Denver-based ski porn purveyors Level 1 Productions won big at the IF3 International Freeski Film Festival over the weekend in Montreal, with director Josh Berman and his team taking the top prize -- Best North American Film -- for their 2012 film Sunny, as well as Best Editing and Best Male Performance (for Parker White's part in the film). Sunny had its world premiere in Denver earlier this month and was a smash hit when it screened in Montreal on Sunday.
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"I couldn't be more happy with the response that we're getting from Sunny," Berman told Westword, after word of the awards got out.
"I wasn't in Montreal for the screening this past weekend but from what I've heard it was a sold-out show and the crowd was pretty fired up," Berman continued. "As for the awards, it feels great to get that recognition in such a deep pool of amazing movies: the skiing, production quality and creativity in this year's crop of films is really outstanding. I'll say that we put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this year's film; the athletes, crew, myself and the other filmmakers involved, Freedle Coty and Kyle Decker, and it's very validating. It makes me proud of the way we're representing skiing."
Boulder-based Stept Productions won Best Jib Flick for its 2012 film The Eighty Six, directed by Alex Martini, Nick Martini and William Desena.
And Crested Butte-based Matchstick Productions won Best Storytelling for Superheroes of Stoke. The film gets its local premiere on Thursday, September 20, at the Gothic Theatre (doors at 7 p.m., tickets are $16 to $18).
Other 2012 IF3 winners included LINE Traveling Circus (Best Web Series), Kill Your Boredom by Voleurz (Best Web Movie), Hurts So Good by Legs of Steel (Best Cinematography), In Space by Junkies on a Budget (The IF3 judges' Coup de Couer prize) and Michelle Parker (Best Female Performance).
The IF3 Ski Icon Award, new this year, was founded in honor of and presented posthumously to Sarah Burke. The four-time Winter X Games gold medalist was instrumental in bringing Ski Superpipe and Slopestyle events to the Olympics -- they'll make their debut at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014 -- before her death in January after a crash during training runs in the halfpipe at Park City Mountain in Utah.
A second round of IF3 awards -- including Best Big Mountain Film, Best Single Shot, Best Visual Effect, Best European Film, and Rookie of the Year -- will be presented on September 29 in Annecy, France.
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