For one feverous week, film-makers of Morzine have been drawing up story boards, writing scripts and hitting the slopes with go-pros and costumes in the hope of winning this years’ 24/7 Cavern Film Festival.
Open to anyone with a camera and a sense of humour, the competition is in its ninth year and has since become a highlight of the season. “We came up with the idea as a fun way to get seasonnaires involved with the community and raise money for charity.” Russ Price said, owner of Cavern Bar. “We originally started to show the films in the bar, but soon we had 200 people queuing outside to watch. We had to think bigger.”
Quite a lot bigger, it turns out. The event sold out, with over 700 people trekking to the Palais du Sports to watch this years’ entries, which ranged from epic Bond-like trailers to cleverly-filmed boarders sliding backwards up the hill. With the help of local sponsors and volunteers, the evening raised an incredible £12,000 for the Leon Berard Cancer Research charity and Morzine Youth Development.
This year, local start-up Shredits won the judges’ vote, with their brilliantly funny film ‘Gnarnia’. It had it all – a fast-paced plot, jaw-dropping snowboarding tricks, just-above-board nudity, and a grown man dressed as a giant bird. The audience was gasping and laughing from one scene to the next.
24-year-old Mickey Fitz started the brand Shredits last year, having been inspired by the Cavern Film Festival to encourage more seasonnaires to get into filming around Morzine. I catch up with him to find out exactly what it was like to win Morzine’s biggest amateur film festival.
How did it feel when they announced Shredits as the winner?
“It felt incredible. We’d told each other we weren’t going to win, because we came 4th last year and were all devastated – we made the mistake of putting in way too much effort to create a really complex film. This year, we told ourselves to just do it for fun and have the best week of the season. That being said… everyone involved was adamant we had to win but no one voiced it!”
What was the festival like?
“It’s the best night of the season by far, the atmosphere was crazy. This festival makes Morzine really special, it really shows the entire community coming together for a charitable event. Every entry was brilliant and the team at Cavern had worked so hard to put on such a good night.”
How did you come up with ‘Gnarnia’?
“One of the team suggested Narnia and we brainstormed it and kept laughing, every suggestion we said write it down! and it snowballed from there.”
What was your favourite trick of the film?
“It has to be the bravest trick Max did – the Butt Naked over the Black Kicker in Arare! I don’t think anyone has done that before. But the Front Flip/Back Flip Tandem was pretty sexy too.”
Any awkward moments?
“We had to film the scene in the Stash when Max was half naked pretty quickly because he was getting cold, and because people on the chairlifts kept wolf whistling at him in his boxers!”
What is Shredits and how did it start?
“Shredits is a brand, we host events like Stomp the Nant, King of the Mountain, Crash the Stash… they’re events which seasonnaires can enjoy and show off a bit. We’ve also created a free app, it’s like a combination of Snapchat, Instagram and Vine, but purely for the Ski and Snowboarding community.
The idea behind the brand was sparked after last year’s festival. I was really taken by the buzz people get from competitive film making and wanted to take that same excitement and competitiveness and put it into an app in the form of a game.”
This is your third year in a row here. Why stay in Morzine?
I’ve done 7 seasons now, in Les Arcs, Queenstown, Tignes… but Morzine is different. There’s a collection of inspired people here who are motivated to improve the ski industry and experience as a whole. It’s definitely Morzine that attracts the finest people in the alps.”
Next year will mark the 10th 24/7 Cavern Film Festival, and with the help of Shredits and Retro Rentals, the night promises not only to be the biggest of the season, but of the decade. We can’t wait!
You can watch Shredits winning entry and their other videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u348IbAagg
Published on April 1 2016: Morzine Source Magazine