivate audiences in the new decade with screenings of classic films, live musical entertainment and an acrobatic show that will cause audiences to be on the edge of their seats.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 – “M.A.S.H.” (1970) – This Wayback Wednesday screening is promising to be one of our biggest yet! Academy Award-winning film for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, starring Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Gary Burgoff. All veterans and active military personnel are welcome to join us at no cost! Non-military guests are $5 each. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and film begins at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 16 – Throwback Thursday screening of one of the ultimate statements of girl power, “9 to 5” (1980)! Starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda , and Lily Tomlin. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the film begins at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 29 – “Golden Dragon Acrobats” take the Fox stage, making their grand return to the historic theater. This is a night of fantastic visuals and stunts that will have you on the edge of your seat. Fun for the whole family, children ticket prices available!

Tickets are now available and can be purchased at www.foxvisalia.org and/or at the box office at 308 West Main Street between 12 and 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

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