Travel Blog

24 Sep

Bring It On: Whistler Ski & Snowboard Movie Premieres

TAG: Cultural Fix

Posted by: Feet Banks

Whistler SnowFrame grab from The Little Things.

There is no snow anywhere. Instead it’s a sunny day in September, shorts and t-shirt weather on the patio and local ski star Sean Pettit is almost vibrating with anticipation. It’s not the upcoming ski season that has him so jacked, but rather the upcoming ski movie premiere season. Sean is still one of the biggest names in skiing but this fall he makes the leap to filmmaking as well.

“It’s something different,” Pettit says of the The Recruitment,a full-length ski film that incorporates a whole lot of narrative elements and alternate realities. “It’s a blend of story and skiing. We pulled a lot of inspiration from Hollywood films and made something that is kind of like a full-length music video with a definite beginning, middle, and end.”

Produced with editor/skier/sound engineer Leigh Powis and director of photograph/skier/quiet genius Brandon Kelly under the banner of Superproof Inc, Pettit’s film is definitely not your standard “snow porn” and his team is really excited to see how The Recruitment plays to the Whistler audience when it premieres September 30, 2014.

Winter is comingFrame grab from The Recruitment

“Whistler is the big star,” Pettit says. “The crew and riders are all from here, we shot it here and really this is the only place we could have pulled this off like we did. A lot of stuff just fell into place for us and it feels super rewarding to have something finished that we put so much of our own energy into.”

Pettit isn’t the only person excited to kickstart the winter stoke with some cinematic snow ripping. Whistler’s autumn ski and snowboard movie premiers are always a festive affair as riding buddies reconnect in anticipation for what’s about to come. There’s no better place to watch a ski movie than a ski town so here is:

The Insider’s Guide to Whistler Snow Movie Premieres

Days of Our Youth

Matchstick Productions/Red Bull Media House
Saturday September 27, 2014. Millennium Place. 5 PM 7 PM (all ages) 10:30 PM (19+)
Tickets: $20 here.

Two of the biggest names in video team up on a two-year project and you know this one is going to be sick. “It has a backbone story and concept,” says Whistler local and long-time Matchstick cinematographer Guillaume Tessier. “The backbone is kind of about the relationship between skiing and youth, and to never lose that youthful side of life. I’m super proud of this one, the skiing is insane and we had the cineflex out for a lot of the segments. There’s a lot of Whistler riders— James Heim and Mark Abma have really solid parts— and an entire segment at Tenquille Lake. Matchstick’s second home is Whistler, always has been.”

The Recruitment

Superproof Inc.
Tuesday Sept 30, 2014. Rainbow Theatre. 6 PM 9 PM
Tickets: $12 here.

As mentioned above, the first movie from Sean Pettit and the Superproof crew mixes narrative drama and skiing action into a dark, surreal ski flick that’s in a genre of its own. “We didn’t set out to try and do something different or the opposite of other films,” says editor/sound wizard Leigh Powis. “We just did what we wanted to do. I had a story in my head and we didn’t want a bunch of ski action segments. We wanted something that’s a whole. We wanted to add to our ski action and build it up and we did it. It’s a real mix of story and skiing.”

The Recruitment premiere also features live music at Tapley’s during intermission and an afterparty at Buffalo Bills with DJ Rich A.

Almost Ablaze

Teton Gravity Research
Friday October 3, 2014. Millenium Place. 7 PM (all ages) and 9:30 pm (19+)
Tickets: $17-19 here (scroll down).

TGR is known for going way, way out there and coming back with extra huge big-mountain footage but another notable thing about Almost Ablaze is that Angel Collinson nabbed the opening segment, a first for female skiers.

Whistler local and longtime TGR co-conspirator Dana Flahr nabbed a few notable shots during a 100-year storm in Italy, local ripper Nick McNutt has a sweet rookie segment with nice tricks and pillows, and veteran Ian McIntosh is back from injuries with a full segment that will remind everyone why he is one of the top veterans in the sport.

Jeremy Jones Higher

Teton Gravity Research
Saturday October 4, 2014. Millenium Place. 7 PM (all ages) and 9:30 pm (19+)
Tickets: $17-19 here (scroll down).

Here in Whistler we have a lot of love for big mountain riding but even the gnarliest locals will agree, Jeremy Jones is in a class of his own and this third and final movie in his trilogy is must-see for anyone who loves living in the mountains, and living on the edge. This one is too serious to even describe. Just watch the trailer.

IF3 Whistler

Friday October 10 – Saturday Oct 11, 2014. Whistler Olympic Plaza and Rainbow Theatre

Montreal’s groundbreaking ski film festival rolls into Whistler for Thanksgiving/Turkey Sale weekend with 9 films in two days including the latest from longtime ski movie mavericks Poor Boyz productions and Level 1 as well as soul-riding masters Sweetgrass Productions.

However, the most hyped film of IF3 this year is Pretty Faces, an all-female flick from pro skier Lynsey Dyer and Unicorn Picnic. “I wanted to give young girls something positive to look up to”, Lynsey says on the Unicorn Picnic website. “I wanted to give them their Blizzard of Ahhs, Ski Movie or High Life, but done in a way that also shows the elegance, grace, community and style that is unique to women in the mountains.”

Judging from the trailer, she may have done just that. Pretty Faces screens at the Rainbow Theatre on Saturday October 11, 2014 at 5 PM.

The Little Things

Darcy Turenne Marie-France Roy
Thursday October 16, 2014 Millennium Place. Doors 7:30 PM Showtime: 8:30 PM
Tickets: $17 here (includes a free Mountain Life Annual magazine)

Local bike-superstar-turned-film-genius Darcy Turenne teamed up with local snowboard goddess Marie-France Roy for this two-year project that features a handful of true mountain folk and the different types of inspiring environmental positivity they bring to their everyday lives.

Incredible riding segments from icons like Mike Basich, Jeremy Jones, Megann O’Brien and Marie-France herself combine with beautifully constructed lifestyle pieces about how those riders (and others) are truly walking the walk when it comes to living responsibly and wanting to make a difference in life. There’s also great bits of wisdom from David Suzuki and Whistler’s own Arthur De Jong. (Unfortunately, Suzuki doesn’t launch any big cliffs or pillow lines on a snowboard.)

“I hope everyone is inspired by the stories in this film as Marie and I were,” Turenne says. “And I hope they enjoy it and have fun. These premiers are great because the weather is starting to turn and everyone is amped for their first pow day. But the closest you can get right now is to just watch other people do it.”

The Little Things is fun, insightful and a true local film that many people have been awaiting for two years. This screening will be an event.

No Turning Back

Warren Miller Entertainment
Saturday October 29, 2014 Millennium Place 5 PM 8 PM
Tickets: $21.50 (adults) $16.50 (12 and under) here (scroll down).

Warren Miller deserves credit for essentially inventing the action ski film genre and while it seems his family have taken the reigns from Miller himself, you can always expect great action from these films as well a few up and coming rippers throwing down. Despite a lot of talk about “progression” Warren’s tried and tested formula doesn’t seem to have changed much over the years (is there a top-of-the-chairlift wipe-out bit?) but why mess with success, right?

WARNING: Watching one or more of the films and trailers above will result in increased stoke levels for the upcoming winter. There is no cure, but you can at least find an outlet for all that excitement at

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