The Freedom Chair
Switchback Entertainment’s The Freedom Chair won the award for best documentary for their inspirational film on Josh Dueck. In 2004, Dueck, then a Canadian freestyle coach, overshot a jump and was paralyzed from the waist down. The film chronicles Dueck’s transformation into one of the top sit-ski racers in the world, and finishes with Dueck fulfilling his dream of putting together a powder skiing segment. Dueck, the embodiment of inspiration, hits pillow lines and 25-foot airs in a chair.
In the hospital after his accident, another freestyle coach put Dueck on speakerphone so he could speak to his young athletes.
“So I told everybody on the speakerphone that day, you know what, I want you guys to celebrate skiing for me,” says Dueck in the film. “I want you to love it the way I loved it. There’s nothing to mourn here because I’m going to be back. I promise you that. I’m going to be back in the mountains.”