Football is cool and all, but ski and snowboard film premieres are the way we, the collective we, bridge the gap between summer and blower pow days — a time otherwise known as fall. Aspen hosts the pinnacle ski and snowboard film fete to coincide with the yellow spruce leaves and first dustings of snow. The Meeting takes place every September and offers up a serious dose of on-screen pow slaying. While the requisite flat-hatted “bros” and “bras” roll out of the sticks to pack the iconic Wheeler Opera House for screenings of the most anticipated flicks of the season and to revel at industry parties, The Meeting is also an annual gathering of the tribes that signifies our countdown to winter has begun.
This year marked the eighth consecutive year that the biggest athletes, brands, and filmmakers from the ski and snowboard industries have converged on Aspen. The Aspen/Snowmass team rolled out the proverbial red carpet for attendees of #TheMeeting8.
As always, the NEPSA Awards served as the weekend’s curtain raiser, and the local amateur filmmakers kicked the weekend off with a bang. Howie Kuhn and Kendall Reiley won the NEPSA’s top honor and took home $2,000 for their hilarious short film titled “Erste Stuhl: 2012.” Geof Stump won second for his quirky film "Before Aspen." Derrin Carelli’s “Circle of Corduroy,” which documents what it’s like to be a snowcat driver on Aspen, won third and the crowd favorite, based on a text in vote.
The big-time operations — like Level 1 Productions, Poor Boyz Productions, Match Stick Productions, and Teton Gravity Research — followed over the course of the weekend. A lot of park rats bedecked in tall-tees turned out to watch Level 1’s film “Sunny,” which boasted spot-on and polished editing, as always. PBP’s roster of skiers produced banger segment after banger segment in “WE: A Collection of Individuals.” “Super Heroes of Stoke” fits in the MSP mold and is another testament that, yes, Japan is a sick place to ski.
But, without a doubt, “Jeremy Jones’ Further” stole the show. The second installation of the Jeremy Jones/TGR trilogy beckoned a motley mix of viewers. From salty telemarkers to jibbing snowboarders and from bell-to-bell shredders to weekend warriors, everyone turned out to see what Jeremy Jones put together.
And, “Further” did not disappoint. “I got the chance to watch 'Jeremy Jones’ Further,’” says TGR skier Todd Ligare, “and found a lot of inspiration in the film.”
TGR's Colter Hinchcliffe, Todd Jones, Todd Ligare and Griffin Post introduce The Dream Factory. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
Then, to cap it off, TGR screened “The Dream Factory” to a raucous crowd on Saturday night. The pow-starved skiers and riders packed the Wheeler Opera House, hollering throughout the film for Aspen local Colter Hinchliffe who has his first-ever segment in a TGR film. Although Colter’s segment is small, his line in Haines, Alaska, is big. So huge, it’s one of the most memorable moments in the film. It seemed like that segment helped the whole town send it deep in to the night.
Come Sunday, the skiing and snowboarding tribes dispersed in different directions, heads aching from a weekend of raging and stuffed to the gills, content from consuming an abundance of ski content, and psyched for #TheMeeting9 next year when the tribes will gather again for the annual powder powwow.