Annual Mountain Film Festival to kickoff this Friday with newest Teton Gravity Research Film
If You Go...
What: Steamboat Mountain Film Festival kickoff event
When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online, at the door or at Ski Haus before 4 p.m.
Steamboat Springs — Dust off your skis and snowboards — ski season will soon be here.
It may not be snowing yet, but anticipation for the season will kick off in earnest this weekend at the annual Mountain Film Festival, featuring the newest Teton Gravity Research film, “Paradise Waits.”
“With the season turning, this is what people are looking for,” said Mike Martin, a professor at Colorado Mountain College and producer of the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival. “TGR tends to bring a level of uniqueness that you don’t get with other films. They go to a lot of different locations, they have really good athletes they film with and typically, people are excited for their films, given TGR’s history and reputation. Everyone is looking to see what they are going to do this year.”
From Jackson Hole to British Columbia to Kosovo, the film weaves shots of helicopters sweeping across epic mountain spires and skiers ripping through powder on some of the biggest lines TGR has documented.
Continuing to push the bar, TGR’s “Paradise Waits” will screen at the Chief Theater at 8 p.m. Friday as the precursor event to the festival’s Legendary Reel Awards competition, which showcases a lineup of the best local and national snow sport film submissions from the past season. The Legendary Reel Awards will take place Nov. 13, and submissions will be accepted until Oct. 25. Voting on submissions will begin the first week of November.
Giving powder hounds a little bit of everything, the event started as a way to feature local filmmakers and get the community excited about the upcoming ski season through professionally and locally produced films.
“I think that the notion of escapism is a big part of ski and snowboard films in general,” Martin said. “We all know what it’s like to ride our own resort, but we always dream about what it’s like to go to Europe or Japan or wherever. For a lot of people, it gets them excited, but also gets them motived to do things on their own.”
Founded in 1996, TGR has grown into one of the largest and most influential sports media companies in the action sports industry. Greg Epstein, head of physical production at TGR, said the company’s work — particularly with regard to “Paradise Waits” — shows the production of TGR films is improving every year.
“I think between the athletes and production crew, everyone has the ability to understand what the final product needs to look like, and they all come together to make that happen,” Epstein said. “TGR, as a whole, is just getting better at making films. New technology has allowed us to make better shots, and we use a lot of audio to have the athletes mic-ed up so you get a behind the scenes vibe, and it makes you feel like you are on the trip with these guys.”
Epstein said this film not only makes use of helicopter shots, but also incorporates more shots from drones. Not only that, TGR films are known for incorporating the history and culture of their locations.
“It’s not just a ski porn movie,” said CJ Lane, film tour and IP sales manager for TGR. “TGR sets themselves apart by having that history and culture, along with those steep, technical lines. And this year’s editing and production value is pretty spectacular. It doesn’t bounce from scene to scene but has really good transitions and a great mix of skiing and snowboarding.”
In its 12th year, the festival has evolved to the point at which submissions are now coming from local high schoolers and even skiers in Europe, Martin said.
“From a film standpoint, when we started out, the technology was very rudimentary, and now, most people have camera phones that have 4D videos,” Martin said. “The level people are producing is extremely high. I’m curious to see what people did with the season we had, and it will be interesting to see how they captured good segments with the challenging conditions we had.”
Benefiting the CMC Alpine’s Backcountry Club — the club dedicated to providing a safe and fun environment to explore backcountry terrain — this year’s event will feature a raffle that includes a range of gear, along with tuning and demo discounts. Tickets for Friday’s event are $15 and can be purchased online, at the door or at Ski Haus before 4 p.m.
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