Following Saturday’s relentless barrage of ski movies, Sunday—the final day of Nike iF3 2012—played host to three screening sessions. While many were left in a zombie-like state as a result of Saturday night’s Rocker Party, hosted by K2, Red Bull and Sean Pettit, many others filed into the Monument-National at noon, eager to squeeze in the last bit of skiing before iF3 would say goodbye to Montreal and pack its bags for Annecy, France.
The first screening session began with Moment Productions’ A Day With Tom and Gus. As the title implies, the short feature showcases Tom Wallisch and Gus Kenworthy skiing together for a day at Momentum Camps, on the Horstman Glacier in Whisler, BC. Well shot, short and sweet, Tom and Gus throw an array of technical stunts, and cap off the edit with a sunset session on a couple of jib features.
Spectators make their way to the upper deck at Monument-National. © Simon Lebrun.
Monument-National. © Simon Lebrun.
Line Traveling Circus was next to bat, and the popular web series hit a home run with Which Way to ze Autobahn? LTC heads to Munich and beyond, and the adventure that ensues is one that any young skier dreams about. We follow along as the crew loads up the van and embarks on a mission to find deep snow. The feature is filled with LTCs standard dose of humor and silliness, and of the many webisodes these guys have churned out, this remains a personal favorite.
Brotherhood Films follows up with its latest offering, Deja Vu. Another Quebecois crew, Brotherhood drew a solid crowd to the afternoon screening session. Vincent Prévost opens ‘er up shredding local terrain parks, and we move onto Tremblant where he, Sam Beauchesne, JS Aube and others session a few rail features. Appearances by Francis Pelletier, Charles Gagne, Antoine Mayrand follow suit, and we then head to Breckenridge, CO where Alex Bellemare, Alexis Godbout and more shred the pristine parks. Vincent Gagnier shows his technical prowess on the jumps—his performance earning loud cheers from the crowd—and next we see a mix of urban and a session at Blackcomb’s park. Athletes including Laurent-O Martin, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, Stefan Curtis and Seb Eaves show off some moves, and Marc Dandurand closes things out with a segment featuring a slew of tech urban rails.
ESK Media—another local crew, whose film was another big draw for the rowdy afternoon crowd—presented its film Souvenirs. After seven years of producing films, this marks ESK’s final production as the crew will be moving on to new ventures in the coming years. The film is well shot, and urban centric. Featuring the talents of Alex Bellemare, Yan Bussieres, JF Houle, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, Kieran McVeigh, Benoit Gendron, Cedric Tremblay-Fournier, Emile Bergeron, Frank GP, Jérome Vallée, Félix Tremblay, Gab Boudreau, Hugo Blanchette, Nic Chenard, Flo Bastien, Lucas Gonthier, Charles Gagnier, Richard Carle, Jeremy Bellemare and more, it’s full of solid action. Standout moments included Charles Gagnier’s brief jumping segment, JF Houle’s urban assault to Dire Straight’s “Money For Nothing,” Emile Bergeron’s tech park stunts, Benoit Gendron’s hefty urban gap and Beaulieu-Marchand’s switch 50-50 down an ultra steep urban ledge. Souvenirs was slated the final screening of the morning’s session, which was followed by a short break.
iF3 Outdoor Village, located across the street from Monument-National. © Renaud Robert .
Turski, Lamarre, Hudak, Assaly and Raymond sign autographs in the Village. © Renaud Robert.
Garchois Films opened the next screening session with its latest project, Eye of the Storm; the film gives an introspective look at Thibaud Duchosal’s pursuit as a skier and mountaineer. Featuring commentary throughout (perhaps bordering on cheesy at points, with ideas including “it’s not the destination, it’s the adventure along the way” pervading), the film certainly captivates with stunning imagery of beautiful mountains, ranging from Arkhyz Russia; Las Leñas, Argentina; Refugio La Mesada, Argentina; and Les Arcs, France. Duchosal shreds lines that would make any skier drool, swooping high-speed turns on vast, steep faces.
