top of page





By Megan "Money" Murphy

Article from November 2003 edition of the Steamboat Local

Friday, November 21, 2003 at the Sheraton Ballroom: The First Annual Outdoor Art and Film Festival. If you weren't there YOU MISSED OUT! A hefty crowd of around 250 Steamboat snow worshippers witnessed the birth of a new generation of local filmmakers. 


The festival was a dream realized for filmmaker and organizer Mike Martin. Martin has been making amateur ski movies featuring local powder hounds since his days as a student in the CMC Ski Business program. Now, Martin teaches the Ski Business students, manages Surefoot in Ski Time Square, and has started his own production company, Michael Martin Productions. Seven years ago, Martin debuted his first film, "Movement," to an audience of five in his basement. This year's production, "Wedge," premiered on a 14-foot movie screen in the Sheraton Ballroom to a nearly full house. 


One of the driving reasons that Martin wanted to start a film festival was to create a venue for any local filmmakers that wanted to show their perspective of Steamboat. 


Local high school students put the opening film, "A Cure for Boredom," together in one week before the entry deadline. Erik Thomsen, Kyle Wellman, Rory Kriz, Kyle Wilson, and Bret Lickteig introduced the film by saying, "This is just what we do on the weekends." It was a film filled with youthful daring and shenanigans, perfect for kicking off the night with high energy and anticipation for more. If "Cure" is what these guys can do in a week, I can't wait to see what we'll get from them next year.


On the very same day as the festival, Dan Gilchrist got in touch with Martin asking if there was room for one more film. Simply named, "Late Entry" on the program, this movie featured skiing, mountain biking, a close-up shot of a Guinness cascading, and a couple of aspiring canine actors.


Intermission allowed moviegoers to peruse artwork and photography by Steamboat locals. Colorful and lucid oil paintings of trees, lovers entwined, bottles, and blorbs by artist Max Damore hung around the perimeter of the ballroom. Areyh Copa, recently featured in Skiing Magazine, was enthusiastically showing off his prints of snow-frosted trees, skiers suspended mid-air above the tree line, and Storm Peak Express in the mists of winter.


"City Limits," a snowboard feature with sick terrain park footage started the second half of the evening. The film, by Third Eye Productions, had previously been screened at Lupo's. The highlight of this film was an eclectic soundtrack featuring Pink Floyd, Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl," and some hip hop from a Colorado group, The Acoustic MC's. An impressive effort for a first film, but the lengthy running time lost the attention of today's A.D.D. generation.


Martin's moment, his first big screen premiere, had arrived. "Wedge" told a story of the season leading up to the expedition to Whistler's Wedge peak. Each segment chronicled a day in the life of Steamboat and Whistler skiers, each one different from the one before it, promising to make it to Wedge by winter's end. The footage, editing, music and storyline of "Wedge" kept the audience going until the last frame-which cut to black and said "See you next year" in larger than life letters on the screen. Some viewers screamed and yelled in good-natured frustration. We didn't get to see what Wedge was really like, but it was all part of a larger plan for Martin. He stood up and addressed the motley crew: "Get out there and make your own movies!" Inspiration was cemented in the minds of viewers as they walked out of the Sheraton and into a snowstorm the week before opening day. I can only imagine that the 2004 Outdoor Art and Film Festival will be bigger and better and highly anticipated by many Steamboat locals.









bottom of page