Ski/board films fly at ShAFF
Being based in the Peak District the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival definitely has its roots in climbing, mountain biking and off-road running. That said, we love all adventure sports and this year we've been blown away by the number of incredible ski/board films. In fact they make up a quarter of the entire weekend's programme. That's reflected in the awards with seven prizes:
'Pour Vous Servir' (translation: At Your Service) from the French PVS Company is not your average ski/board movie. It takes the spirit of freestyle and goes lateral, then does a 360. Only the French could come up with Fight Club for ski bums and a naked drag race. David Lacote from PVS Company, who's already working on their next project, said: "We are really happy about the decision and it's our first prize with this movie!!!"
Another popular choice with the judges was the feature length 'Ready to Fly' about American ski jumper Lindsay Van's emotional roller coaster of a battle with the IOC for women's ski-jumping to become an Olympic Sport. It got the Silver award in Best Ski & Board and also Bronze in the Best Feature category. William A. Kerig, writer and director said: "We are incredibly honored to be recognized at ShAFF among such great films. We hope Ready To Fly and the story of Lindsey Van inspires audience members to never give up on their dreams."
JP Auclair in All.I.Can - Imagination was a strong contender. We showed the full length film last year so it's testament to how great a film it is that this chapter made a second appearance but also went on to win the Best Short Film (Gold) Award.
The judges loved Shaun Palmer - Miserable Champion but like its eponymous anti-hero (7 times world champion, 6 XGames Golds, 38 elite victories and 117 career podiums in SEVEN different sports!) it simply didn't fit into any of our exisiting categories - hence the creation of a Special Judges Prize.
And I'd like to give a special mention to one of my favourite production companies Felt Soul Media for their film Unicorn Sashimi which got the Silver award in the Best Artistic Film Category. Better known for their beautiful films about fishing, last winter they saved up, bought their dream camera and teamed up with Sweetgrass Productions go hunt the mythical Hokkaido unicorn. The creature proved elusive so they went skiing and instead captured the magic of the Japanese snow surfers. I'll also flag up their next project Damnation - we'll be showing the trailer at ShAFF.
Talking of Sweetgrass - if you ever dream about ditching the office job to run away and make adventure sports films then think again. In On the Road - 2 Years 5 Winters (Winner of our Best Ski & Board Film Bronze prize) the guys from Sweetgrass Productions give us a little flavour of what it was really like making 'Solitaire' (Winner of the 2012 ShAFF Artistic Film award). This final chapter on the Clockwork Orange-like torture of the edit and the sweet agony of letting go for release to the public is exquisite. (I'm not on the judging panel but this one got an 11/10 from me).
Both Felt Soul Media and Sweetgrass work closely with our title sponsor Patagonia to whom we are incredibly grateful for their continued support.
PS For a taste of just some of the other Ski/Board films on at ShAFF why not read freelance filmmaker, keen skier and adventure enthusiast Dan Habershon Butcher reviews of The White Line, White Noise, Ready to Fly and Pour Vous Servir as well as Tempting Fear.