When he was 16, Joey Maxim was a bright, athletic, handsome teenager heading toward a promising future. Until, in the half-instant that such things can happen, his life completely changed. From sitting on top of the world, Maxim was pitched into the darkest depths of despair. That’s where he stayed until he discovered the magic of fly fishing and the undiminishable hope that attends every cast of a silken line tied to a likely fly.
Colorblind photographer Oskar Enander is drawn to the stark contrast of light and dark in the enchanted mountains of Switzerland. Shuttered with slow motion clips and stills, this short film captures the grayscale vision of a man not only in love with skiing, but deeply passionate about following the sun as it walks across the ridgeline.
Inner-city Memphis is not the likeliest setting for an enormous rock climbing gym. But since it opened in March 2018, Memphis Rox, the nation’s only nonprofit climbing gym — open to all, regardless of ability to pay — has proven that the challenges of technical climbing have strong appeal, and can provide benefits well beyond the traditional outdoor-recreation community.
Everest-obsessed since childhood, Robert “Rusty” Bailey fulfilled his dream of joining an Everest expedition in 1982. He was buried in an avalanche that killed several Sherpas, but dug himself out. After a rest day, the summit attempt resumed, and Rusty cheated death a second time. This portrait of a professional climber asks the big question: Is it worth it?
Steazy ski footage culturally backdropped by the creation myth of the indigenous Pehuenche people of the southern Andes? Works for me.
Ikigai: The Shin Biyajima Story
When American professional snowboarder Travis Rice visits his friend Shin Biyajima in Nagano, Japan, the two join up to snowboard some of the best tree runs on the planet. But Biyajima’s life as a professional snowboarder is not just about chasing chest-deep powder. It’s about facing challenges, following his own path and appreciating the divine spirit in nature. In snowboarding, Biyajima has found his motivating force, his ikigai — or reason for being.
A Light in the Shadow
“I always imagine myself deep in a hole, unable to crawl out,” says Rob Krar, describing his struggle with depression. Ultra-long-distance running, he adds, is “without a doubt … a coping mechanism.” Krar has also learned that being open about his illness helps to alleviate it. “Men, let’s talk when things get tough,” reads the end title to this short about a global mental health crisis, particularly among men.
“I need to run because I love having that connection to nature,” says ultra-runner Anna Frost, who’s been racking up competitive wins for more than a decade. After being consumed with running for years, Frost takes on a new challenge. This film follows the endurance athlete from podium to motherhood.