When I called Alex Morelli to talk about the new Valley Famous Film Festival, coming to the Spud Drive-In on March 21, she probably used the word “stoked” 50 times in a 10 minute conversation. But it’s because she’s just plain stoked, with good reason.
“There are so many shredders on this side of the Tetons,” she said, explaining why Teton Valley deserves a film festival composed of snow sports videos submitted by locals. “Jackson Hole gets so much publicity, and TGR [media company Teton Gravity Research] is over there, but there’s not the same level of recognition here.”
Now, Morelli added, everyone is showcasing their best moments on social media.
“When you’re scrolling through Instagram, the kind of tricks people are throwing, it’s like X-Games or nothing,” she said.
That’s why she and her husband, Chris, aspire to highlight skiing, snowboarding, and sledding that’s a little more soulful. The Spud will host a community shin-dig starting at 6 p.m. and the film will start at 8 p.m. Morelli said quite a few local businesses, including Racin’ Station, Grand Targhee, Yostmark, Sego, 22 Designs, and Kate’s Real Food, have stepped up to support the event and have donated prizes for best edits, which will be chosen by the audience. Citizen 33 will be pouring beer, and the Spud grill will be open. According to Morelli, the Spud has wanted to host an event featuring local talent, but the managers haven’t had the time to organize it themselves.
“We want it to be a community event that reminds everyone why we love the valley,” Morelli said. She and Chris came to the valley for skiing, naturally, and are now building a farm. “The goal is to be ski bums forever.”
They’re calling for video submissions until March 15, either online or by mail via USB drive. For complete submission instructions, visit valleyfamousfilmfestival.com. The only guideline is that videos must be under seven minutes long.
“We want to see what people decide to show us,” Morelli told me. “We want to see all different kinds of stuff--crashes, best line, best stoke. We want to see people get gnarly, little shredders throwing down, Targheezers with style, slednecks, school kids, brand edits.”
She acknowledged that there’s always the potential for snowfall at an outdoor venue in March.
“If it snows, we think it’ll be an omen from Ullr,” she said. “There’ll be a big bonfire, vendors, we’ll make it work. We just want to spread the stoke.”
I personally am now stoked to see what locals have to offer, so start filming.