Mike Douglas didn't initially intend for his new documentary, Snowman, to be a feature-length film targeted toward a general audience. "It was just going to be a short film about the crash," Douglas says. "When I heard the story about the crash, I think I just kept saying, 'No way. Impossible. This sounds like a Die Hard movie or something.'"
Snowman is the story of Douglas's childhood neighbor and friend, Kevin Fogolin. The aforementioned crash was a 2009 helicopter accident Fogolin was involved in while working as an avalanche consultant in British Columbia. Snowman chronicles Fogolin's life, from a snow-obsessed kid on Vancouver Island to becoming a snow-safety expert working for industrial companies throughout Western Canada, and through the crash that almost took his life and made him question his life-long love of mountains, snow, and weather.
The project is a big evolutionary step for Douglas, who has proven his filmmaking mettle within the ski industry through various web series, including award-winning Salomon Freeski TV, and the award-winning short “The Freedom Chair”.
"I think a little bit was the challenge—to tell a story in a feature length and see if we could make a film that non-skiers could appreciate," he says. "I definitely invested a bunch of my own money into this project. But for me this project was so personal that I felt I had to see it through and I had to make this film as good as it could be. It was a risk I was willing to take."
Snowman premiered at the Whistler Film Festival December 7, and won Best Mountain Culture Film. Mongrel Media, the largest distributor of independent films in Canada, recently signed Snowman to a distribution deal. You can read more about the project here. A U.S. debut is still in the works. Check here for updates, and expect for a wide release throughout North American in Fall 2015.