An Intersectional Lens*: Snowsports Films Promoting Diversity On The Mountain
Photo by: Anne Cleary
Calling all snowsport film lovers. We've put together an awesome list of our favourite ski and snowboard films and edits promoting diversity in snowsport to get you stoked for this winter!
Many avid skier/snowboarder/snowsport enthusiasts will agree that one of the best ways to spend your morning coffee or evening wind-down is by watching an edit or film to amp you up for the upcoming snow season. There are so many awesome ski and snowboard films out there that share the beauty and gnar of the winter sports we all love; often though, what we end up watching are movies and edits from the same lens and the same perspective. This perspective means the main themes of the films are usually: stoke and excellent quality snow. And don’t get us wrong - we love stoke and snow too. However, nowadays as the people behind the lens diversify, so does the perspective of snowsport movies. Snowsport film makers are starting to share alternative, less understood stories of the mountain; stories of overcoming fear, stories of adversity, and stories that create more representation in snowsport. And we think this is awesome. So, without further adieu, we are stoked to share some of our favorite ski films and edits about uplifting and empowering the “unlikely,” and “underrepresented,” riders on the mountain to get you ready for the upcoming season.
In no particular order…
Ascend is a short film telling the story of Vasu Sojitra making the first summit of Mount Moran by a person with a disability. This film is already breaking boundaries by featuring three people of colour who are leaders in the snowsport industry and shows a different perspective on snowsports. Vasu’s message is simple, people with disabilities should be uplifted in this sport as much as anyone else. With the right support, anyone can participate and excel in snowsports, but for that support to be available, we must first understand the disadvantages people with disabilities face within this industry.
Facets is a film about following some of the most badass riders in snowsports today - and they happen to all be women. These individuals are leaders on the mountain and are showing women and other “unlikely,” riders that there’s space for them too. This film includes discussions on how they got to where they are now, what they’ve faced and why they love what they do. All this with, of course, some epic shots of them riding gnarly faces too.
One of the most unique and exciting films in snowsports to date. The Approach is a film uplifting and promoting women of colour on the mountain. Defying stereotypes and showing community on the mountain this film is a must-watch.
Finding the line is an important movie highlighting the relatively unspoken element of fear within snowsport. As fear is something snowsports often shys away from sharing (due to the high amounts of toxic masculinity within snowsport) this film is an important watch for anyone who’s struggled with overcoming fears on the mountain (which is basically everyone in snowsport).
Life of a ski patroller is just that but from the lens of a woman. It follows the rare perspective of what it’s like to be a woman on ski patrol. An awesome and inspiring film to get you stoked for the upcoming season - and who knows? Maybe your future career.
This edit is just awesome. It’s pretty much your typical snowboarding edit with a twist. A twist of badass freestyle snowboarding women! A fun and easy-going edit with all the freestyle tricks and pump-up tunes you could ever dream of.
A short documentary showing the historical event of the first black summit for African Americans in 1973. The National Brotherhood of Skiing was created a year later and to uplift and promote black people in snowsport. Despite its name, it is an organization for all genders of color on the mountain. An empowering and important watch, this film shows that though underrepresented, black people shred too.
Shades of winter, a 2013 film, is the first snowsport film with an all-women crew riding everything from Japan’s famous “japow-der” snow to heliskiing in Alaska. This film features some of the best women in freeskiing to date! At this point, it’s a classic, and awesome way to see women represented on the slopes.
Spirit Of The Peaks, a film released in 2022, is about a skier named Connor Ryan and the struggles he faces trying to balance his love of the sport and cultural obligation to the people of Hunkpapa Lakota, Ute Territory. An important and underrepresented struggle that many indigenous people on the mountain may face. This is a story that is important for all mountain lovers to learn about and support.