Morning. It’s is a sacred time of day, the world just blinking to life, the possibility dawning as big as the sky, the quiet before the bustle. This film is an ode to all those who make the most out of their early hours.
Hearing disabled from birth, bullied as a child, Robin Gillon found grace on skis. “I had a crazy dream,” Gillon says, “and a lot of people thought I wouldn’t achieve it. Well, I’ll keep fighting and I won’t let go until I show the world everything I’ve got.” The footage of Gillon on skis offers proof that being different didn’t hold him back; it made him who he is.
Professional photographers inhabit a rarefied space where the chances of success are negligible, at best. Narrow the niche to adventure/nature photography and — f-stopping the focus down even further — to life as a biking photographer, and you’re in Dan Milner’s world. It stretches from cloud-hung valleys in the Alps to baking hot Ethiopian villages. And to anywhere and everywhere in between that a passion for the perfect shot and two wheels can get him.
“I like to run out the door and see where my legs take me,” Hazel Findlay says. This film follows the professional climber as she lets those legs venture into the Welsh mountains of Snowdownia, where she scales cliffs and retreats into the landscape of her mind.
From the crowds and chaos of spice markets to the trails beneath the snowy peaks of the Himalaya, professional mountain biker Micayla Gatto experiences India on two wheels. But she doesn’t just whiz through the terraced hillside villages on the streamside single track. She stops to share smiles and the culture of the people who live there.
Climbing — the fringy, grungy sport of dirtbags — is headed to the biggest athletic stage on Earth: the 2010 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Disciplines will include lead climbing, bouldering and ... speed climbing? Yes, it’s a thing. This new film by Sender introduces us to the blistering subdiscipline, a much-scoffed at world of interesting warm-up dances, powerful vertical sprinting and competition that’s nothing to joke about.
The Brotherhood of Skiers has been bringing camaraderie and dance parties to the slopes since 1973. The annual summits, which unite African-American ski clubs across the country, are fundraisers for youth programs to pass the love of skiing down to the next generation. First born of necessity — safety in numbers in the aftermath of the civil rights movement — four decades later, the Brotherhood of Skiers is still creating a safe space and upending stereotypes.
Jon Wilson lost a leg to cancer at 23. He found joy some years later by developing a solitary routine of skinning and climbing up a ski mountain on his remaining leg, at night, and skiing back down. Wilson wrote and narrates this tone poem about perseverance and the unexpected gift that came from having been "broken."
The cholita climbers of Bolivia have been subverting the culture of machismo since 2015 by climbing mountains. Not content to stay in their traditional roles as high-mountain cooks, these 11 escaladoras wanted to see for themselves what it felt like to go to the top. Pairing the traditional cholita garb of colorful skirts, shawls, bowler hats and brooches with ice axes and crampons, these women climb for the same reason many others do: that feeling of freedom that comes with standing on the summit.