Ski film shot in Nelson turns genre on its head

Valhalla will have its Nelson premiere next Wednesday at the Capitol Theatre.

Valhalla, a genre-defying ski film shot over two years right here in our own backyard, will have its Nelson premiere next Wednesday at the Capitol Theatre.

The film was made by Sweetgrass Productions, a company known for embedding itself in areas for multi-year projects. Earlier films by the company were set in Japan and South America, and for their fourth feature length effort co-producers Nick Waggoner and Ben Sturgulewski decided to park themselves in Nelson.

“We’re showing Nelson to the world,” Waggoner says on the phone from Salt Lake City, one stop on the film tour.

Valhalla had its world premiere in Denver in mid-September and has since been touring the United States, Japan and Australia. Waggoner said a lot of people who see the film can’t believe a place like Nelson really exists.

“They think it’s this crazy fantasy world we created, and we say ‘No, it’s real. It exists in Nelson,’” Waggoner laughs.

You can forgive viewers for not being exactly clear on what’s reality in the film. Sweetgrass takes a leap away from the traditional 60-minutes-of-stright-action model that dominates the ski film genre by introducing a fictional storyline in Valhalla.

“The story, at its core, is about a guy who goes out to re-find the eyes of his youth and re-find this passion that he’s lost as he’s gotten into his older years and gotten away from the beauty of being a kid and the beauty of winter,” Waggoner explains.

Working with actors, sets and scripts was all new to Waggoner and his team, but they were eager to try something different.

“For the last 60 years there’ve been thousands and thousands of outdoor films made following the same formula and we wanted to get away from that,” he says.

That’s not to say there isn’t some epic skiing and snowboarding in the film, just that it’s interspersed with the story.

“If you’re a really, really hardcore skier, there’s so much skiing in the film that’s going to satisfy you,” Waggoner says. “But if you don’t even ski the film is still going to resonate because of the story.”

The Nelson premiere of Valhalla is Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. Advance tickets are $12 for adults or $10 for students, available at the Capitol Theatre box office or online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca. Tickets at the door are $15.

The film is also available for download on iTunes. For details and to watch the film trailer see sweetgrass productions.com.

Just Posted

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

1919: Hudson’s Bay Company gets an addition, council votes to exclude ‘undesirable enemy aliens’

Greg Scott brings us five Nelson Daily News stories from a century ago

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read