We have all seen our fair share of ski flicks, but it’s especially inspiring when a film documents the achievements of everyday skiers and riders, not just the pros. And Liberarsi, a film out today, looks to achieve this regular guy/gal feel.
For the making of Liberarsi, a team of four Italian skiers—Luca Zanette, Luca Zattoni, Federico Chiappino and Francesco Salamone—under the self-named group “Every Damn Weekend” and in conjunction with FATMAP, a mobile, 3D mapping platform for skiing and outdoor sports, decided to document the skimo lifestyle in the Alps. Through covering big, aesthetic lines, they convey the message that you don’t have to be a professional skier to tackle serious ski mountaineering lines; all you need is passion and drive.
We caught up with FATMAP employee and Director/Producer of Liberarsi Adam Robinson to learn more about the making and vision for the film. Here is what he had to say.
Backcountry Magazine: What was the impetus for producing a film about skimo culture?
Adam Robinson: To use a line from the guys directly, “Steep skiing is the purest form of mountain research.” For us, that idea really brings the adventure back into skiing. These guys are finding these steep and inaccessible lines all over the Alps that require real talent and skill to tackle. Every time you’re looking at a line that involves mandatory rappels and class-five climbing, it doesn’t matter how talented a skier you are, you still need the mix of both disciplines. When you have a group of talented ski mountaineers who really trust each other getting out to the mountains every weekend, then you get magic. A mix between adventure, aesthetic lines and a mastery of steep skiing techniques really shows viewers how beautiful and challenging the mountains can be. I think this film is totally different to freeride/freestyle films. Obviously there’s room for both, but rekindling that spirit of adventure is really powerful for us.
BCM: How did you pick your athletes for the film?
AR: This question is key to the central narrative of the film, and we hope this theme signals a change in the wave of films we can expect to see in the coming years. The group of guys you see in the movie band together under the title of “Every Damn Weekend.” The name says it all. These guys are not pro skiers. These guys have real jobs. They work in hospitals and offices, and they don’t live their lives waiting for the next phone call to be whisked away in helis by Red Bull. When work finishes at 5 p.m. on a Friday, it’s go time for these guys. Every damn weekend is about getting to the mountains as much as possible and finding these aesthetic lines that are on their doorstep. In the movie you’ll see some clips of them hitting Norway, but it’s all about what they can access on the weekend. It’s refreshing to see the determination to go tackle huge objectives and get back into the office by 9 a.m.
BCM: How/where was the film shot?
AR: It was shot primarily in the Alps. As I said, there’s some shots of the Lyngen Alps in Norway, but they don’t need to go any further than their backdoor to be in the mountains.
The film focuses on some of their key lines; Noire North Face in Chamonix, the Marbrée on the Italian side Mont Blanc and, of course, the Matterhorn’s east face in Zermatt. How it was shot I think is a real triumph. It’s mostly all GoPro shots with some stellar drone work from our friends at DroneAlps. This combination is how we’ll keep making movies together and how many incredible movies are being made at the moment. The quality of ski movies—skimo or not—is skyrocketing. I think you’ll start to see a real juxtaposition between the super high-quality video and the raw footage. For me, adventures have much more personality, and I feel I can connect on a much deeper level when it’s POV and shot by the guys themselves. Tech is helping us get those killer shots we all know and love, too.
BCM: Did you focus on skimo culture in any particular region of the Alps?
AR: These guys are Italians and they have a very particular approach to the mountains. They go for the big objectives and super aesthetic lines. So you could say that it’s about Italian skimo culture in a way, but that was never the intention of the film. I’d say we focused more on the challenge of skiing the Matterhorn. You know, it’s rarely in condition and only a handful of people even attempt it a year. Liberarsi is about a group of normal guys who take on big objectives, because they are both talented and motivated by their passion for ski mountaineering. That’s what we want people to come away with.
BCM: How do you hope this will this inspire other skiers?
AR: We’ve all seen great ski films over the years and they inspire us, but I never feel like I could get to that level. It’s on a level of complete wonder rather than aspiration. You think, “That could be me.” But there are a whole bunch of talented ski mountaineers who don’t get the air time their adventures deserve. I hope this film will get people to push themselves to get out to the mountains more. To find their own objectives and get what we all should from the mountains.
Liberarsi premiered at iF3 and the Milano Montagne freeski film festivals and will have its online premiere on November 30, 2016 live via Facebook. Find it on FATMAP’s website in early December. FATMAP and Every Damn Weekend will continue to produce movies.
Director/Producer: Adam Robinson
Editor: Davide De Masi
Cinematography: Every Damn Weekend, Drone Alps, Marta Cavallari
Partners: FATMAP, Faction Skis, ATK Bindings