As sure as summer follows winter, powder follows snowfall and hangovers follow Jäger, the time is rapidly approaching for the Tignes, Morzine and Verbier Film Awards. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Morzine, Tignes or Verbier in March you will have the opportunity to participate in an event that will undoubtedly be the highlight of the winter.
As the Oscars celebrates artistic talent and the Nobel Prize celebrates outstanding achievement, the Mountain Film Awards celebrate ridiculousness, outrageousness and, for want of a better word, sendiness. If you think you have what it takes to light up the screen and get the audience on their feet then this is your time to shine.
“If you think you have what it takes to light up the screen… then this is your time to shine”
The format is simple – over the course of eight days, riders, filmmakers, actors, stuntmen, auteurs and visionaries will have the chance to put together a film that showcases their talent, their imagination, their home resort and the mayhem of season life. Over the past couple of years the bar has been raised. Films have included car chases, couloir skiing, virtual reality, lightsabers, jibbing, car chases and huge lines.
If you’ve ever had a weird and wonderful idea for a film, or if you just want to find a way to show the world how incredible life is when you live on a mountain with your friends in winter, this is the time to stop dreaming and make it happen. The only limit is your imagination, and ability (and time). Films should not exceed five minutes. There’s only so much time on the night, and a lot of films to get through.
As the days count down and the window closes, things get more and more frantic as filmmakers battle the weather and the logistics to get the shots they need. It’s then a question of putting it all together before time runs out. For the duration of filming week the mountain turns from a winter wonderland into some kind of bizarre, budget film set with teams popping up all over the place in ridiculous costumes, wigs and make up acting out various scenes for their epic entry, all the while trying to keep the overall plot under wraps until the big night while rival teams and curious onlookers try to work out what the hell is going on.
It is all well worth the effort, however, when the awards night rolls round and the teams find themselves there, with all their friends and community around them to see just what they have managed to make. If you’ve been lucky enough to be part of one of the teams it’s a night of nerves, excitement and exhilaration as you see your film on the big screen with a room full of people behind you cheering you on. The films always receive an incredible response, although how much of that is down to the ridiculous amount of alcohol that gets consumed is anyone’s guess.
As the night draws on and the films continue, the entire community parties harder than at any other time during the season. The hangover the next day is only made worse with the knowledge that it will be another whole year before the town does it all again. However, the edge is taken off slightly as the films start to appear online and people can relive a night they barely remember.
If this has got you ready then there are two ways to participate. Buy a ticket, go along on the night, cheer the films and drink the bar dry or, better yet, get a team together, plan out a film, sign up, get out on the mountain and make it happen. Maybe you could be taking home a full year ambassadorship for winning best skier, sponsored by Planks Clothing or an outrageous 80s ski suit for Best Comedy by OOSC. Get adventurous and win a collection of adventure belts by Arcade Belts, or wow the crowd with your editing skills to win a pair of Dragon Goggles, or send it to the moon to win Best Trick by Stance, or even the big one – best film.
With 500 euros cash prize money up for grabs, it’s a night where heroes are made and legends born.
Sign Up Deadline: 29 February 2020
Filming Week: 1 – 8 March 2020
Premiere Party: 12 March 2020 (Tignespace)
Sign Up Deadline: 12 March 2020
Filming Week: 13 March – 20 March 2020
Premiere Party: 24 March (Palais Du Sport)
Sign Up Deadline: 25 February 2020
Filming Week: 14 – 21 March 2020
Premiere Party: 25 March 2020 (Verbier Cinema)
So, if you are in any of those towns for the season it’s time to start planning your film and planning your excuses for why you weren’t at work during the filming week, or the morning after the party. If you’re planning your holiday around that time then look out for tickets and make sure you don’t miss the party of the season.
For more information on the Mountain Film Awards, head to the official website.