Finding the Line explores fear

Film to screen at the Maury Young Arts Centre on Jan. 20

When two professional skier sisters turn the camera on themselves and their skiing they discover more than the perfect line to ski; they realize that to go forward they need to find the line between fear and paralysis.

The Segal sisters’ debut film Finding The Line screens at the Maury Young Arts Centre on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The Question caught up with Olympian Anna and big mountain skier Nat Segal.

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The Question: What was your vision when you went into making this film?

Anna Segal: We wanted to expand how we could work with skiing and decided that we wanted to get into ski films. We were both a little bit stumped as to how we could do this so we decided to make our own film. We didn’t realize how much went into that — how much knowledge, effort, experience, money, time and mistakes — would go into producing a quality film. But I think ignorance is bliss because if we would have known what it took back then we wouldn’t have done it.

Q: Did you experience any challenges being women and making a film in a pretty male-dominated industry?

AS: I think one of the challenges I personally faced was when we were filming, I was always worrying that what we were doing wasn’t good enough, like it wasn’t extreme enough. If a guy had done this, no one would care. I was always comparing myself to what guys were doing in their ski films. That was actually a fear that I explored through the film. It wasn’t just a physical fear of getting hurt, but a fear of failure and a fear of not being enough.

Q: Tell me about the fear. The movie sounds like it is as much about the skiing as it is about finding yourself and exploring and pushing boundaries, both physical in the sense of the terrain and psychological.

Nat Segal: One thing that we were really exploring in the film is what fear is, whether it’s good or bad. Is it something we need to conquer and push past so we can do these incredible feats that we expect of ourselves or is it trying to tell us something valid that we should listen to? I think that’s the main point: what is fear, how do we react to it, and what should we do about it? Anna and I both went through our own personal journeys. For me, I have a fear of not being perfect and not achieving my goals and I get so worried I choke about it and hold myself back even more. We wanted to have conversations about fear because so often in action sports people won’t admit they’re afraid and it can be bad for you in a number of ways, whether it’s your health or your anxiety.

Q: Was that something you went into the film wanting to explore or was it something that came out as you started shooting?

AS: It was something we felt from the beginning. Nat and I were discussing our careers. We’d both finished competing and we were talking about what held us back and this theme came up, fear and how we both used it and how it had been detrimental. We didn’t want it to be a self-congratulatory movie; we just thought it was interesting how both of us had been brought up by the same parents and under the same roof, but we approach fear so differently. What we thought our personal fears were really changed throughout the project.

Q: And the skiing?

AS: We did a lot of exploring on foot but we got some amazing powder days, just blower pow in your face, pillows and all that magic B.C. skiing.

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