After a globe-spanning film tour of 300 stops in 28 different countries, the third full-length feature film from FACTION SKIS, Roots, is finally available now for free in its forever home on the Interwebz.
If you missed the tour stop in your area, prepare yourself for a full serving of what Faction’s film team does best: delivering a panoptic view of freeskiing in all its diversity from 10,000 meters up. Making the rounds from the Wyoming backcountry to the Alpine heights, Roots runs the gamut with every kind of setting and skiing to warm a shredder’s heart.
The film kicks off in Wyoming, where a BC-lines-and-booters segment from Blake Wilson, Tim McChesney and Duncan Adams sets the pace for things to come. Blake comes on strong with everything from laid-out double backflips to a stomped switch dub 10, while Duncan shines in a straight-up blissful appearance that makes a strong case for a Freeride World Tour wildcard slot.
Chapter 2 brings us to Ruka, Finland, where styler-in-chief Antti Ollila leads the charge in the park. Dan Hanka’s snappy style is on display and Markus Fohr joins the party, which is capped off by a whirlwind closer from the current hot topic on the freeski scene, Mr. Matěj Švancer.
We’re quickly back in the mountains in Faction’s ancestral home of Verbier for Chapters Four and Five, where Elisabeth Gerritzen leads a vertigo-inducing steep-skiing section with Astrid Cheylus and Yann Rausis before a transition into the time-honored spring sidecountry slopestyle segment. The team is let loose on Verbier’s copious natural hits, as Antti and Dan are joined by Alex Hall and Mac Forehand. Aside from the jump spots we’ve grown to know and love, the highlight comes in the form of a cross-court gap over a ski piste.
The film makes a quick detour to Mt. Baker, Washington, where Micah Evangelista, Cody Cirillo and Sophia Rouches take the stage, before bouncing back to Switzerland for another Faction favorite: the women’s park segment. Filmed this year in Corvatch, the girls seem even sendier than usual, with Margaux Hackett, Sandra Eie and Mathilde Gremaud delivering strong performances. Sarah Hoefflin shows herself to be the leader of the pack with a number of memorable jump tricks, while Bella Bacon makes a stylish debut.
Chapter Seven brings us to a new destination on the skier’s atlas: the couloir paradise of Italy’s Dolomites, where Sam Anthamatten and Simon Charriere are joined by Yann Rausis. The snow might not be the greatest (in Sam’s terminology, it’s “edgeable”) but the scenery more than makes up for it, as Sam and the gang thread tight lines and otherwise billygoat their way through this otherworldly landscape. The highlight is a breathtaking shot of Sam descending a narrow strip of a slope suspended in mid-air between massive cliffs.
The closing segment brings us to the glacial heights of Crans-Montana, Switzerland for a session on a massive booter, where Matěj, Kadi Gomis and Ben Buratti all throw down hard. Then Mac Forehand drops in with a pack of heavy-hitting triples, and you might almost think that’s the end of things—but we’re just getting started. Antti Ollila is back for another master class in style, young guns Alexis Ghisleni and Tim Sivignon bring some extra spice, and air-pretzel Gumby-boy Alex Hall earns himself the final shot with a rightside double-cork back-to-switch mind-melter (how’s that for a trick name).
This latest installment cements Faction’s legacy as the ski brand that’s the most focused on producing regular team movies. With one of the deepest and most diverse teams in the game, it’s definitely not a bad choice for them to be making. Now it’s time to start asking the real questions: When are they finally going to rope Candide Thovex into one of these things?