TGR’s The Dream Factory followed up. The film takes on a storytelling approach, blending the usual array of top-notch skiing with a history of skiing in Alaska. Split into three parts, Discovery, Evolution and Inspiration, the film explores the history of Alaskan hot spots like Girdwood and Alyeska, Valdez, Anchorage, Haines and the Chugach. Featuring a mix of historic footage, candid interviews and gripping action from the 2011/12 season, the film—while being rather lengthy—is a must see. Standout moments include rowdy descents of famed Alaskan lines including Dimond, Pyramid, Python and Dr. Seuss, Daron Rahlves’ high-speed descents (and one hell of a recovery), an insane session at Corbet’s in Jackson, Tim Durtschi’s jumping antics, Dana Flahr’s powder skiing in Pemberton, BC and more more. For a detailed recap of the film, check out a recap of TGR’s world premiere in Jackson Hole, which went down Saturday.
A quick break later, and it was onto the final screening session of Nike iF3 2012. The Collet Brother Channel (CBC) started ‘er off for us, showcasing highlights from Sandy Collet and Andy Collet’s season. A blend of urban, park and pow, the web series highlights the brother’s adventures throughout the season, and stars friends including Jules Bonnaire, Julien Eustache and more.
Next up was Snow Collective, a documentary headed up by World Heli Challenge (WHC) founder, Tony Harrington. The film highlights the annual WHC—hosted in the beautiful mountains surrounding Wanaka, NZ—and also travels the world from Alaska to Jackson, following the skiers that compete in the WHC, exploring their motivation and drive. Featuring athletes like Chris Booth, Sam Smoothy, Tim Dutton, Janina Kuzma and countless others, the action is exciting and the footage is first rate. The overall feel of the film, however, leans more to the side of a lengthy ad for the WHC. Alas, nothing wrong with that, given the event is one of the year’s greatest.
Finally, TFJ Productions’ Joy & Pain took to the screen; this would be the final showing of iF3. A small Swedish production company, TFJ captures the ups and downs of a season for athletes including Frej Jönsson, Nilkas Granlund, Robin Björklund Jenssen, Filip Berggren, Tobias Björk, Victor Menga Hörnfeldt Simon Eriksson and more. Predominantly a jib film, the standout segment showcases Frej Jönsson’s impressive performance at the 2012 Jon Olsson Invitational, where he spun tricks on an axis never before seen.
And with that, iF3 closed the book on its stint in Montreal. Between Thursday’s outdoor screening, the multitude of showings inside the Monument-National, the concerts, the Rocker Party, the BIXI bike tours and the late night adventures that can only be recounted through a series of blurry photographs or iPhone videos, we’ll go ahead and put the stamp of “Great Success” on the cover of that aforementioned book. From here, the film fest travels to Annecy, France (September 28-30) and later to Innsbruck, Austria (October 5-6).
Packed house inside Monument-National. © Renaud Robert.
After having seen gosh darn nearly every ski flick of the year, I can say one thing with certainty: I hope you’ve been ultra nice this year, because you’re going to want to ask Santa Claus for a lot of films come December. It is evident that more and more production companies are emerging year over year, and more and more companies are starting to find a groove, a rhythm, a niche. Call it what you will, the bottom line is that there are more quality ski movies being produced now than ever before, and thanks to iF3, we get to see the best of the best all at once, all the while enjoying time with friends, meeting new people, fueling the stoke for an upcoming season and taking the city of Montreal by storm in a way that only skiers can—because skiers party harder.
I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to all of the people behind the scenes at iF3 who work tirelessly to make this event come together. Following a tough year for the skiing industry—on account of low snowfall—the staff worked doubly hard to ensure the event went off this year in classic fashion. So I say thank you once again, for preserving one of skiing’s best celebrations.
iF3 President Félix Rioux said about this year’s edition, “The Nike iF3 2012 has been my most ambitious project ever, and I’m excited we pulled it off. The festival now has a new home in the center of downtown Montreal, all new venues we can now grow and expand with. I could also feel the bigger media are now really interested in freeskiing. I’ve never done so many interviews and morning shows in my life. That’s probably one of the upsides of the sport now being in the Olympics. Since day one, I’ve been on a mission to always surpass expectations for anyone who has attended iF3. Like we say in Quebec ‘attach ta tuque!’ [for lack of a better translation: fasten your seatbelt], iF3 is going to go off next year.” And we’ll certainly be looking forward to it.
