Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Homegrown Film Festival Expands
Hillary Maybery’s photo of McKenna Peterson skiing the pow at Sun Valley is gracing the cover of the December 2019 Editor’s Choice issue of “SKI” Magazine.
Monday, December 2, 2019



It’s “Homegrown” and it’s growing.

The Homegrown Film Festival, which showcases the best films made by local filmmakers of local skiers and snowboarders, will offer two nights of completely different films this year.

The Wood River Valley sparkles below as McKenna Peterson makes her turns on Baldy.

The films will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum. Tickets are $15 for Blaine County students and $20 for adults on sale at

Food trucks will be parked outside The Argyros at 5 p.m. and the doors will open at 6.

The festival, which sold out its first two years, will benefit the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. Ticket sales will be augmented by a raffle, during which five pairs of skis, ski gear and garb and a Sun Valley Resort season pass will be raffled off.

Tickets are $5 for one ticket and $20 for five, available at the event.

Like mother. Like daughter. A photograph of McKenna Peterson’s mother Larsen Peterson skiing the powder at Sun Valley was on the cover of “Skiing” Magazine back in 1983.

This year’s lineup is staggering in its diversity and imagery, said Tina Cole, who helped get the festival off the ground.

The filmmakers include Peter McBride, who recently won Best Feature Length film at the 2019 Banff Mountain Film competition for “Into the Canyon,” which depicts his 750-mile journey on foot through the Grand Canyon.

McBride, who also won the Best Imagery category in the Banff Mountain Book competition, will also show some additional footage, including footage taken in Africa.

Homegrown favorites who will star in the films being shown include McKenna Peterson, who is depicted on the December cover of “SKI” Magazine skiing Sun Valley powder. With that cover shot, taken by Sun Valley photographer Hillary Maybery, Peterson is following in the footsteps of her mother Larsen Peterson who was on the cover of “Skiing” Magazine 36 years ago.

McKenna Peterson at home in Sun Valley.

Other Sun Valley stars who will be featured in the films include Karl Fostvedt, who was captured doing flips off the steeps by Wyatt Caldwell; Lexi duPont, Wyatt and Yancy Caldwell, Axel Peterson, Spencer Cordovano, Banks Gilberti, Jake Strassman, Collin Collins, Wing Tai Barrymore and Chase Josey.

Filmmakers John Weekes, Ethan Marx and Ridge Dirksmeier also filmed a posse of big Mountain skiers from the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Other filmmakers include Sophie Danison, Hilary Byrne, Lucy Sackbauer and Seth Gillis.

“Obviously, we’ve had a huge amount of support so far, this being the third year of the Homegrown  Film Festival and the fact that it sells out every year,” said Ethan Davis, a forecaster with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. “It really brings together the core group of local skiers and borders and filmmakers and showcases the talent in the valley.”

Support from the film festival and other donations has enabled the Sawtooth Avalanche Center to hire four forecasters for the first time ever, in addition to an intern. This will allow forecasters to make more field trips to different areas to get a feel for conditions and it will reduce the stress of long days during back-to-back storms.

The Avalanche Center has expanded its area of coverage, particularly west of Banner Summit, in the White Cloud Mountains and around Little Wood Reservoir. And it will soon unveil a new website.

Davis and his colleagues will continue to offer the “Digging Deeper” talks, which began last year. They will expand them, offering talks in Boise, Fairfield and Stanley. The talks will cover a lot of new information, including one that will recap the big avalanche cycle that took place in February 2019 when Sun Valley recorded the most snow ever in one month.

Despite heavy snowfall that month, the area escaped without any avalanche fatalities. In fact, Davis can recall only five avalanches involving people—with no serious injuries—in this area during the winter of 2018-19.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center has begun offering one a forecast a week but will start full operations as soon as there’s enough snow for people to begin traveling over snow from trailheads. The early October snow melted on the Sun Valley side of Galena Pass but did not melt on the other side of Galena Summit or in the Sawtooth Mountains. So, that snow will pose a weak facet for the remainder of the year, Davis said.

The Homegrown Film Festival is sponsored by Bex Wilkinson and The Marshall Frankel Foundation, Black Diamond and K2, Scott, Crosson and Filson.

Friday Dec 6

Spearhead: Pushing the Boundaries of BC’s Backcountry, Lucy Sackbauer, Seth Gillis

 “Nestled between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in British Columbia, the Spearhead Traverse is a classic winter route renowned for its incredible terrain. This film celebrates the history of the route, first skied in 1964, while asking how do we manage the impact on these spaces as they gain popularity.

 Annuli,  Sofia deWolfe

First Lite’s new film “Annuli” follows hunters Bridget Noonan and Jessi Johnson on the hunt of a lifetime as they chase both caribou and Dall sheep, some of the world’s most coveted wild game in the wilderness of the far north.

 Originate, Stellar Media

Michelle Parker makes an injury come back and rips Big Lines in AK in Originate with Stellar Media.

 The Quiet Force,  Sophie Danison and Hilary Byrne

 “The Quiet Force,” based on David Page’s 2016 feature article in Powder magazine takes us

skiing with Latino kids at the local hill, to the US/Mexico border, a visit to DC,

and a few mountain towns in between, exploring the complexity

and nuance of immigration policy and its relevance to the mountain communities we call


 Saturday Dec. 7

Martin’s Boat, Peter McBride

“Martin’s Boat” celebrates the legacy of Martin Litton, a fierce protector of wilderness, legendary boatman, eloquent writer and influential activistMcBride takes us down the Grand Canyon with Duffy Dale, boat maker/ boatman for the river guide company Grand Canyon Dories, founded by Martin Litton for the maiden voyage of a dory called Marble Canyon built in Litton’s honor.

 Shaped by Descent, Lexi duPont

Lexi duPont’s Alaskan skiing opus of her mountain life perspective and personal passion.

 Bridger Brigade presents, “Montana Nosebleed: Ten Years of Hucks and Heartbreaks”, Axel Peterson

Not to be missed footage of this legendary squad fueled by their love for skiing and traveling the world in search of the best snow and sickest lines while documenting their adventures in a real light.




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