Despite the mild fall weather, winter is about to hit New York City. The first annual Snow Film Fest NYC, premieres next weekend at Tribeca Cinemas—offering the concrete jungle-bound some good, solid reasons to quit their jobs, or at least, book some extra time into the next ski trip.
Although most skiing film festivals are usually held in places that don’t have eight million residents under a glass and metal skyline, the festival founders decided that NYC was the perfect venue. “NYC has this really unique action sports population,” says festival founder Morgan Rae Berk. “People settle here for work, even if they’d rather be living in the mountains skiing or snowboarding…so I figure I might as well bring that feeling here to them.”
The festival will showcase this year’s crop of films, like Level 1’s “Eye Trip”, Grete Eliassen’s “Say My Name,” and MSP’s “The Way I See It,” but it will also encompass ski culture documentaries, ski mountaineering, and ski film legends, like Greg Stump’s classic “Blizzard of Ahhs.”
On hand for Q&A’s and discussions will be industry insiders and filmmakers like TGR’s Steve Jones, and Say My Name’s Stan Evans, as well as athletes from the films. Event organizers are also donating a portion of proceeds to Stoked Mentoring, a non-profit that introduces urban and underprivileged youth to the world of action sports.
Berk knows the New York metro-area action sports scene already, she’s the founder of the three-year-old NY Surf Film Festival. Local athletes told her they wanted to see the same thing but on the winter side. She partnered up with just about every metro-area ski and snowboard group, and says the support from the ski industry and urban snow enthusiasts has been overwhelming.
However, the goals of the festival, like her surfing festival, are a little broader than just provoking more ski trips and urban rail slides. And it’s not actually to inspire to people to quit their jobs and move away, but to keep the stoke alive and spread it around the city.
“NYC is a cultural center. We try to raise the bar on the perception of action sports. We honor the filmmakers and athletes rather than fuel the rockstar lifestyle that most people see in action sports,’ says Berk. “I would like to think we can help push action sports to be taken more seriously…and showcase the lives, locations, and people that really make up the sport. We want to bring some positive light and general stoke to NYC.”