Just in time to stoke that ski buzz, Winter's Wind, a film about the rewards, hardship, and discovery of being a ski bum, makes its New England premiere Wednesday night, in Burlington, Vermont. For the film's producer, writer and cinematographer Matt Herriger, it is a homecoming of sorts. Herriger grew up in New England before embarking on a lifelong quest to find his soul through skiing—a journey that has taken him around the world, including several seasons in Chamonix. Additionally, at least half the film was shot in Vermont, using local characters.
"The roots of skiing in this country started back here," says Herriger. "I've seen a lot of winters in the mountains, but these people seem to love skiing more than anyone."
The project started as an idea more than a decade ago, when Herriger was shooting and traveling with Micah Black for TGR. Herriger committed fully to the film two years ago, the results of which will be screened in Burlington. Herriger showed a version of the film last winter at the Sun Valley Film Festival, and this fall at the Telluride Film Festival, but he’s made further refinements, saying it is now, at long last, complete.
"I thought it was done in Sun Valley, in March, but we were far from done," he says. "The learning lesson was unbelievable. To be able to write something and come off a narrative, writing it like the way you think, it took me to new ground. Trying to put a story together in a ski world, in a Dick Barrymore-like fashion, is a self-discovery."
The same could be said about being a ski bum.
Winter's Wind plays at 7 and 8 pm, November 28, at Merrill's Roxy Cinema, in Burlington.