Snow sport storytelling tonight at Steamboat Mountain Film Festival |

Snow sport storytelling tonight at Steamboat Mountain Film Festival

Lonnie Kauk defies gravity over the Southern Sierra Mountains. Kauk is featured in Standard Film Productions’ “The Storming

Lonnie Kauk defies gravity over the Southern Sierra Mountains. Kauk is featured in Standard Film Productions’ “The Storming,” which screens at 7 p.m. today during the Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

— Before the skiing and snowboarding boots get dusted off and the lifts crank to a start, don’t forget about one of the most important aspects of the snow sport lifestyle: the people.

Tonight at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort is an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the skiing and snowboarding community, from an acquaintance from the chairlift last year in the crowd to some of the biggest names and personalities in the industry on the big screen.

The eighth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival kicks off tonight with two feature films: Ski movie “The Way I See It,” by Matchstick Productions and snowboard movie “The Storming,” by Standard Film Productions.

Film Festival founder and Colorado Mountain College ski and snowboard business professor Michael Martin started the film festival eight years ago to help get recognition for local filmmakers and bring in “big names,” as well. Submitted films from local filmmakers will screen Nov. 20 at Ghost Ranch Saloon.

“It’s a cool way to get everyone together one last time before the season gets going,” Martin said about the festival. “I look at it as a kickoff to the winter. It’s a time the town reconnects, reminiscences about last year and looks forward to this year.”

Martin, an avid backcountry skier, said he’s already taken to the slopes on Cameron Pass after an early season storm.

The Matchstick Productions movie might inspire others to do the same.

“The Way I See It” builds on the humanity in the skiing lifestyle, coupled with progressive skiing despite a difficult snow year for many locations in the 2009-10 season.

“It continues on their theme from last year,” Martin said about the film. “It’s about the skiing experience; they’re trying to push the personalities. In previous years, (ski movies have been) just a music video to skiing. This film brings a lot of skiers’ personality into the forefront.”

Particularly, Martin said skier Colby West’s segment stood out to him.

“He’s a great skier, and he’s hilarious,” Martin said. “I think you’ve got a have a story to keep people interested. At this point, there’s so much content out there between YouTube and whatever else. People are jaded if you’re just producing an edit of footage.”

He said the film incorporates a balanced mixed of big mountain and park skiing, something that “The Storming,” also exemplifies.

“It’s very flashy,” Martin said about “The Storming.” “The production value’s very high. They put a lot of emphasis on that: taking your average shot and tweaking it to make it unique.”

Waide Hoyt, a production manager with Lake Tahoe-based Standard Productions, said at least one-third of the riding in “The Storming” are tricks and lines he’s never seen done before.

“The theme is progression,” Hoyt said about the movie. “We got a lot of guys in there going above and beyond. Xavier de Le Rue has this insane crazy (Alaska) segment.”

Above all, Hoyt said the film’s final segment featuring Torstein Horgmo is sure to drop jaws.

Captured on film for the first time, Horgmo performs a “triple cork,” which essentially is three flips and three lateral rotations.

“It was one of the biggest things to go down in snowboarding,” he said.

For Hoyt, snow sports movies are about escapism to a winter wonderland.

“This film reminds me of the throwback days,” Hoyt said. “Like when you watched the film, and you were captivated. When I know I’m captivated, I lose track of time.”

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