Words & photos by Peter Wilson

Video by Patrick Cahill

Well what a night this was, AMC-Development and Ski Bartlett hosted what was certainly London’s largest ski film festival, growing immensely from last year and bringing ski lovers together from all over the country. As expected, the event was full of mouth watering, jaw-dropping and truly incredible skiing.

Now let’s put this in perspective. Very few Londoners go skiing, and for the vast majority that do, it is constrained to a week or two enjoying the comforts of a ski chalet and socializing. For the remaining few that have fallen in love with skiing, there is the chance that jobs and family get in the way. In short, the hedonistic desire to ski is dulled and blunted by society.

The AMC Store

Folk Tree Skis' booth

It is against this backdrop the Katie Brown and her boyfriend Allister Loveday are putting on ski film premieres. As a testament to just how few ski film premieres there are in the UK, as Allister listed off all of the movies he had been sent my jaw carried on falling to the floor.

Allister Loveday, the man in charge.

The location was The Clapham Grand, a somewhat dated venue dedicated to music events that fit the bill perfectly. Young excited faces arrived and the evening started with James ‘Woodsy’ Woods kicking off the proceedings by introducing 4bi9’s new movie Gunnie Season.

Loveday with James 'Woodsy' Woods.

The venue was filling up and at the end of the first movie the first of the evening’s product toss began. In England we are a reserved bunch and the first t-shirt was sort of sneered at as it landed on the floor in front of the stage. However once the crowd understood what was going on there was a rush to the front of the stage, and by the end of the night, after several between-movie-product-tosses, there was a brawl below to stage to get a hand on a beanie, t-shirt or sticker!

Next up was PBP’s Revolver, which was received with a silent awe from the crowd. The excellent skiing was mixed in with some great cinematography and the dozy atmosphere was reflected in the number of pillows dropped on the screen.

After this there was a raffle, where each individual was given a wristband with a number on it as skis, boots, jackets and shirts were all given away to unsuspecting and excited viewers. Cutthroat cries of ‘draw again’ could be heard if the winner, so intoxicated with excitement, could not read his number in time.

The night went on and, after Legs of Steel’s The Pilot premiered with some established young European skiers; autographed paintings from Steve Balok of Tanner Hall, John Spriggs, Sammy Carlson and Tom Wallisch were auctioned off to raise money for two UK charities, Invisible Children and MAG.

Then came the highlight of the night for many, Level 1 Productions’ Eye Trip, which was a concatenation of exhilarating endorphins, meaning, it was sick. With the exception of Jossi Wells, who was enjoying Clapham’s local fast food establishments, the crowd sat in merry awe as banger after banger showed up on the screen.

Eye Trip

A standing tribute was then given to CR Johnson, Eric Simard and all the friends that had been lost skiing this year.

Giving props to CR.

The night went on and the crowd grew merry, partying into the night and eagerly anticipating the madness that was to happen at the Freeze the following days. Stay tuned for a full report on the event where Jacob Wester emerged victorious with Jon Olsson in second and Henrik Harlaut in third.

Freeski Film Festival 2010, 28.10.10, London from NakedFilm on Vimeo.