8th annual festival features Steamboat filmmakers | SteamboatToday.com

8th annual festival features Steamboat filmmakers

Nicole Inglis

— Appalachian Ski Mountain boasts 365 vertical feet and some of the best man-made snow in North Carolina.

But as Steamboat Springs resident Martin Clay's home ski area, the small hill has a mountain of meaning.

It's where he learned to ski and where he first began filming his winter stunts with his friends.

At 18, he moved to Steamboat, where he's since filmed his friends and himself cutting through deep powder in and around Steamboat Ski Area, flipping over natural features and progressing in the terrain park with high-quality and helmet cameras.

"I hope people are just excited to see Steamboat in a film and that, hopefully, this year's going to be better," Clay said, alluding to the mediocre snow year he filmed last winter. "But the basic thing about it is just having fun out there skiing and snowboarding."

His short film, "Look Into The Sky," will screen at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ghost Ranch Saloon during the eighth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

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Clay's edit is one of three local entries that document last year's ski season, with films from Bent and Broken Productions and Ness Productions also up for awards. Viewers can watch teasers and vote for their favorite at http://steamboatfilmfestival.com/voting. Voting ends at midnight today.

Clay, 22, took film classes at Colorado Mountain College, where Michael Martin, the film festival's organizer, heads the ski and snowboard business program.

"It's nice to see him go on and do something with that," Martin said about Clay's entry. "It's cool to see people in our area that are doing a lot of different things that people wouldn't think about. We're not necessarily known as an action sport hub. It's cool to see those people are out there."

As for Ness Productions' film, Martin simply said, "It's Kerry, and Kerry is Kerry."

Kerry Lofy, the name behind Ness Productions, entered this year with the film "Liquid Sky," featuring antics well beyond the ski area.

From BASE-jumping to kayaking, flips on skis to jumping out of airplanes, the film follows the local adrenaline junkie on a gravity-defying trip.

"He's one of those guys that's sort of into everything," Martin said. "You never know what you're going to get."

The third film, "Just Wanna Ride" by Bent and Broken Productions, comes from a group of North Routt County skiers and snowboarders, who incorporated a slew of snowmobiling into this year's entry, portraying another side of Routt County.

The event also will feature a screening of Whistler, British Columbia-based Dendrite Studios' ski movie "Out Of The Shadows" and the disc jockey music of Ghetdown Network, who are playing a benefit show to support DJ Theory.

"I think it will be a fun time to reconnect, reflect on last season and get ready for the next season," Martin said. "It brings a local feel, a local's perspective to your action sports film."

For Clay, it's not just the Steamboat community he hopes will enjoy his film.

"I love sending it back to my parents and friends back home so they can see what I'm doing," he said. "They get so pumped."


To vote for one of the three local action sports films for the annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival, visit http://steamboatfilmfestival.com/voting.

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