Saturday here at Nike iF3 was a whirlwind of ski movie madness. The first screening session kicked off at noon, and films were rolling non-stop until approximately 11:00 p.m. For those unfamiliar with iF3, let it be known people don’t sit in the theater for 11 hours; the day is broken up into a handful of screening sessions. Moviegoers purchase tickets for one or two—or more—screening sessions depending on which films they’re keen to see. Each session typically showcases a few short films and one or two feature length films. While I missed the first few presentations of the day’s first session, I arrived at Monument-National in time to see the 4FRNT’s Dang! I remained posted up in the theater for the remainder of the day, and here I present a quick rundown of what I saw.
4FRNT’s Dang! is the company’s second team film. Skiing legend Vincent Dorion took the stage along with 4FRNT founder Matt Sterbenz, and Austin Ramaley—the man responsible for editing Dang!—to introduce the film. The screening marked Dang!‘s world premiere. And we come to find that the 4RNT team was busy this season. Eric Hjorleifson and Cody Barnhill rip super cool lines in Austria to open the flick. Imagine a strip of forest, running from the top of a peak to the bottom, cleared for the implementation of power lines (or something?), and the project goes awry. What we’re left with is an open, lengthy line of pillows, full of powder, sans power line towers to get in the skiers’ way. We see a mix of POV and long range shots. Hoji explains it was one of the most fun lines of his 11/12 season.
4FRNT riders Andy Partridge, Nick Miles, Carl Fortin, Will Berman, Brock Paddock, Mack Jones, Espen Bergh, Thayne Rich and Finn Anderson all put on a show in a mix of park, powder and urban. David Wise takes gold at X Games, and then shreds a closed halfpipe at Snowbasin—4FRNT utilizes an RC heli for the pipe shoot. We head to the Tetons with Wiley Miller, and later in the film Wiley shreds hard-charging lines and blower pow to Jefferson Starship’s “Jane.” This was perhaps the highlight of the film for me.
Monument-National Theatre. © Jeremy Condamine.
Following session #1, it came time for the first ever all-women’s screening session at iF3. Athletes including Kaya Turski, Lynsey Dyer, Dania Assaly, Jen Hudak and Anais Caradeux joined on stage to introduce the session, which kicked off with a showing of Icelantic’s winning video from 2012 Eye of the Condor. The first screening was followed by a reel showcasing highlights from Kaya Turski’s State of Mind webisode series. The web show followed Kaya from event to event throughout the 11/12 season, and to photoshoots and on fun adventures in between. The show gives great insight to Kaya’s lifestyle, and pursuit as an athlete.
Up next was a documentary highlighting the Nine Queens event; the feature paid homage to Sarah Burke. The women featured in the film speak to Sarah’s commitment to progress female freeskiing, and explain that the format of Nine Queens—a multi day session on a massive feature—provides the girls a great means of continuing Sarah’s vision, allowing them to push each other as they become more comfortable hitting the features.
Shukran Morocco followed up—a wonderful story of adventure. Fischer athletes Melissa Presslaber and Sandra Lahnsteiner head to Northern Africa on a hunt for snow, and it’s exciting to watch as they do just that, and meet a handful of interesting characters along the way.
Wrapping up the women’s screening was Lynsey Dyer’s She Jumps Showcase—a mashup of footage that Lynsey collected from a handful of productions companies, and edited herself. The action packed video features skiing by Lynsey, Crystal Wright, Angel Collinson, Ingrid Backstrom, Tatum Monod, Elyse Saugstad and others. Lynsey taught herself to edit specifically to make this piece, and I must say, job well done.
After a quick break, a new stream of people flooded the theater for the next screening session. On the docket: New School Films’ (NSF) Moss and Voleurz’s Kill Your Boredom.
Moss takes a documentary-style approach, discussing the ups and downs of making a ski film following a bad snow year. Troubled by the loss of funding for the movie due to sponsors pulling out—the sponsors too were affected by the low snow levels—the NSF crew explains how they band together to continue their mission of producing an exciting flick. The Quebecois crew drew a crowd of loyal supporters who were hootin’ often in support of great shots, and even going so far as to chant in French.
Dom Laporte, Martin Boulais, Hugo Pelletier, Vince Prévost, Sebastien Chartrand and more display creativity in urban environments. Laporte’s skiing in particular stood out, as he tackled the technical course at War of Rails in one segment, and gets ultra tricky on both urban and park features alike throughout the rest of the film. We follow the crew on road trips and through their trials and tribulations. It’s a fun glimpse into the lives of the NSF team.
Up next: Voleurz’s Kill Your Boredom. This is the fifth time Voleurz has screened as iF3, and filmmaker Darren Rayner took to the stage to express big thanks to iF3 for allowing Voleurz to continue to be a part of the festival year after year, despite a large amount of snowboarding action comprising the annual films.
The introduction to the film is outrageously great. A band of skiers attacks of band of snowboarders in an all out blood bath. Blood and guts go flying in slow motion. When the battle calms, one skier and one snowboarder remain. They remove their hoods only to reveal that they are, in fact, gorgeous babes, and they then proceed to passionately make out (also shown in slow motion). Perhaps outrageously great was an understatement?
The action certainly doesn’t fail to impress, either. Joe Schuster opens ‘er up slaying some mighty-fine-looking pillows, we see RC heli shots of stuntin’ in the Blackcomb terrain park, BC booters galore, and of course, the debauchery that is the annual Volympics. KC Deane skis and sleds like a champ in the Whistler backcountry, Josh Daiek shreds rowdy lines, Mack Jones tears up the park, Rob Heule crushes urban in his trademark tight pants and more. We always anticipate a fun-filled film from the Voleurz gang, and they’ve delivered once again.
