Searching for identity

Descendance | Dennis Ranalter’s Story

By: Ethan Stone November 11, 2023

This project from Legs of Steel and The North Face is a very special ski movie. In fact, it’s not really a ski movie at all. Instead, it’s a story of one young man’s struggle with his identity; the story of a Black man who’s spent his whole life in white spaces. It’s got all the skiing action you could ask for, and more, from one of the most stylish and talented riders in the game. But much more than that, it’s Dennis Ranalter’s story. And for once, the words of this quiet-mannered kid from Stubai speak louder than his skiing.

From YouTube: Dennis Ranalter is one of the world’s most respected freeride skiers, his playful style and technical ability earning him a wide fan base and the widely used moniker: D-RAN.

Yet away from a name that showcases his self-assurance on the steep slopes of Austria, Dennis’s struggles with identity run deep. At its heart, the question of race and what it means to be black in a sport that remains predominantly and conspicuously white.

Descendance is Dennis’s story, a personal journey of self-exploration that examines his relationship with his own skin colour, with those closest to him and all those who share his love of skiing.

It’s a journey that takes him from his home valley in Austria to Accra, the capital of Ghana, shining a light on the power of family along the way.

Produced by: Legs of Steel
Directed by: Michael Haunschmidt
Co-Directed by: Mathias Kögel
Executive Producer & Content Developer: Phil Young
Principal Cinematography & Editing by: Michael Haunschmidt & Mathias Kögel
Music & Sound Design: Matthias Müller
Color Grading: Manuel Portschy
Art Direction & Animations: Fabian Fuchs