Warren Miller’s new film preps locals for the upcoming season

Matt Davis

Many consider silence a staple of proper cinema etiquette. Those people have never been to a Warren Miller film premier. 

“Timeless” stopped in Fort Collins last week in the midst of its national premier tour. The film features footage from Austria and Switzerland, as well as some beautiful scenes from the Miller crew’s seemingly annual trip to Mike Wiegele’s Heli-Skiing Resort in British Columbia. The film showcased different types of riders from all over the world, with focuses on aptitude at all skill levels and stepping out of your comfort zone.

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The real draw of the film for most locals, though, was the extensive footage from Colorado’s own Eldora Mountain Resort. As soon as a drone shot of the resort found its way on screen, the crowd erupted with cheers. This sequence, the film’s longest, followed Cooper Branham, a University of Colorado Boulder student who is just as concerned with his studies as he is getting in his daily laps at Eldora.

Similarly to Boulder residents, many Colorado State University students and Fort Collins residents call Eldora their “home mountain.” Located just under 50 miles from Fort Collins, Eldora is the closest comprehensive hill to Colorado State. 

An equally beautiful segment was filmed at Silverton Mountain, a budding ski hill in the southern Colorado San Juans. As the film showcased two Alaskan snowboarders rip massive powder lines along the Matterhorn, the crowd gasped in awe at the sheer size of the mountain faces.

The film is currently in the middle of an extensive premier tour, playing at over 100 venues across 33 states and nine countries. For details about more Colorado showings, visit warrenmiller.com/events/co.

The film focused on the ability for riders to always improve. Professionals Caite Zeliff, Connery Lundin, Austin Ross, Olympic mogul skier Jaelin Kauf, Baker Boyd and Erin Mielzynski were all featured in settings that they weren’t familiar with.

The most intriguing aspect of the film was the choice to place Olympian slalom skier Mielzynski on the steep terrain of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in France.

“I’d never clipped into a pin binding, so far out of my element, and the people around me have really taken me under their wing,” Mielzynski said. “They pushed me when I had to be pushed. I think a lot of people were a bit afraid of what would happen with me being here.”

That sense of unknown is what draws Mielzynski and so many others to winter sports.

The exceptional riding, powder blasting shots and extraordinary scenery can be expected from all of Miller’s films, but it’s the connections to the athletes that draws the crowds every year. It’s what has kept the Miller brand strong for 70 years.

Miller passed in early 2018 after not directing a film since 2004, but his production company vowed to keep his legend alive by continuing to release annual films. Since Miller put out his first feature length film in 1950, the movies have served as an unofficial start to the ski season for powder heads across the country. 

Matt Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MattDavis27.

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