Reeling in the reels |

Reeling in the reels

Film festival has about 40 submissions for growing snow-movie event

Margaret Hair

A frame from "Chronicles of Gnar," a local submission to the sixth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

Brian McCleary didn’t necessarily mean to start Bent & Broken Productions. He just wanted to get what his friends were doing with skis, snowboards and snowmobiles on tape.

Then someone suggested he enter one of those tapes in the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

“My friends thought it was more than a home movie, so I entered it in the 2006 festival and it won second place,” McCleary said. In the two years since then, McCleary – along with about 10 friends who make up the Bent & Broken team – has entered two more films in the Mountain Film Festival. He has high hopes for this year’s submission, a combo winter sports movie called “We Like Snow.”

“The snow was awesome last year, and we got a ton of bluebird days,” McCleary said. The Bent & Broken “Steamboat Trash Crew” started filming “We Like Snow” at the beginning of last winter, and took the shooting through June, with a trip to Mount Hood in northern Oregon. McCleary said he plans to make the local production bigger this year, with a couple of new handheld and helmet cameras and some promotional calendars added to the mix.

“We’re into it. That’s kind of why we live in Steamboat,” he said.

“We Like Snow” will be among 10 submitted films screened Saturday at the sixth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival. Michael Martin, the festival’s founder and director, said he had about 40 films submitted for the festival’s Reel Open action sport and Reel People adventure film categories.

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“I would say as an overall submission year, it was a really great, diverse kind of direction for us, because a lot of the films really focused on the documentary side and really had more of a story to it,” Martin said. Submitted films will show at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Screenings of professional films, including movies from Teton Gravity Research, Rage Films and Matchstick Productions, are at 7 p.m. today and Saturday.

Awards for the best submitted films will be presented at the 7 p.m. Saturday screening. Martin said the films were judged for quality of production, story line and creativity. Kerry Lofy, who is in his third year as a film festival competitor, said he took advantage of last winter’s heavy snow to film his submission, “Chronicles of Gnar.”

“We were just trying to get the most quality filming that we could,” Lofy said of his movie, which shows skiers taking on backcountry terrain. “When we were filming, it was just all about shots and dropping big stuff.”

The festival is designed to bring snow sports fans together to see footage of their favorite hobby. Lofy said he appreciates the chance for local filmmakers to show their work to local people.

“You’ve got to start somewhere, especially in a market that’s so saturated,” he said of the festival.