Filmmakers compete during Spring Back to Vail |

Filmmakers compete during Spring Back to Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Eighteen-year-old Avon skier Walter Dandy will take to the slopes this week with his video camera.

His goal: Get some creative footage.

“Something that stays away from the traditional ski video where it’s in the terrain park and it’s just trick after trick,” he said.

Look for a bunch of people wielding video cameras on the mountain this week.

For the first time in Spring Back to Vail’s history, the springtime festival known for its music lineup will include a film competition.

Thirty teams will compete in the Breitling All Mountain Film Competition Tuesday through Friday. You can watch the completed films at Friday’s premiere party in Lionshead.

Each team consists of one filmmaker and one snowboarder or skier. They’re out to compile the best three minutes of riding footage on Vail Mountain. Filmmakers are confined to inbounds terrain.

Stakes are high. The winning team gets two Breitling backcountry watches worth $6,000 each. Second place winners score a free day’s use of a Dactylcam flying camera. Finally, third place winners earn a pair of EPIC passes for next ski season.

About 20 of the teams hail from the Vail area. A mix of professionals and amateurs will square off during the contest.

The event came about when Breitling watch company brainstormed with the folks at Betteridge jewelry store in Beaver Creek to come up with a promotion for a new Breitling watch.

At the same time, J.F. DuRocher, the founder of the International Freeski Film Festival in Montreal, had been planning for years to hold a film competition in Vail.

The two ideas merged.

“One of the main reasons why we wanted to do it in Vail is because we thought the terrain was great enough to be able to support what we wanted to do and the fan base of Vail is impressive as well,” DuRocher said.

Five or six years ago, technology wasn’t advanced enough for filmmakers to create a three-minute movie in four days, DuRocher said. That has changed.

“You only need a camera and a laptop nowadays,” he said. “Another great thing is cameras are so cheap these days, you can have great quality and not have to spend that much money.”

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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