The film he is referring to is Ridiculed, produced and directed by local Telluride freerider Luke Kirsch. "It's unbelievable. The tricks these kids pull make me feel like an incompetent skier," said Julia. "They're doing flips and twists. It's amazing stuff and very worthy of the big screen showing it on Saturday night."
Kirsch's 20-minute film includes freeride ski footage from High North Ski Camp, Vail, Aspen, Keystone and Telluride, featuring young local talents Colby Ward, Woody Smith, Lane Smith, Hoot Brown, Luke Story, Ryan Yaeger, Hannah Smith, Walker Kvale, and Gus Kenworthy. Kirsch, who also has a small part in the movie, said the hardest part about filming was "getting the skiers to cooperate. They wanted to do their own thing."
The title Ridiculed came in response to people who say freeriding is not real skiing. "Freeriding is the new skiing movement," said Kirsch, who is a member of the local freeride team.
"My friends and I always wanted to make a movie," said Krisch. "I volunteered to make it happen." The footage was filmed last winter. "It took nine months from when we started filming to making the first copy," said Krisch, who has plans to film another movie this winter with the same group of skiers.
The doors open tomorrow night at 8 p.m.; the first film, Ridiculed, starts at 8:30 p.m., followed by the Teton Gravity Research feature-length movie, Soul Purpose. Tickets are $10, available at the door and at Wizard Entertainment. The evening is sponsored by Paragon Sports, which will be giving away lots of free stuff all evening.
"We have tons of giveaways," said Trevor Leonard of Paragon Sports. "We're giving away door prizes, we're throwing stuff off the stage and we're having a raffle." Freebies include hats, T-shirts, pass holders, ski movies, and more. "It doesn't seem right to come to a ski movie and not walk away with something free," he said.
Leonard, who has seen every feature-length ski movie put out this year, said he was "super impressed with the kids' movie." As for Soul Purpose, "This is one of my favorite ski movies, it has a good mix of big mountain skiing and terrain park stuff," he said. "And it has the best soundtrack of all the ski movies this year."
Nathan Frerichs, who used to show movies for TGR and Matchstick Productions in the 1990s, said Soul Purpose is the "best ski and snowboard movie that will come through town this winter." And he encourages everyone to come see Ridiculed. "This is a good opportunity for the kids," Frerichs said. "Hopefully someone from MountainFilm will be there taking notes."
Julia is also a fan of TGR's work. TGR and, of course, Warren Miller "are the two major ski-movie producers," said Julia. TGR, a younger company started in 1995, showcases new school styles, with a lot of terrain park and big mountain skiing. "TGR has pushed ski movies to where they are now in the whole free-skiing movement," said Julia. "It used to be a ski movie was set at a specific site with three guys skiing and jumping off ledges at a ski area — places the moviemakers could market. TGR focuses less on resort product placement and more on guys getting dropped out of helicopters in areas that were previously considered unskiable." Soul Purpose runs an hour-and-a-half, and will include an intermission.
"The Opera House is a great place for an event like this," said Julia. "It's really fun when the place is packed and everyone walks out with free stuff."
Julia added that it also makes for a good start to the ski season. "I'm glad we're doing it right before the ski area opens," he said, "when people are chomping at the bit to get on the mountain."