Ski Films

Matchstick Productions’ premiere of “Return to Send’er” will kick off the shred season Nov. 16 at the Sheridan Opera House. (Courtesy photo)

Like it or loathe it, ski season is near! With Front Range resorts opening, boasting crowded snow-strips, curious adventures slapping on skins, to earning vert, dodge rocks and about a month until the Telluride Ski Resort lifts start spinning, turns are definitely on the mind. With turns on the mind comes the onslaught of snowsport content. From big screens in mountain towns worldwide to living room televisions and your Instagram feed, the amount of snow shredding content this time of year is unavoidable and at times overwhelming. Sift through the heavy volumes of footage, clips, events and posts, and one will find plenty quality stoke nuggets to get fired up for the snowsports season.

LOCAL PREMIERES

For many enthusiasts, the “ski/snowboard film premiere” is a celebrated tradition to kick-off the season. In mountain towns globally, folks gather in front of the big screen to get stoked and inspired, while kick backing a few beverages and hootin’ and hollerin’ with friends. The ski film premiere is an undeniably good time and there are a few you can catch in Telluride in the coming months. If you’ve never attended a ski film premier, you’re missing a good party and should catch one this fall.

"Return to Send’er"

Matchstick Productions, Nov. 16, Sheridan Opera House

Crested Butte-based Matchstick Productions is back with another annual film, featuring skiers Mark Abma, Karl Fostvedt, Sam Kuch and Logan Pehota, as they showcase their unique stylistic approaches around the globe. While the athlete roster is slimmer than previous year’s flicks, it doesn’t lack talent. Abma is arguably one of the best big mountain skiers of all-time, and Fostvest and Pehota showcase high-levels creative and impressive style. This movie will be a good watch for skiers who love non-stop, big-mountain, powder skiing action.

“Timeless”

Warren Miller Entertainment, Nov. 29, Sheridan Opera House

Warren Miller films are “cult classics,” and as the title “Timeless” eludes, this film will likely be on par with other releases from Warren Miller Entertainment. For 70-some years of film production, the company has stuck to formula, some find this formula played out and cheesy, but there’s no denying the production companies dedication to consistency and ability to evoke childhood-like nostalgia. I, along with many, would attend the annual Warren Miller Entertainment film premiere growing up. This year’s film features legends like Glen Plake, some snowboarding and destination locations like Jackson Hole. “Timeless” will be a good premiere for the groms and folks who like a classic ski film.

“Winterland”

Teton Gravity Research, Dec. 17, Sheridan Opera House

“Winterland” is sure to be the most contemporary local film screening out of this year’s bunch, featuring top-notch ski and snowboard athletes like Angel Collinson, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, the legendary Jeremy Jones and many more. The film showcases these progressive riders giving a nod to their heroes of the past, while tearing up terrain in steep, exotic mountains all over the world. The Jones Brothers and the team at Teton Gravity Research consistently produces exciting, watchable films, and this one is no exception. If you’re going to attend just on film premiere in Telluride this season, make it this one.

DIGITAL RELEASES

In this day and age, almost anyone can buy a camera, editing software, make a snowsports film and release it online. This has significantly ramped up the amount of content to consume, but also driven creativity and quality in digital releases, and thanks to the popularity of digital content marketing, films available online are better than ever. Here are a few top films to check out this fall.

“Lhotse,” The North Face

“Lhotse” is a documentary that follows Telluride local Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison as they complete the first ski descent of the 27,940-foot Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world. The short and sweet documentary offers a look into the process, risk and adventure that went into the wild first descent of the massive Himalayan peak. Filmed by former Teton Gravity Research editors, the film is beautiful and exciting.

“Romance,” Level 1 Productions

“Romance” marks the final chapter in Level 1’s 20-year run at annual ski films. The film has been awarded “Film of the Year” awards at the International Freeski Film Festival and at the High Five Film Festival in Europe. The film is sure to feature lots of creative jibbing with some heavy big mountain freestyle skiing mixed in.

“Sunokeru,” KORUA Shapes

This short snowboard film features the beautiful “powder surfing” style of riding in Japan. A recent “Vimeo Staff Pick,” it is edited in black and white and features no frills editing. It’s a pleasant and enjoyable watch that is sure to spark frothy powder dreams.

This article was originally in the Watch, the Daily Planet’s sister paper.