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Film The Little Things has Canadian premiere in Whistler

Labour of love by Marie-France Roy and Darcy Turenne
Sustainable Boarding Marie-France Roy, producer of Ten Little Things, wants to show the more ecologically sensitive side of snowboarding culture. Photo submitted

The Little Things is a film that highlights the big differences that snowboarders are making in their efforts to live sustainably.

Freestyle snowboarder and newly minted producer Marie-France Roy asked Squamish filmmaker Darcy Turenne to direct the film, which Roy wanted to make in order to encourage other boarders to take up the cause.

Turenne, who won the 72hr. Filmmaker Showdown at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler in April this year with her film The Trip, spent just over two years on the project.

The Little Things is Turenne's first feature.

"We chose riders based on what they were doing to contribute to the green initiatives, their environmental work and unique stories," Turenne says.

And unique they are. The Little Things combines some serious shredding with stories such as Roy's own efforts to hand-build a cob-house on Vancouver Island over four years. This contrasts with the sustainable homes built by Mikey Basich (whose home is off-grid), Jonaven Moore (who lives in a caboose) and the efforts of halfpipe snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler.

Jeremy Jones is a master backcountry explorer, but also founded Protect Our Winters (POW) in 2007, a non-profit dedicated to using the collective power of the winter sports community to protect our climate. He felt the need after seeing the alpine climate change before his eyes.

Tamo Campos introduces Beyond Boarding, the organization he founded to support the Sacred Headwaters region in Northern B.C. He also talks about splitboarding around the province and living in a school bus that runs on vegetable oil.

And, of course, there is some serious shredding from the athletes.

"A lot of the filming was done around British Columbia and we also got footage donated by some of the riders," Turenne says.

Canadian environmental icon David Suzuki also drops by to talk about what is at stake.

Turenne and Roy raised $29,000 via Kickstarter to finish the project.

"The final film is more documentary based. It is first and foremost a snowboarding film. We want to inspire people to take action themselves, take unique paths and do better for the world," Turenne.

In an interview, Roy said she wanted to give back to the sport that brought her so much success.

"I've always been into nature and studied ecology at college and I thought it would be my profession until snowboarding," Roy says.

"I felt I was at the point in my career with enough assets, connections, friends and support to do something different than a regular snowboarding action film. I wanted to do something proactive and felt that making a film was the best way to do that."

The world premiere of The Little Things took place in Aspen on Oct. 3. The film was released on iTunes on Oct. 7 (for $9.99) and is getting its Canadian premier in Whistler on Thursday, Oct. 16, at Millennium Place. It shows the following night, Friday, Oct. 17, at Quest University. Doors for both are at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Whistler show are $17 and can be purchased at Millennium Place or at Tickets for the Quest showing are $10 and available at the door.

All profits from the ticket sales of both premieres will be donated to a local charity: The (JP) Auclair fund, set up to raise funds for the family of the long-time local professional skier who recently passed away in an avalanche in South America. All other profits from the film will go to Protect Our Winters and the Suzuki Foundation.

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