After a fun-filled Thursday night, full of ski films, parties, strip clubs and the like, Friday morning was a rude awakening for many. Despite the hangovers, most everyone shuffled out of Hotel Zero at a reasonable hour to track down some breakfast. Later in the morning, I set out with Nick Martini, Sean Jordan, Clayton Vila, Mike Riddle and many others on a BIXI bike adventure. For those unfamiliar with BIXI, it’s Montreal’s equivalent of the ever-popular B-Cycle. Don’t know what B-Cycle is? It’s a public bike system, whereby you pay a small fee to rent cruiser bikes that are available at a network of stations located around a given city. Our biker gang shredded down to the waterfront at the Old Port, taking in the sights along the way. We saw Canada’s biggest sailing ship, pirates, historic buildings and more. A brief BMX-style session at an inter-city park ended quickly when a local spat at us. Damn Americans!
BIXI bker gang.
We returned our bikes (we’d have kept ’em if it weren’t for that darn $250 deposit we put down on our credit cards) and headed back towards iF3 home base. Three film screenings were on the agenda for the afternoon/evening, the first of which kicked off at 3:45 p.m. All of the day’s screenings were hosted at the famed Monument-National theatre.
I arrived at the first screening in time to see the Austrian Freeski-Crew’s Dynamite, a short film showcasing pow skiing at Pemberton, Revelstoke and Red Mountain, an array of massive booter sessions and some unwarranted male nudity (totally cool with that). Some of the crew even goes so far as to engage in a bit of spring skiing adorned in lederhosen. All in all, the crew displays a knack for having fun, skiing hard and going big. The production quality was also first rate—kudos to the Freeski-Crew.
Afternoon screenings inside the Monument. © Jeremy Condamine/iF3.
Next up was Chaoz Productions’ Turbulent Flow. The Norwegian film company has been on the rise for the past few years, and the latest film is without a doubt its best to date. From massive kicker sessions in Åre, Sweden and Folgefonna, Norway to the dramatic peaks of Kåfjord and the Lyngen Alps, the film displays a nice blend of park skiing and big-mountain domination. The highlights for me were the big-mountain segments. The aforementioned locales feature stunning mountains that drop straight into the ocean—it’d be worth watching the movie just to see the scenery in itself. To see Dennis Kisvoll and Karsten Gefle absolutely rip their way from T-to-B is just an added bonus. The park segments feature the likes of Kim Boberg, Øystein Bråten, PC Foose, Thomas Dolplads, Ane Enderud, Lars Haakon Hafsal, Gaute Silseth and Vegard Øye—a true Scandinavian force to be reckoned with.
After a quick break, we jumped straight into the day’s second screening session. Toy Soldier Productions’ Act Natural was first up. TSP’s list of athletes—including Brock Paddock, Karl Fostvedt, Sam Hurst, David Steele, Luke Perin, Austin Torvinen, Will Berman, Noah Wallace, Shay Lee, Finn Anderson, Khai Krepela and Sandy Boville—throw down in a variety of settings from the parks, to the streets, to the trees, and even to the skatepark. Garnering the greatest applause from the crowd were Karl Fostvedt’s ultra smooth and technical stunts, Khai Krepela’s greasing of a high-consequence railing on a bridge and Noah Wallace’s nighttime rodeo up and over a skatepark (whilst skateboarders cruised below him). The crowd also went nuts during Sandy Boville’s segment; Sandy certainly showed he’s got some serious skill. Of all Sandy’s shots, my favorite was one in which he slid an urban up-rail, grabbed a pole that extended up from the end/top of the rail, lifted his feet and spun around like a pole dancing pro, locked on to the rail again, and slid back down. The film concludes with a feel-good segment: Some of the crew constructs a fun feature in the backcountry on a warm spring day, and between catching air and running train on the jumps, we see hot dogs and burgers on the grill, gun shootin’ and more. It’s a scene the likes of which are enough to make anyone jealous.
