A documentary capturing the birth of free-ride mountain biking will be screened in Rossland on Jan. 13 and locals may recognize some of the characters on screen.
The Moment is directed by Darcy Turenne — a former professional mountain biker and director of the environmental snowboard documentary The Little Things — and focuses on three groups of free-riders who were working independently of one another.
One of those groups was in Rossland.
“Christian Begin … and his partner Bjorn Enga were living in Rossland at the time when they started filming for one of the first freeride movies. And two of the riders were originally from Rossland, which were Dave Sweatland and Chris Lawrence,” explains Turenne.
She filmed interviews for the documentary from last summer through to this summer but says the majority of the film is archival footage.
Turenne was approached by Begin to make the film.
“He was pretty sure that now was the time to do this documentary. Skateboarding has its origin story, surfing has its origin story and with Kranked, the first freeride mountain bike movie coming out 20 years ago, it was like, ‘OK, now’s the time for us. We should do this,’” she says. “So he and Bjorn had digitized a lot of old footage.”
Begin and Enga approached Turenne because not only was she a documentarian, but she knew the sport.
The tagline for The Moment is “The birth of the sport that nobody wanted…” and Turenne explains that there were a lot of people against the free-riders.
“There was a lot of resistance both from the mountain bike industry and … environmentalists to stop free-riding because a lot of the stuff they were doing, they were riding off trail, and they were creating their own lines and their own way down the mountain,” she says. “And that was really seen as a threat to the land, but also the mountain bike industry was very conservative at the time and it was very race-centric. And they kind of saw the free-riders as a bunch of yahoos who were destroying the land and having no [regard] for protocol.”
The Moment premiered at the Whistler Film Festival as the festival’s closing film earlier this month. It’s also been screened around the Lower Mainland and at two large screenings in California, and the B.C. tour will kick off soon.
The Rossland screening will take place on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Miners’ Hall.