Faction’s latest “team film,” The Collective, is a positive juxtaposition in all its parts. It’s at all times relatable, yet awe-inspiring; reminiscent of backyard home movies, yet boasting world-class video quality and cinematography; and filled with all disciplines of skiing, from touring, powder and big mountains to the terrain parks and streets.
In his third year as Faction’s principal cinematographer, Etienne Mérel seamlessly blends incredible, high-quality action shots from Faction’s elite roster of skiers with clips shot in home-movie style, subsequently bringing the entire film into a relatable format. His ability to build the movie around a theme, that of skiing as a facilitator for friendship and meaningful relationship, without smacking the viewer over and over again with it, elevates this movie above pure ski porn and ensures no contrived storytelling stains its intended aesthetic.
The individual segments not only highlight the supreme skill each of Faction’s athletes possesses but masterfully conveys how skiing is a conduit for creating, developing and maintaining relationships. The opening segment is a jump scene from Folgefonna, Norway, that helps kick off the film with a bang. The Collective then transitions to a ski touring/big-mountain clip in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, featuring Sam Anthamatten and Andrew Pollard. A visitor from Utah, Pollard tells the viewer how Anthamatten’s knowledge and expertise in the Swiss Alps helped push his skiing to new levels on the trip. A park segment featuring a number of Faction’s female athletes—Kelly Sildaru, Caroline Claire, Giulia Tanno, Sarah Hoefflin and more—follows, which in addition to showcasing the highest level of skiing, puts the spotlight on Faction’s talented women skiers flashing their brilliance in the generally male-dominated arena of terrain park skiing.
A visit to Japan ensues, followed by what’s perhaps the standout segment of the entire film, a trip to Finland featuring Will Berman (who suffers a brutal arm injury), Alex Hall, Antti Ollila and Corey Jackson. We’re introduced to Cody Cirillo’s Honeyhouse Bus, his home on wheels, in the following British Columbia segment, featuring appearances from Cirillo, Tim McChesney, Duncan Adams and Alex Hall, who is taking his first stab at British Columbia backcountry sending—laughs ensue. The film ends with a group-shred segment in La Clusaz, France, that truly shows off the widespread talent Faction has been able to accumulate on its roster. The entire film is tied together by a decisively Euro-soundtrack, natural given the company’s roots in the Swiss Alps, that will have you nodding your head along to the skiing and pulling out your phone to Shazam each track for later listening.
The Collective debuts in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, October 10, before going on a worldwide tour of more than 500 locations worldwide. For information on a screening near you, click here. Additional must-attend tour stops for the month of October include Vancouver, Denver and Seattle.