Four Ski Documentaries

Four upcoming ski movies tackle everything from sailboats to community development in Central Asia. And yes, there’s lots of skiing.
Chris Davenport, Antarctica 2008

Let’s face it. Many ski movies don’t have a lot of depth. Sure, we get pow shots, cliff drops, and soul-bro pontificating on things best left unexplained, like pillow lines. But missing is a discussion of issues affecting skiing and the cutting edge of ski exploration. These four ski documentaries could be a welcome remedy.

Australis: An Antarctic Ski Adventure, May 2010

Antarctica is hard to reach. That’s part of the appeal for pro skier Chris Davenport, who decided to make things even more difficult (but green) by sailing there in a 75-foot yacht. Davenport, a film crew, and fellow skiers Stian Hagen and Andrea Binning will document a series of first descents in the Antarctic Peninsula. Says Davenport, after a brief 2008 Antarctica trip, “I really want to open people’s eyes to the possibilities here.”

The Kyrgyzstan Plan, fall 2010

Foreign investors are slowly developing Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan Mountains—home to 22,000-foot summits. But locals haven’t yet fit into that growth. Inspired by the cultural development nonprofit Vista 360, Ryan Koupal and three other Coloradans are developing a hut-to-hut/homestay ski tour in conjunction with a local tourism association. The documentary follows their efforts and includes ample ski footage to “get people amped on the potential here,” as Koupal says.

The Kashmir Project, fall 2010

Director Anthony Bonello traveled to Kashmir last year and got hooked on the ski scene in Gulmarg. This Himalayan resort was once a major tourist attraction, but when fighting broke out between India and Pakistan in the ’80s, tourism evaporated. Bonello, who is also an editor at large at, says the goal of the project is to “dispel some of the stigma that Kashmir is a dangerous place to travel and highlight just how incredible the skiing is.”

Generations, now available

Generations, a Teton Gravity Research film made in partnership with Protect Our Winters, focuses on how climate change affects the way we use winter. The idea, initially proposed by The North Face, was to light a fire under the asses of those idling in I-70 traffic for turns at Vail. It’s (yet more) condemnation of the internal-combustion engine, punctuated with enough ski footage to keep you interested.


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Tanner Hall, the Movie

Win for Ski Movie Diversity

There's a new movie out called Tanner Hall. But it's not what you think it is: no X Games, no reggae, and no skiing. Instead, it's a flick about a fictional, elite boarding school called, you guessed it, Tanner Hall.

What do you think of ski movies today? All ski movies are the same. Even when they say they’re revolutionary. None of them have a plot. They jump off something big, they go to meet with other cool people like themselves. Where is the fat guy skiing? Where are the beginners falling off chairlifts? Where is the slapstick humor that made ski movies so good in the past?   So you decided to make one that’s better than all the rest? There’s a lot of pain in the ski industry right now, both on the resort side and the manufacturing side. We had this global economic meltdown, declining revenues, draught. It seems like one misery after the other. We need a joke. Cheap Ski Movie’s tagline is ‘It’s a movie for the times. Hard times.’ (click to the next slide for the rest of the interview)

Cheap Ski Movie

Jack Turner, a Durango, Colorado-based filmmaker, decided to create a spoof ski movie—picture Wayne’s World meets Warren Miller. The result? Cheap Ski Movie, a comic documentary-style take on ski porn that will tour the country next fall. We spoke to Turner about heli-skiing in Massachusetts and how to make a ski movie for under $60,000 (hint: use cardboard).


Another Zombie Movie

Yes, we are all sick of zombies movies and yes, producers are still creating then. Surprisingly, adding German Nazi officers and a snowy setting in Dead Snow impressed people at the Sundance Film Festival last winter.