Now and again, even the sunniest beach bums yearn for some fresh powder, frosty pine air, and the swish-swooshing of flying down the side of a snow-covered mountain, with winter’s kiss cool on the cheek. Kahili Adventist School with the help of The Ritz-Carlton Club is sponsoring a movie premiere of one of action sports most legendary directors: Warren Miller’s “Off The Grid” is the 57th film produced by his entertainment company and is making its debut across the country in select cities.
For those who are more surf-film savvy, Miller is akin to director/writer Bruce Brown of 1966’s “Endless Summer.” With over 50 years of filmmaking, Miller is considered to be one of the “most important figures in modern skiing for the exposure and promotion of the sport his films have provided for over 50 years,” reported Sports Illustrated.
Miller began his filmmaking career in 1946 holding an 8 mm camera while living in a trailer at the base of a Sun Valley, Idaho, ski resort. Working and skiing at the resort, Miller would film his friends so they could improve their style by watching the footage. Now, over 80 years old, Miller himself doesn’t do much jet-setting and shooting of his films — his entertainment company has continued in Miller’s cinematic style and often uses his voice as narration. Critics have noted that without Miller’s direct involvement, the essence of the films produced under his company has changed. While no one can duplicate the humor and style of Miller himself, the films still gain a following among those who love the sport.
In “Off the Grid”, the crew traveled from Girdwood, Alaska, to Kashmir, India, capturing some of the sport’s most accomplished and respected athletes in their most natural habitat: big mountain to park jib, bumps to air-gasping jumps. Pep Fujas and Bryce Phillips travel to Austria and explore unknown and uncommon terrain, while Monte Meier and Seth Wecott get big mountain-treatment in the magical mountain by the sea of Cordova, Alaska. And to fill the cracks, the world’s biggest snowball competition in Niseko, Japan, fills the screen with thousands of well-packed snowballs. The film was shot in high-definition and is the only nationwide film tour using this technology, making the experience even more dramatic.
If you’ve missed skiing this year, come watch the best rip up the hill — “Off the Grid” will be showing at Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center on March 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and are available at Nukumoi Waimea and Po‘ipu, Dr. Ding’s in Hanapepe, Kalaheo Café and Coffee Co. in Kalaheo, Progressive Expressions in Koloa, Meyvn Skateboard and Clothing Company at Kukui Grove Shopping Center, Hanalei Surf Company in Hanalei and Kahili Adventist School. Tickets will also be sold at the door Saturday evening. The night includes a fashion showcase of local surf wear, as well as door prizes that include outrigger canoe paddles, skateboards and surf wear. All proceeds from this event will go to Kahili’s senior class. For more information contact Aletha Thomas at The Ritz Carlton Club at 639-3874.