Urban Circus Fish
“…When that fish comes up to eat, man you’re excited,” says KC Badger, a fly fisherman in Phoenix, Arizona — not exactly a mecca of the sport, but all the more reason Badger and his friend, Kenny Price, enjoy the fish of their labors. From carp to koi and bass to trout, Badger and Price travel through the metropolitan area in search of fish less caught. And when he’s not hauling fish out of canals, urban ponds and other unorthodox water sources, Badger is chasing his other urban passion: BMX biking.
Surfing typically requires ocean waves, but StrongWater upends that presupposition. In this film, a group of board lovers go surfing — not near the beaches of Hawaii, but to the river city of Missoula, Montana, where surfers have transformed the sport and the scene of this iconic pastime.
The Weight of Winter
The epic powder storms of Hokkaido, Japan, are legendary. This cinematically stunning short captures the full brutality of the storms, as well as their blissful aftermath. Skiers Stephan Drake, Piers Solomon and Santiago Guzman get the goods, surfing through fields of fluff and floating down steps stacked with cottony snow. Elemental and raw in nature, the DPS Cinematic film The Weight of Winter depicts the coldest season in its glorious depths.
A Simple Machine
Fingers turn a key, push a green button and the gears of le telepherique grind to life slowly. A Simple Machine: The Life and Death of the La Grave Cablecar is the story of the contraption that, for decades, has carried skiers 7,000 feet up from a tiny village in the French Alps over glaciers and crevasses, providing access to steep off-piste skiing. The yellow and orange gondola cars soar overhead with the help of longtime machinists, who lovingly grease, weld and replace the parts to keep it running smoothly. But the future of La Grave’s cablecar — as well as the town’s connection to its skiing heritage — is uncertain because the lease on the machine is up in 2017, and no one has stepped forward yet to take it over.
Matthias Giraud — aka Super Frenchie — is a pro skier and BASE jumper who was the first person to ski BASE the Matterhorn. Six years ago, he skied off of Ingram Peak in Telluride and returned to do the same on the Heavens Eleven in 2016. The line, which can be seen from the top of Lift 9, features a narrow, rocky, hairy descent, made even more so when the egress of choice is flying. Local filmmaker Brett Schreckengost worked on this film and local skier Herb Manning guided Giraud into the Elevens.
The Trail to Kazbegi
The former Soviet Republic of Georgia, which is located in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains and has a complicated past, is a mostly forgotten pocket of the world. But for four American adventurers, it’s ripe for exploration. They plot out an ambitious plan to transect the rugged Caucasus, a raw landscape filled with rocky passes and sketchy border regions, before ending their journey in the beautiful Kazbegi region. On mountain bikes. And unsupported.
What they encounter are colorful locals, ancient trading paths, snowfields, stone-faced border patrolmen, a fair amount of suffering, wild storms and a host of unknowns. All the ingredients, in other words, of a great adventure.
Ice, driftwood, foamy waves and … skateboards? In this poetic short film by Jørn Nyseth Ranum, four skaters head north to the cold Norwegian coast, applying their urban skills to a wild canvas of beach flotsam, frozen sand and pastel skies. The result is a beautiful mashup — biting winds and short days, ollies and one ephemeral quarterpipe.
At 90 years old, Henry Bendinelli was a tour de force. After more than seven decades of skiing, he still found joy in traipsing around the mountains and wanted to share his passion with others. He created a social club in which members could venture into the outdoors through skiing, cycling, dancing and more.
Filmmaker Riley Hooper first encountered Bendinelli when she worked for Vimeo. He wrote asking for assistance in deleting videos, and the two struck up an unlikely friendship. Eventually, they went skiing together, and Hooper was moved by his infectious zeal for life. 70-Some Years details that life, ranging from Bendinelli’s experiences under fire during war to the many runs he logged skiing. His story makes clear the importance of pursuing our passions, and how sharing the resulting joy with others is the key to a long and healthy life.