The snow might be on hiatus around these parts, but thanks to Warren Miller Entertainment's newest ode to sliding on snow making its two-day debut at Beaver Creek's Vilar Performing Arts Center (Friday, December 1, 5 & 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 2, 8 p.m.), you can still get your powder fix (albeit indoors, instead of outdoors). "Line of Descent," which made it's world premier in Bozeman, Montana, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Portland, Oregon in mid October, offers a peek at some of the world's most coveted spots for snow sports from Colorado to New Zealand and France, with a crew of the industry's most recognizable athletes all charging hard (and slaying some serious pow) along the way. While Warren Miller film debuts have become a ski season ritual for decades, "Line of Descent"'s director (and Warren Miller Entertainment Director of Photography) Chris Patterson says this installment offered him a chance to focus his lens on a more personal side of the sport. "The title's about two different things," he says, "A 'line of descent' is where someone is actually going to ski or snowboard down a mountain, but also where that person has come from, and how they've come to fall in love with skiing."
The film's athletes trace their family roots and how they first fell in love with the sport and its surrounding community, with Warren Miller even offering some insight into his first encounter with what would become a lifetime love. "[Miller] talks about being 8 or 9 years old, and getting these roller skates, and just skating around his California neighborhood 'til the wheels fell off," says Patterson, "And that's a big part of our theme; how we all got brought into this and became part of this community."
True to Warren Miller form, on-location shots from around the globe showcase some top-notch skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and even pow surfing — a kind of binding-less form of snowboarding where athletes ride snow like an ocean wave. And with the film set to make its Vail Valley debut alongside a bit of snow in the forecast, it might just offer a vision of winter that stubborn days of sunshine have been hard-pressed to offer. "The Vilar is such beautiful theater; you work hard to capture all those images and you hope that when it hits the screen people can drift off for 90 minutes to somewhere else," says Patterson. "Although, the best premiers are always when you walk out at the end and it's snowing—it's just magical."
We couldn't agree more.