SUN VALLEY — You don’t have to look far to see Sun Valley’s ski and snowboard enthusiasts on the Internet, on the cover of magazines and making the tour of ski film circuits.
Sun Valley natives Lexi duPont and McKenna Peterson, for instance, make turns in the Italian Alps in the new Warren Miller film “Line of Descent,” while Sun Valley’s aerial ski wizard Collin Collins revels in powder shots in Montana’s Glacier Country.
Now a one-night, one-of-a-kind film festival will sport their talents, along with that of nine other Sun Valley skiers, snowboarders and filmmakers on Friday.
The Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center will present the first ever “Homegrown Film Festival” sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment on Friday at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey.
The athletes and filmmakers are giving all the money made from ticket sales and raffles to the Sawtooth Avalanche Center, which provides avalanche forecasts for an area ranging from Fairfield to Stanley, as well as avalanche awareness classes for snowmobilers and winter recreationalists.
There’s already been a hunter-triggered slide near Trail Creek east of Sun Valley.
“The Homegrown Festival will feature a load of great short films from local skiers and filmmakers,” said big mountain skier McKenna Peterson. “It should be a very fun evening.”
Festivities will start at 5 p.m. in front of the theater with eats cooked up by The Haven food truck, wine provided by Atkinson’s Markets and suds from the Sawtooth Brewery. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the films start at 7. There will be Black Diamond door prizes. And Sun Valley Company has donated a 2017/18 season ski pass to be raffled off, with tickets going for $20 each.
The tickets will be sold only at the Homegrown Film Festival and the pass raffled off at the end of the films, which makes the odds very good for anyone purchasing a ticket, organizer Tina Cole said.
In addition, “Homegrown” poster artist Jack Weekes will sell a limited edition of 100 hand-screened prints of the Boy Scout Couloir on the Grand Mogul above Redfish Lake for $50 each, with the proceeds going to the Avalanche Center.
“Homegrown” tickets are $10 for Blaine County students and $15 for adults, available at The Elephant’s Perch, Ski Tek and Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum and at Sturtevant’s in Hailey.
The evening will be dedicated to Chris Peterson, a longtime member of the local back-country ski community who died in an avalanche in December 2016 in Montana.
In addition to McKenna Peterson, DuPont and Collins, others taking part in the evening are Stellar Media’s Spencer Cordovano, Yancy Caldwell, Wyatt Caldwell and Chase Cleveland, as well as Banks Gilberti, Jake Strassman, Axel Peterson, Karl Fostvedt and Wing Tai Barrymore, a member of the U.S. Ski Team’s 2017 Men’s Half-Pipe Pro Team.
“Homegrown” celebrates the legacy started by Warren Miller, who was a 22-year-old just out of the U.S. Navy when he bought his first 8 mm movie camera and moved to Sun Valley where he camped in a parking lot in a teardrop trailer while teaching and filming people skiing.
Over the next four decades Warren Miller amassed dozens of skiing films, as did Dick Barrymore, another Sun Valley filmmaker who filmed such films as “The Last of the Ski Bums” during the 1960s and ‘70s.
Yancy Caldwell and his older brother Wyatt, who used to snowboard professionally, started film making seven years ago and now have a portfolio of films, including one of timber sleds shot for Red Bull and tourist videos for those like Utah Life elevated and Quebec Tourism.
Yancy Caldwell will show a film he made in Alaska at the festival.
“Shooting in Alaska is my favorite type of ski shooting simply because of the grandeur of the mountains and because so many things have to line up perfectly to get that amazing imagery everyone wants,” he said.
Coles, a backcountry ski enthusiast and coach with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, organized a one-night film festival featuring nationally produced adventure films as a fundraiser for the Avalanche Center the past couple of years.
“I realized—hey—we don’t need to go elsewhere to get our films,” she said. “We have an amazing collection right here.”