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Mountain movies

Filmmakers step up for fifth festival

Margaret Hair

— After Josh Brom took home an independent film award for a ski and snowboard movie he made last winter, he decided to put some effort into it the next time around – by filming in Chile.

“When we made the film last year, our friend had a camera and we just filmed on the days we were in Steamboat,” he said. “I wanted to see if we actually put time and effort into this and we structured it out, where could we go with it.”

On Saturday at the fifth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival, Brom’s film – which he shot for a month in July on a limited budget while visiting a former roommate in Chile – will be shown with nine other submissions.

The skiing and snowboarding conditions were different from what he was used to in Colorado, mostly because of patchy weather and runs above the timberline. Brom’s team did a lot of hiking and building jumps to get the right shots.

Brom’s movie, “Tres Queso,” made by his own Lift Line Media and a friend’s Idiosyncrasy Films, is the only submission that went so far as to jump hemispheres for production. That trip signifies a shift in how people approach the event as it grows, film festival organizer Michael Martin said.

“This is the best submission group we’ve ever had as far as quality and content,” Martin said.

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Most of the submitted films are ski and snowboard movies, though there’s a new category this year – called Reel People – that’s a catch-all for anything interesting, lifestyle-oriented or local.

Kerry Lofy, who made a spoof called “Steeze Watch” – the opening scene of which involves running along the bank of the Yampa River, in ski boots, a la 1990s TV lifeguards – has made a ski movie every year for the past five years.

“Just growing up watching ski video and magazines, I always wanted to be out there to be in my own ski video and make my own ski video,” Lofy said. His movie has its goofy parts, but Lofy is starting to get more serious about the production process.

“It’s kind of stressful : trying to reach the deadline – going for a couple of days without sleep, working to get the right shot and the right angle and make the music go with the video,” he said.

For some, the film festival is a competition. For others, it’s a way to remember the fun from the previous ski season.

“Everyone’s local in Steamboat. We’re just doing it more to remember, to document and watch it on the big screen,” said Brian McCleary, whose movie is called “Steamboat Trash II.”

“It’s just for the fun of it, that’s why we live here.”