Steamboat Mountain Film Festival brings legends to life at Chief Theater |

Steamboat Mountain Film Festival brings legends to life at Chief Theater

Nicole Inglis

Greg Stump, the legendary ski filmmaker known for 1988's "The Blizzard of Aahhh's" returns to the industry with a documentary about the progression of ski films. He will host "Legend of Aahhh's" and "Blizzard" at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Steamboat Springs at a fundraiser for the Chief Theater.

— It was more than 20 years ago that Greg Stump changed the way the world saw skiing with "The Blizzard of Aahhh's." He filmed a new skiing revolution, and it was neon onesies, mohawks and a new generation of extreme skiing heroes doing things on snow that pushed the progression of the sport.

Now, 13 years after his most recent film, the ski filmmaker's return to the big screen is an autobiographical retrospective into the ever-evolving world of action sports films.

"Legend of Aahhh's" will screen at the annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival, which kicks off at 6 p.m. with Standard Films’ "2112" snowboard movie, followed by Stump's film and Matchstick Productions' "Superheroes of Stoke."

Michael Martin, director of the ski business program at Colorado Mountain College and the founder of the film festival, said he watched Stump's movies daily as a kid. Stump was an inspiration for Martin to start making his own ski films.

"It was the fact that he tied a really great story into his films," Martin said. "Especially at that time, he was the first one that focused on creating the characters of the skiers and brought them to the forefront. And he was the first to sort of use modern music. You could point to that point as when ski movies and eventually snowboard films changed to the current format."

But Stump's return is not the only homecoming at Friday's Steamboat Mountain Film Festival. The venue housing the three ski and snowboard films is the Chief Theater, which in recent years has been a commercial movie theater but has its roots as a community performing arts and music venue.

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This will be the first event in the Chief Theater since it was purchased by the nonprofit Friends of the Chief, an organization that plans to revive and renovate the venue in coming years.

"It's just cool to be the first event there,” Martin said. “We're very excited to be pioneering this. As longtime locals in Steamboat, we've always wanted to have a downtown venue like that to support the local aspect."

On Friday, the venue will look relatively the same as it did when it was a movie theater. There's only room for 150 people in the two theaters, so tickets will be limited. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at and at Ski Haus.

Martin and his crew plan to screen the films simultaneously in the two separate theaters, and a bar will be set up in the concession stand area.

Friends of the Chief board member and volunteer Valerie Stafford said Thursday that while there might not be many visible changes inside the venue, a change of attitude and a vision for the future will be apparent.

"We're just trying to keep the theater active," Stafford said. "I think we're just excited about bringing an activity to the space and having a place for art to be showcased."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email