- 09 February 2010 | Surfing
The 10th annual X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival was held January 21-26th in Salt Lake City, Utah. Action sports industry leaders, athletes, celebrities, enthusiasts, and filmmakers gathered to celebrate the culture, and view the world’s best action sports films.
Audiences enjoyed Q&A’s with filmmakers and featured athletes, along with open-forum panels on cinematography, distribution and piracy issues that were streamed live on the internet. 33 features and nine short films screened over five days at X-Dance Headquarters (Off Broadway Theater on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake). Over 6000 people attended screenings, sponsor events, and the opening and closing party.
The festival’s opening party in conjunction with Outdoor Retailer featured Collective Soul, three other bands, street scene painters and several thousand people attending. After five days of screenings, X-Dance 2010 culminated at Club Elevate where the awards ceremony was hosted by the ever-savvy Olympic snowboard commentator and Fuel TV’s “Daily Habit” producer/host Pat Parnell.
Award presenters included soul surfer Rob Machado, epic snowboarders Erin Comstock, Tina Basich, Mike Basich, and Tara Dakides, wakeboard maverick Parks Bonifay, extreme skiers Scot Schmidt and Jeremy Nobis, Mt. Everest’s Apa Sherpa, moto Hellion and star of “Mind of the Demon” Larry Linkogle, Oakland-based hip hop artists Del: tha Funkee Homosapien, A plus, and Bukue, A-list commercial director Chris Woods, the GM of VAS Entertainment Danny Grant and Hotelier Chris Minnes from 968 Green Hotel. Every winner received a GO Pro camera and chest mount for their outstanding work.
Icon Warren Miller was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by extreme skier Scot Schmidt who starred in over a dozen Warren Miller films and X-Dance Festival Director Brian Wimmer.
Following a retrospective of Miller’s 60-year career as a ski filmmaker, Miller, who took a spill skiing the week before the ceremony, sent his thanks on tape from his hospital bed in good spirits, and promised to attend X-Dance 2011. The X-Dance Warren Miller Lifetime Achievement Award has been named in Miller’s honor.
“Best Film” honors went to “Mount St. Elias,” the spectacular story of ski alpinist Axel Naglich’s attempt to climb and then complete the longest ski descent ever from the peak of Alaska’s “Mount St. Elias” had audiences spellbound with its gorgeous cinematography, gripping story, and tension-filled journey.
It also won “Best Adventure Film” presented by Apa Sherpa, outfitted in full Nepalese regalia, who stirred the audience with his pleas “clean up the mountains and take care of Mother Earth.”
“The Drifter,” a brilliant film by Taylor Steele, follows surfer Rob Machado to the far reaches of Indonesia on a soul-searching journey. The visually-stunning, moody philosophical film mesmerized audiences.
The film won “Best Soundtrack;” Steele took “Best Director; and star of “The Drifter,” Rob Machado, was honored with “Athlete of the Year.” Machado exhibited his genuine humility and laid back cool at the event and X-Dance was honored to have him there.
“Parks Bonifay Documentary” won “Best Biography” for its comprehensive and compelling tale of wakeboard master Parks Bonifay who set his first world record waterskiing at age six months. Bonifay’s colorful history and passion electrified the film and Bonifay’s enthusiastic presence enriched the overall vibe of the festival.
In 2007, X-DANCE launched their SAVE OUR PLAYGROUNDS campaign to spread the GREEN word. This year, X-Dance had three “environmentally-conscious” films competing for the Ambassador of Green Award. Props to “African Revolutions Tour,” “Generations,” and “Last Paradise” for their important messages. Winner “Last Paradise,” directed by Kiwi Clive Neeson, traces 45 years of extreme sports pioneers and hidden paradises, calling for action to save the last natural gems around the globe.
“The Drifter,” a brilliant film by Taylor Steele, follows surfer Rob Machado to the far reaches of Indonesia on a soul-searching journey. The visually-stunning, moody philosophical film mesmerized audiences. The film won “Best Soundtrack;” Steele took “Best Director; and star of “The Drifter,” Rob Machado, was honored with “Athlete of the Year.” Machado exhibited his genuine humility and laid back cool at the event and X-Dance was honored to have him.