Steamboat Mountain Film festival begins Saturday |

Steamboat Mountain Film festival begins Saturday

Nicole Inglis

Steamboat local Mac Noel tweaks a tail grab last winter. Noel will appear in his friend Tucker Olson’s “Prodigies” film, a local submission in this weekend’s Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

Steamboat local Mac Noel tweaks a tail grab last winter. Noel will appear in his friend Tucker Olson's "Prodigies" film, a local submission in this weekend's Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

— It was every Steamboat-raised 17-year-old's dream.

Last winter, Tucker Olson stood atop a peak in Haines, Alaska, helicopter whirling above his head, unable to see the line below him that he was about to ski.

"It was pretty good snow. It was really consistent, and the lines were really long: 5,000 feet straight down," Olson said Thursday about his Alaska heli trip. "You can't really stop to take video. It's a really cool feeling; you feel weightless sometimes."

But he did have his helmet cam recording, and the footage from the trip he took with his father is just one part of a short ski film he created for his first submission to this weekend's ninth annual Steamboat Mountain Film Festival.

Michael Martin, the festival's organizer and director of the ski and snowboard business program at Colorado Mountain College, said Olson and the three other local submissions will provide the crowd at the amped-up festival with a local view of last year's epic winter.

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"It's the kickoff party to the season," Martin said. "And looking back on last year, especially since it was such a great snow year … this just takes that home movie experience to another level. It's fun to see Steamboat promoted from a local's point of view."

The festival originally was scheduled at Ghost Ranch Saloon, but because that venue unexpectedly closed, Martin had to move the event to the Depot Art Center.

The event is at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with the big-budget professional movies screening Saturday and the local films screening Sunday.

Because high demand from the community to watch Sherpas Cinema's artful, two-year ski movie project "All.I.Can," Martin said that film will screen both nights.

Tickets are $10 each night, and because the Depot holds fewer than 200 people, it is expected to fill up. Tickets are available online at

On Saturday, the night will kick off at 7 p.m. with Standard Films' "TB:20," a movie celebrating the 20th anniversary of the snowboard film production company.

"All.I.Can" will screen at 8 p.m., and Martin said the cinematography is awe inspiring.

"They really set a new standard with this film," Martin said. "From my standpoint as a filmmaker, I appreciate the way they tell a story with an overarching theme for the whole film. And I think the casual ski moviegoer is going to be blown away by what they do with time lapses."

Matchstick Productions' "Attack of La Niña" will screen at 9 p.m., followed by an after party at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant with live hip-hop from local band the World Citizens.

Sunday will be a night for local filmmakers to shine.

The four short film submissions range from terrain park and backcountry skiing to snowmobiling cliff drops and summer sports.

Local Kerry Lofy incorporates more of his BASE jumping antics this year, and Chris Rhodes will screen his snowmobiling edit filmed in the Steamboat backcountry. Martin Clay, another repeat submitter, explores the park and backcountry on skis.

Awards will be given, and then Martin will screen his own edit, a multimedia homage to winters past. "All.I.Can" screens again at 10 p.m. Sunday.

While they each have their own flair, the films all capture the essence of the action-packed lifestyles these diehards follow as they chase their winter passions.

And for Tucker Olson, that passion is about attaining that one, perfect moment:

"Getting snow in your face is the best thing ever," he said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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