For years, males have dominated the freeski film industry. Sure, you might get a female cameo every so often (“Look! She’s one of the guys!”), but there’s a new, long overdue trend on the scene: the rise of the all-female cast in ski and snowboard films.
In a time where female athletes are, unfortunately, often more celebrated for their physique than their athleticism, it’s refreshing to see these women doing what they do best: sending it off cliffs, launching off jumps, and shredding up the mountain. Here are six films you need to watch to get to know the talented athletes who are tearing it up right now.
Released in 2009, STANCE is a pioneer of the all-female action sports films. This snowboard film is a full-feature, high definition, story-boarded production focusing on the individual athletes and the snowboard lifestyle as a whole. The team of athletes was carefully researched and recruited, and includes incredible shredders like Gretchen Bleiler, Torah Bright, Jenny Jones and Hana Beaman. STANCE takes place in some of the top ski locales in the US—think Utah, Jackson Hole, Aspen and Mammoth. This high quality production set the bar incredibly high for the films that would try to follow in its footsteps.
As We Are
Dubbed “A Girls’ Ski Movie”, As We Are hit the scene in 2010. The film follows six talented athletes, who start out more-or-less as strangers. The women take one another to their local mountains, and as any skier or snowboarder knows, it doesn’t take long to bond after a few epic days in the snow. The scenic shots of the Alps will have you perusing the web for flight details in no time. As We Are features athletes like Sandra Lahnsteiner, Laura Bohleber, Giulia Monego, Melissa Presslaber and Pia Widmesser.
Drawing attention from both the Powder Awards (where it won Best Short) and Coldsmoke Awards, Super Mom is a short film by Switchback Entertainment following freeski legend Wendy Fisher. Wendy once dominated the women’s freeski scene, but skiing was placed on the back burner while she started a family. To no one’s surprise, Wendy found herself missing the scene, wondering if she could still dominate in the freeski world, which tends to progress at breakneck speed. This film follows Wendy’s return to the big mountains and will remind you why legends never die.
Shades of Winter
Shades of Winter features not only an all-female cast, but also an all-female crew. Produced by freeskier Sandra Lahnsteiner, this film has everything: huge lines in Alaska; epic jumps through a castle-themed setup at the Nine Queens freeski competition in New Zealand; and plenty of good times in between. The film stars athletes from three different continents, including Rachel Burks (USA), Janina Kuzma (NZ), Matilda Rapaport (SWE) and Lorraine Huber (AUT). This full-length film will blow your mind.
The Icey Ladies
Part documentary, part ski film, this 12 minute film takes you behind the scenes of the only all-women team to participate in the Eye of the Condor (EOTC) ski competition, a photo and film event based in Chile. The film follows the team of six through their highs and lows in the 2012 and 2013 EOTC competitions. I won’t spoil it for you, but these ladies slay it. This short is presently nominated for the Coldsmoke Awards People’s Choice Awards.
Lynsey Dyer took the lead on this project: she collected unreleased footage and filmed new segments featuring some of the top female skiers in the world, like Ingrid Backstrom, Angel Collinson, Elyse Saugstad and Michelle Parker. The result is an amazing collection of incredible athleticism combined with stunning scenery. The film is all about showcasing the best female talent and most incredible mountain athletes in the world.