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Homegrown Film Festival Features the Work of Local Athletes and Filmmakers
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Wednesday, December 1, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Banks Gilberti lays down some super carves on Baldy. And Lex Carey kicks things up in the short film “Kick Turn Kitchen” at this weekend’s Homegrown Film Festival.

The festival, which will be held on Saturday, features amazing exploits on snow by local amateur and professional athletes performing for local filmmakers. And all proceeds benefit the Sawtooth Avalanche Center.

“The festival makes me excited for winter,” said pro skier McKenna Peterson, who has emceed the festival for all of its five years. “I get excited to ski. I get excited to be outside. And the best part is that the people you see on screen are your neighbors, your ski partners, your teachers, your students. It’s a really cool connection.”

This year’s festival, presented by Bex Wilkinson and The Marshall Frankel Foundation, will be in person and livestreamed. There will be two shows at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at The Argyros in Ketchum.

Tickets to the 5 p.m. show are $15. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show, which will include Bring on the Snow music featuring Miscellaneous 5 Band, are $20, available at https://theargyros.org (Livestreaming information is available at Homegrownfilms.org)

 In addition, there’ll be a raffle which includes a Sun Valley season ski pass, two-night stay at the Wintertux Cabin, DECKED system and tool box, K2 skis and snowboards, Crosson skis, Black Diamond gear, Scott Sports goggles, Xtra Tough boots and Fat Tire swag.

And Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center are selling 50 original serigraph prints of Jack Weekes’ poster image of the North Couloir of McGowan Peak for $100.

The festival features 15 locally filmed shorts of less than five minutes. Among them: Jack Strassman’s film “Trench Diggers 5,” which shows Banks Gilberti, a pro skier/boarder and head coach for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Big Mountain Team, laying across the snow.

Also, “Moto Madness” by Wing Tai Barrymore, “Kick Turn Kitchen,” by Lex Carey, “The Hunter” featuring Benji Hill by Robin Englehart, “Hidden Agenda” by Tim Brown featuring the local band Blue Flames and “Public Lands,” a senior project by Ethan Marx.

Professional films, which run up to 15 minutes, include Mali Noyes’  “Girl Crush” featuring Nicole Jorgenson, “Axel Peterson’s “I Am Extra Tuff” and Idarado Media’s “Some Snowboarding.”

Films must feature a local person, place or thing. 

“One of my favorites is ‘Trench Diggers 5’—it’s a film that will appeal to all lovers of the arc and power of the edge in a different out-of-the-course perspective,” said Tina Cole, who instigated the festival five years ago. “And Ethan Marx, a senior year student and SVSEF skier, made an exceptional film on public lands.

In the beginning, a few filmmakers went through their Vimeo channels to curate the festival, said F11 Films’ Spencer Cordovano, who has put the event together since year one. “Now, we receive over four hours of films for a two-hour show! It’s actually super hard to select what to show and I rely on a local crew to help me select the films and provide some variety in the show.”

Cordovano said the films have evolved to become a must-see event as many locals indulge in riveting feats across the globe. Also a must-see this year, said Cordovano, is the band Miscellaneous 5, which will rock the stage for just under an hour at the second showing. A garage band with a saxophone, the band plays both original and cover songs boasting lively lyrics.

Miscellaneous 5 has a cult following with covers of “Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang and “Sports” by the Viagra Boys.

“Homegrown has been trying to form into a daily festival with educational avalanche seminars, art and music,” said Cordovano. “The last few years have been really tough on gatherings but we aren’t going anywhere. This performance just helps us have a good time with friends.”

Homegrown Film Festival had its genesis with Tina Cole, a board member with Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center.

I know you guys are all over the world making and starring in awesome film projects, I want to see them and show them locally!” Cole told Cordovano.

The money donated to the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center helps fund forecasters—the Friends provide more than half of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center’s budget. The money ensures there’s at least one forecaster in the field every day during the winter.

“All users interested in back country travel, even snowshoers, need to check the avalanche report and understand avalanche terrain,” said Cordovano. “Every time one ducks a rope out of bounds or walks a trail at the base of any mountain, there is a good chance one is in avalanche terrain and the proper training and tools must be implemented.”

Cordovano said it’s exciting to have a place for high school kids to show their film on the big screen or for up-and-comers to rub shoulders with the pros.

“The Homegrown Film Festival represents the soul of our outdoor community—it’s just a great time with great friends,” he said.

“I love being part of the film festival,” added Peterson, who is getting ready to start her own season of filming in interior British Columbia. “It is special because our community is very special. We have a unique talented supportive community, and the best part is getting everybody together to celebrate these films and their talent.”

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