Following TSP’s screening was PVS Company’s Pour Vouz Servir, translating to “At Your Service.” The filmmakers introduced their film on stage, and they may have mentioned something about their season, or thanked the crowd—there’s really no telling, because I don’t speak a lick of French. If they had said, “Our film is pretty darn cool, and features everything from ski BASE jumping, to urban, to deep powder in British Columbia, to heli shots on massive booters, to stunning big-mountain lines in Iceland and Russia,” well, they wouldn’t have been lying. The PVS crew dishes up a wide variety, and the skiing is top-notch. Athletes including Sam Favret, Thomas Diet, Etienne Mercel, Sandy Collet, Tom Granier, Max Fornier, Jessy Cornu, Laurent Favre, Jules Bonnaire, Roman Grojean, Enak Gavaggio, Phil Meier, Tom Barnier, Matthias Giaraud, JT Holmes, and more, all impress. Perhaps eliciting the biggest roar from the crowd was youngster Kelly Sildaru, who continues her rise to stardom. The 11-year-old freeskier from Estonia had audience members captivated with her display of stunts including a 450 disaster onto a flat-down box, BS 270 out, and a switch 900. And always a highlight for me is to see the ski BASE action. The POV shots never cease to make my heart skip a beat, the moment the athletes send it over the edge of a multi-thousand-foot cliff. The film concludes on a more serious note, as the filmmakers discuss the ups and downs of making a film, and touch on the idea of making stories; some people have skis, some have cameras—at the end of the day it’s all about going out and sharing the best and the worst together. While they share this message in French, too, thankfully I had subtitles to aid me.
© Renaud Robert/iF3.
A forty-five minute break later and it was on to the day’s third and final screening session. On the docket: The Irie Indians Show by the WFP Familia, The Education of Style by Inspired Media and Sunny by Level 1. The WFP Familia, local to Quebec, was a crowd favorite. In their short film, the gang speaks to the importance of skiing for the fun of it, and the carefree attitude resonated with many of the Inspired fans in the building. The WFP Familia is, after all, associated with Inspired Media.
The much anticipated premiere of The Education of Style followed. While the theater hadn’t quite packed out entirely for the day’s earlier screenings, the evening show was sold out. Filmmaker Eric Iberg introduced the film, and then handed the mic off to Tanner Hall. Hall began by calling onto the stage all of the individuals in the building who were sporting Inspired Media t-shirts. Moments later, an Inspired army stood on stage, backing Tanner as he shared some thoughts on the film, and on skiing. Hall noted:
“I just want to say it’s so good to be back here at iF3, this is one of the baddest shows we have. This is a big thanks to Eric Iberg, who sits in my basement and slaves away on the phone every day to bring Inspired to the world. When I look at Inspired, between myself, Henrik, Phil, B-Paul, Iberg, Cali P… we got a big family. Inspired, is something different for the world. Skiing with Henrik and Phil this year, after everything I’ve been through, with the knee injuries and the broken legs… these are the kids that made me look at skiing again… and kept me saying, this is my life, ain’t no other life form that I know.”
Tanner and the Inspired army. Photo courtesy iF3 Media.
b Dog in the house. Photo courtesy iF3 Media.
The film then rolled, and the crowd was thoroughly entertained. The loudest roars emerged for Tanner’s double cork 12 in the backcountry, ending his segment, and for Henrik’s double flatspin, coincidentally also ending his segment. If you haven’t already seen the film or heard about its contents, check out our recap from the world premiere in California.
Next up was Level 1’s Sunny. Freedle Coty and some of the Level 1 athletes introduced the film. Freedle expressed his excitement to be back at iF3 for the 6th time; Level 1 having been a part of the event since its inception in 2007. Level 1 too drew massive applause from the audience, the loudest cheers going to Tom Wallisch, and second to Will Wesson. For an account of what went down in “Sunny,” check out our recap from the world premiere in Denver.
Following the films, it was on to L’Olympia on St. Catherine for a concert featuring Mix Master Mike, Rahzel & JS-1, Jah Cutta, Allstar and DJ Blaster and more. The event was shown to the world via live webcast. Highlights for me included Rahzel’s beat boxing—which is completely mind blowing—and Mix Master Mike’s destruction of the turntables. As the show raged on, athlete interviews went on behind the scenes and the Coors Light flowed strong. The party raged well into the night.
It’s more of the same all day Saturday, and Saturday night. Surely Sunday’s post will start off with something like: “After a fun-filled Saturday night, full of ski films, parties, strip clubs and the like, Sunday morning was a rude awakening for many.”
b Dog and E’dollo interviewed at the show. © Carl-Olivier Henry/iF3.
Rahzel! Photo courtesy iF3 Media.
Mix Master Mike. Photos courtesy iF3 Media.