The Moment explores history of freeride mountain biking

Documentary to make world premiere at Whistler Film Festival on Dec. 3

There’s no doubt that short, snappy viral videos currently dominate the world of action sports films.

But when Darcy Hennessey Turenne was approached to make a full-length documentary about the history of freeride mountain biking in B.C., she knew she had the chance to make something lasting.

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“Viral videos are ruling right now, but we have such a short-term memory,” she said. “Making a feature film that will last, that people can go back to… to gather together and watch it, that’s something that I think is becoming less and less done right now with everyone watching movies from their computers.”

Christian Begin, the original director of the Kranked mountain bike films, initially approached Hennessey Turenne — a former Whistlerite who now calls Vancouver home — about creating the film using hundreds of hours of historical footage. As a former professional mountain biker-turned-filmmaker, she seemed like the perfect person for the job.

“We had that archival footage Christian had digitized and we started by doing a huge run of interviews at Crankworx last year,” she said. “I had the story written in my head, but once we did the interviews, we got the soundbites that would carry the story forward. There’s no narration; it’s the interviews that carry the story forward.”

The result is The Moment, which chronicles the beginning of freeride mountain biking via three crews of biking pioneers, including Brett Tippie, Wade Simmons, Richie Schley, Elladee Brown, Chris Lawrence, Dave Sweatland, Bjorn Enga, to name just a few.

Alongside the archived footage, Hennessey Turenne also conducted extensive interviews and took the original cast of the first Kranked back to Kamloops where the film was originally shot.

“I think I took for granted that freeride was always a thing when I was doing it,” she said. “It was really neat to see people I consider friends and didn’t really know their influence in the world of freeride and how seminal, important figures they were. It was really enlightening to learn about the history and see that there is such a rich history and it all happened to be very local.”

To that end, the documentary will make its world premiere closing out the Whistler Film Festival on Dec. 3. After that, “we’ll have a big, huge B.C. tour,” Hennessey Turenne said. “That will be about 20 stops through B.C. — (and then) Bellingham, California, Oregon, the West Coast. Then it will be screened around the world via private screening with a another 100 or so screenings.”

While the film might focus on B.C. biking, it turns out the scene had a big impact on mountain biking around the world — hence the interest from far-flung locations. “What these guys did had such a huge trickle down effect to all of mountain biking, all over the world, all the bike parks all over the world,” she added.

Because of that, the impending premiere is a little nerve-wracking. “I’m super nervous,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard on it. Making documentaries, you can’t tell every story. I had to cut a lot of things I thought were important out… (But) I’m excited to spread the stoke and have people watch it.”

For tickets — and more information about the Whistler Film Festival — visit whistlerfilmfestival.com.

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