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What happens when you take a Hong Kong-based filmmaker backcountry skiing?


What happens when you take a Hong Kong-based filmmaker into the wilds of British Columbia for a backcountry skiing romp? That’s what Kieran Nikula aimed to find out when he teamed up with Edward Foster last winter to create “Frames,” a nuanced glimpse of life in the backcountry as witnessed by an outsider.

So what happens? According to the film, basically, you blow your Hong Kong-based filmmaker’s mind. He who is accustomed to an “electric forest of towering glass trees and iridescent lights” is now confronted with the “inner somnolence which accompanies free and remote environments.” He starts using phrases like “luscious lividity” and “righteous vitality.” He decides that the mountains are his true home, his true calling. And of course, he films some damn fine backcountry skiing shots along the way.

“Frames” is an unconventional viewing experience for the skier—the rare recounting of our winter pastime from an unjaded outside perspective. Fueled by fascination, Foster’s lens follows Nikula and friends through winter and into spring, from bathtub powder turns and pillow lines to corn skiing and BC jumps. Along the way, he discovers the truth contained in a quote from Russian Kazakhstani mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev: “Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” Preach, baby, preach.

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British Columbia, edward foster, frames