And that brings us to the evening’s screening session, featuring films by Meathead Films, Stept Productions and Poor Boyz Productions.
Meathead opened things up for us, with a raw account of what was a dismal 2011/12 winter on the East Coast. But Meathead does what Meathead does best, working with what they’ve got to produce No Matter What. The film opens with a blend of urban and park in the Northeast. Athletes including Peter Engen, Antoine Choquette, Jake Doan, Kieran McVeigh, Luke Hagearty and Alex Beaulieu Marchand grace us with their skiing abilities. We then venture to Stowe, VT where Louise Lintilhac, Griffin Dunne, Jay Bowen, Colby Vavolotis and more shred pow on one of the East’s few noteworthy pow days of the season.
Photo Left: © Jeremy Condamine.
What follows is a segment of sheer beauty. The crew dresses in 80s one-piece suits, and proceeds to shred moguls like there’s no tomorrow. The grainy film effects and accompanying music make for a segment that will unquestionably put a big smile on your face. This segment is followed up by some technical skiing by Dom Laporte at Mt. Snow; his performance garnering big applause. Laporte is joined by Evan Williams, Gab Boudreau, Tyler Duncan and more.
Meathead then packs its bags and heads to Switzerland, where David Ortlieb and Andrew Whiteford slay pow and backcountry booters. Will Wesson takes to the screen, along with some of the other familiar faces that appeared earlier in the film. When Will Wesson is around, you can bet your bottom dollar that creative jibbery is going down—and that’s precisely what we get from him and the crew. The film concludes with a segment showcasing a stupendously deep day at Jay Peak. The scene can only be described as a winter wonderland, and you’ll be darn jealous that you weren’t there on the day of the filmshoot.
Up next was Stept Productions’ The Eighty Six. Stept won “Best Jib Film” at the 2012 iF3 Awards earlier in the afternoon, so that should serve as an indicator of what the film is all about. Following a creative, well thought-out intro, the crew gets straight to work tearing up the streets. Cam Riley’s opening segment is insane, and from there on out, the pace is consistent. The entire Stept crew pushes the limits of skiing in urban environments, and Stept’s production quality is outstanding. It seemed to me that Stept’s screening was the most anticipated of them all here at Nike iF3; the local crowd’s vocal support was wild. Well done, Stept.
Following Stept was a brief showing of a Real Skifi episode, (For the record, Real Skifi is insanely awesome) and then it was time for the final showing the evening: WE: A Collection of Individuals by Poor Boyz. After having read about PBP’s world premiere in Seattle, I knew a bit of what to expect, but I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the film from start to finish.
Bobby Brown and Dane Tudor kick things off sessioning a massive jump at Windells. Jossi Wells, Banks Gilberti, Alex Schlopy, Sean Jordan and Karl Fostvedt join the party, and we see jump action from Schweitzer, including a killer shot of an insane triple cork by Bobby.
Mr. Pep Fujas follows suit. Shot after shot, I found myself saying, “Holy cow.” Pep’s segment opens with an insane line. From there, he proceeds to tear up the big-mountain scene in Alaska, he sends an immaculate double backflip, stomps a crazy-cool cork 540 tail into pow, and so much more. Huge props to Pep for an incredible season.
Following Pep may have been difficult, but Leigh Powis pulls it off, and then some. In a season cut short by a knee injury, Powis managed to log some serious shots. Fences, gaps, drops, wall rides, trannies, ledges, roofs, gaps, tunnels… Leigh does it all with his trademark style. His creative approach to skiing earns a double high five.
Riley Leboe and Joe Schuster slay pow on both skis and sleds, we see a wonderful naked backflip train, Ian Cosco terrorizes skiers on Blackcomb Mountain adorned in a hockey jersey and equipped with a hockey stick, Mike Henitiuk slays urban and powder alike, Josh Stack crushes on a sled, and gets mighty deep at Stevens Pass, Charley Ager lays down an assortment of aggressive tricks, stomping switch in powder (to nobody’s surprise), Cam Riley holds it down in the urban department, Paddy Graham and the Legs of Steel crew dominate BC booters and pow slashes, Sean Jordan rocks hard, earning massive applause for a technical tree jib, Dane Tudor lets loose at Red Mountain, Karl Fostvedt makes hearts stop with his impressive performance on the “redirect” feature at Skibowl (a miscalculation in speed translating to certain doom), and Sean Pettit closes out the film in classic Pettit fashion, crushing big lines. Phew! That was a mouthful.
The soundtrack is great, the production is first rate, and after 11 hours of watching ski movies (enough to make most people go a little nuts) I left the theatre feeling fired up and ready for more thanks to that final showing.
Following the day’s screening sessions, it was on to Club Soda for the K2/Red Bull Rocker Party, hosted by Sean Pettit. Sharpie-tattoos, ripped shirts, tight pants, eyeliner, mosh pits, cover bands… It got rowdy, and we’ll leave it at that.
K2/Red Bull Rocker Party @ Club Soda.
Sean Pettit addresses the crowd at Club Soda. © Simon Lebrun.
Stay tuned for coverage of Sunday’s screening sessions, and a recap of Nike iF3. Questions about any of the flicks? Post ’em in the comments section below.