Saturday at iF3 sees Movie Awards, screenings, Pettit’s Rocker Party

Comments by Donny O'Neill/

Day three of the 2013 edition of iF3 Montreal began—much to the chagrin of most moviegoers recuperating from the Retro Ski Party of the night before—at 11:00 a.m. Two films in the pro category and six films in the amateur category were screened ranging between four and 35 minutes in length.

Standout films included All Damn Day from 4bi9 Media (Pro), Clair de Lune from Twobees (Am), and Our Own Way from Brotherhood Films (Am). The afternoon screening session showcased So it Begins from La Fa Films, THE LOSt from Legs of Steel, and Valhalla from Sweetgrass Productions. While the entirety of the skiing in THE LOSt was excellent, exceptionally great performances were had from Paddy Graham, Max Hill, and Bene Mayr. The rockstar mentality Legs of Steel is known for was on display during the credits, with footage from the 2013 Nine Knights competition—full of impressive pyrotechnics and set to the head banging tunes of “Get Your Hands Dirty” by Jettblack.

The highly anticipated Valhalla, from Sweetgrass Productions, screened next; a film chronicling the fictional mountain colony, Valhalla. Conrad, played by Cody Barnhill, travels north and discovers the mountain commune, including The Shiek, the leader of the clan, as well as Ayla, played by Sierra Quitiquit, who is the free spirit of the camp. The film then goes through different chapters, each more trippy than the last, but all with quality powder skiing and top notch visual effects. The crowd goes wild for the nude skiing scene, a free for all of talented skiers shredding in nothing but their birthday suits. Expect a full review of Valhalla on freeskier.com soon.

2013 iF3 Movie Awards:

The biggest event of the day was the 2013 iF3 Movie Awards. Skiers, media, industry folk and film companies all gathered in L’Astral concert venue to see who the panel of judges deemed the best films of the year.

The first award of the night was a local award for the Best Up-and-Coming Quebec Production, won by Brotherhood Films for its movie On Our Way. The next winner came as no surprise to Nick Martini, as Stept Productions crew member Shea Flynn took home the gold for Best Crash from the film Mutiny. The following two awards were in the photography category: Best North American Action Photo went to Freeskier’s own senior photographer Bryn Hughes and Best North American Ski Photographer went to the talent Erik Seo.

Last year, the Ski Icon Award went to the late, great Sarah Burke, accepted by her father Gord. This year, the Godfather himself, Mike Douglas, accepted the award after a slideshow showcased photos of his illustrious career.

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The Godfather, Mike Douglas, accepts the iF3 Ski Icon Award. Photo by Donny O’Neill

That wouldn’t be the only hardwear Douglas would take home. He accepted the awards for Best Webisode and Best Visual Effect on behalf of Switchback Entertainment for SFTV’s The Burn.

Best Jib Male and Best Jib Female were earned by Clayton Vila for his gutsy performance in Stept’s Mutiny and Kelly Sildaru, the 11-year-old ripper who tore up Mammoth Mountain in PVS Company’s Time. 

The Austrian Freeski-Crew was awarded the honor of Best Cinematography for its film Stammtisch, which was a real standout among the Friday films. It was no surprise that Best Storytelling was awarded to Valhalla from Sweetgrass Productions, thanks to its fictional approach to ski cinematography.

The nominees for Best Jib Movie were all more than worthy. All Damn Day from 4Bi9 Media, featured the creative urban stylings of John Ware, John Kutcher, Will Berman, Dale Talkington and more. Mutiny, by Stept Productions, provided a realistic look into the ups and downs that come from the world of urban ski filming. But, it was Level 1 Productions that took home the prize for Best Jib Film, thanks in large part to Will Wesson and Chris Logan, whose segments bookend the film, as well as Ahmet Dadali, the Real SkiFi Crew and Logan Imlach, and LJ Strenio.

The esteemed Best Editing Award featured a stacked group of nominees including Level 1 Productions for Partly Cloudy, Field Productions for Supervention, and Sherpas Cinema for Into The Mind. As always, the editing skills of Level 1’s Josh Berman, Freedle Coty and Blake Kimmel was spectacular for Partly Cloudy. The astounding visual effects in Valhalla from Nick Waggoner and Sweetgrass Productions proved more than worthy of the award. Then, there was Sherpas Cinema, who took home the crown for Best Editing, for the work put in by Eric Crosland, Dave Mossop, Leo Hoorn, Jay Trusle and one of the stars of the film, JP Auclair.

The final award of the evening was for Film of the Year. Filip Christensen’s ability to let the skier’s story be told by the skiers themselves—through personal interviews, amazing camera work and cinematography—and excellent directing with the help of skier Even Sigstad is evident in Supervention. And Partly Cloudy from Level 1 Productions was as good a film as any of the previous thirteen from the Denver based film company. But, in the end, Sherpas Cinema came out on top, with its thought provoking, awe-inspiring two-year project, Into The Mind.

The awards ceremony was over, but there were still films to be screened. First up was Mutiny from Stept Productions, which was a definite crowd favorite. Next, the stars of Poor Boyz Productions, including Sean Pettit, Karl Fostvedt, Joe Schuster, Julien Regnier, and Johnny Decesare, took to the stage to introduce Tracing Skylines.

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Sean Pettit introduces the stars of Poor Boyz’ Tracing Skylines. Photo by Donny O’Neill

The final film of the evening was Film of the YearInto the Mind, from Sherpas Cinema, which I’m positive every person in the theatre needs to watch again, for better understanding into the intricate plot and just to see the gnarly, standout performances by Callum Pettit, Kye Petersen, Ian Macintosh and more.

Full reviews of Poor Boyz Productions’ Tracing Skylines and Sherpas Cinema’s Into the Mind will be dropping on freeskier.com this week.

The night rounded out with the infamous Rocker Party presented by K2, Red Bull and Sean Pettit. The party was rowdy (understatement) as usual, thanks to rockin’ outfits, liquored up partygoers, and a late night flashing that won a lucky fan a pair of K2 skis.

Stay tuned for more from iF3 Montreal.