When the event kicked off on Thursday, we checked in with a handful of pros and industry notables to hear their thoughts on iF3. And as we wrap up our coverage of Nike iF3 in Montreal, we present quotes from more than a dozen others:
“This is my third trip to iF3. My favorite thing about iF3 is the titty bar I’m about to go to tonight. [Which one?] I don’t know yet, but I’m looking forward to it. [Craziest thing you’ve seen on screen so far?] I’d say Parker White’s segment in Level 1.”
“I’ve been to iF3 since the beginning, all six years. Best thing about it is the people. Best thing I’ve seen this year is The Education of Style premiere, and Rahzel probably on Friday night.”
“This is my third year in Montreal. My favorite thing about it is, same as Phil, the people. Everyone here gets so stoked. [Best thing you’ve seen this year?] All of it. Can I say The Education of Style? [Discounting The Education of Style, what’s the best movie you’ve seen?] Level 1. [Phil nods in agreement, and notes, “Level 1 so far was my favorite movie. Parker White’s segment is the shit.”]
“This is actually only my second year at iF3. Both times I’ve come has been right after a knee injury, so what I love about it is that I get to see all my ski friends, and watch lots of ski movies and get really excited for the season. The best thing I’ve seen so far? I don’t even know, there’s so much, I can’t choose. Maybe Sunny or the Inspired movie.”
“I’ve been to all six years of iF3. My favorite thing about it is the parties. [What’s your favorite thing about the parties?] The partying. [Best movie this year?] There are so many movies this year, they’re all really good. Stept, Poor Boyz, Level 1… everything was super sick.”
“This is my first time to iF3, I love it, it’s amazing. There’s amazing people here, the culture is phenomenal, there’s great art…”
“This is my fourth year at iF3. It’s never not awesome. I love the whole industry coming together, you get to meet up before the season and make some rad plans… Best thing I’ve seen this year is skiing by Sandy Boville, or Henrik’s part in Inspired’s movie, every one of his tricks is pretty much groundbreaking.”
“This is my fifth time at iF3. My favorite thing about iF3 is partying in Montreal.”
Andre Nutini (Legs of Steel)
“I’ve been to iF3 twice. Best thing about it is not sleeping, and drinking a lot. I also like the outdoor screening, that’s great. The best flick I’ve seen so far is Sunny by Level 1.”
Darren Rayner (Voleurz)
“This is my fifth time to iF3. I love the friends, and I love the partying.”
“This is my third year at iF3. It’s a great big gathering, everybody’s here. It’s awesome.”
Freedle Coty (Level 1)
I’ve been to all six years of iF3. [What’s your favorite thing about iF3 this year?] Yes. [Give me more.] OK, I saw a lady humping a polar bear.”
“This is my sixth year of iF3. Everybody from everywhere all gather together to watch movies, it’s pretty cool. [Best thing you’ve seen?] Henrik’s part in The Education of Style is crazy.”
“I’ve been to iF3 three times. [Favorite thing about it?] Party on, Wayne. [Craziest thing you’ve seen?] The bums and crackheads in the street, they’re crazy. And also, just Max Hill in general. [How about a favorite movie?] Yes, The Education of Style, for sure.”
Jeff Schmuck (Newschoolers)
“I’ve been to all six iF3s. [Favorite thing about it?] Friends. [Best thing you’ve seen this year?] Filmwise, I’d say a toss up between Level 1 and Legs of Steel. Other than that, seeing Wiley Miller is always a pleasure, he’s very easy on the eyes.”
“This is my second year at iF3. My favorite thing about it is Montreal in general, it’s the shit. The craziest thing I’ve seen is Henrik Harlaut’s segment in The Education of Style, and Jeff Schmuck.”
Pat King (PYP Productions)
“I’ve been to iF3 twice. The ski community comes together as a whole, it’s great. Best thing I’ve seen so far is lots of nipples.”
Matt Sterbenz (4FRNT)
“This is my first time at iF3. [Really?] Yeah, I’m not lying to you. Just taking it all in. It’s been really entertaining. I’ve never seen skiing like this before. Thank god for the winch. This is the year of the winch. Seems like that’s the crowd favorite around here. Winch in, winch out.”
“I’ve been to iF3 every year. All six. The partying is fun. [Best thing you’ve seen this year?] Tanner Hall giving props to everybody [while introducing The Education of Style on stage] for keeping it real was pretty cool.”