Change is a good thing.
I can’t imagine how last night’s Intersection (presented by Bromley Baseboards) would have gone down if the old rules – the ones where filmmakers had to use footage within 100 km of Whistler Blackcomb, shot within a designated time period this winter – were still in place. This season of lackluster snow has not been conducive to the making of ski and snowboard movies.
Thankfully, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival decided to shake things up this year. The timeframe was extended and the geographical constraint was completely done away with.
That means that we got to see footage spanning from the hills of Ontario to the monoliths of Alaska, which made for an evening with a ton of variety.
It also brought out some pretty big names in snowboarding. Three of the six videos represented segments or compilations from upcoming feature ski and snowboarding films, and snow heroes like DCP and Devun Walsh took the stage last night. It’s safe to say that last night’s Intersection took things to a whole new level.
Full Moon Film kicked off the night with Whishalla, their parody on Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla. Filmed in BC, this film pretty much had it all: humour, sick shredding, excellent production quality, and a theme that resonated with the audience. The all-female crew was lead by Leanne Pelosi – on the one hand, I was stoked to see a team of women ripping it on the mountain, but on the other hand, it made me realize that none of the other five videos that night featured women riders.
Kontakt Films was one of the crews who benefitted from the change in rules. These Ontario boys put together a film titled ON. Weekends, showing off their park skills, Ontario style – remember, now, the highest skiable vertical in their province is 720 feet.
Meanwhile in Canada rounded out the first half of the night with Ski the North, one of my favourite flicks from this year’s Intersection. This crew hopped aboard their trusty RV to complete an “intensive investigation” – in their words – on who is behind the lack of snow this season. They took us along their road trip to places like Quesnel, Vanderhoof, and Fort St. John, where they built some incredible features and nailed it on the urban riding.
The second half of the show represented short previews of larger movies. A tiny part of me feels that this takes away from the grassroots element of Intersection, but I have to admit that it’s always fun watching skiing and snowboarding of this caliber. Plus, even small crews from Intersections past have used their Intersection entries as part of larger videos, so I guess this is nothing new.
Helicopters and Alaska. That’s all you really need to know about Legs of Steel’s submission, a preview of their upcoming release, Passenger. This show was exactly what the powder starved audience was dying to see, and based on the hoots and hollers, they got what they wanted.
Whistler Creek Productions took the stage next, with a clip from their project, Balance. Balance looks at board culture across skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding, and the Intersection preview clip focused on the last of these three. Their film tackled what I like to call snowboarding’s big questions: why do we do it, why do we love it, and what does it all really mean. Oh, and there were appearances made by DCP (the man behind the project), Nicolas Müller, and Terje Haakonsen, among others. No big deal.
Finally, the Wildcats (represented by Devun Walsh and JF Pelchat) came out of hibernation (much to the delight of the audience, I should add) with a teaser from their film Wildcats Never Die, coming at you next fell (2016). This film was all about fun, though one of my friends pointed out that it felt more like a trailer than a standalone short. There was urban riding, freeriding, pillows, and even some T. Swift shaking it off. I’m definitely checking out this film when it comes out.
Deliberation and ping pong ball voting ensued. At the end of the night, the people voted Full Moon Film’s Whishalla as the People’s Choice awards, earning them armfuls of free stuff from Intersection sponsors. The seven judges deliberated awhile over who would take home the $10,000 cash prize, and ultimately, the powder reigned supreme: Legs of Steel went home the big winners of the evening.
In the olden Intersection days, a film like Legs of Steel’s submission wouldn’t have been eligible to compete. I think we can all agree that, indeed, change is a good thing.