Behold the return of Crankworx Whistler! It's one of the largest, most celebrated mountain bike festivals in the world. It's a cash cow for local suppliers of booze. And it's a great time for everyone who likes to watch the crème de la crème of mountain bike riders.
And while this is all well and good, the real news is the inclusion of the first-ever GoPro Dirt Diaries, a brand-spanking-new film competition where six filmmakers will compete for $6,000 in cash prizes.
Yes! That's right — a new film competition. Oh boy. It's been modeled after Deep Summer, where the filmmakers will have to complete six-minute films that will then be shown to a live audience at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Priority seating with close sightlines to giant HD screens will be on offer for $20.
Derek Westerlund, director of mountain bike production company Freeride Entertainment, will serve as head judge. First place will take home $3,000; second place will receive $2,000; and third will receive $1,000. Contestants have received a GoPro camera kit to help complete their films.
Filmmakers were asked to submit teasers through Pinkbike.com, and the top six were selected for the competition. The filmmakers are: Mike Gamble of SheGNARnigans; Mitch Winton, general manager at Coast Mountain Photography; Leo Zuckerman; Max Berkowitz of Hammersaw Films; Andrew Santos, a.k.a. Burnaby Hucker; and Ali Chapple.
"Good, good, very good," you must be saying, "but what about the PHOTOGRAPHY? Festivals aren't the same without photography competitions! WE WANT PHOTOS!"
Sure you do, Whistler. No need to fret — behold the return of the Deep Summer Photo Challenge! Now in its fourth year, the competition will be held at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 15 so the general public will have access for free. As with Dirt Diaries, priority seating with close sightlines to giant HD screens will be on offer for $20.
As in years past, the photographers will have three days to shoot big-scale action anywhere in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and create a slideshow that will be shown to the multitudes for a chance at the cash prize.
This year's photographers are:
Reuben Krabbe: Earlier this year, he impressed the crowd as the youngest competitor ever at the Deep Winter Photo Challenge. While he placed only third, one of his photos was awarded "Best In Show."
Jon Hayward: A staff photographer for the Canadian Press, Hayward has made hockey his business: he's covered over 600 NHL, Olympic and World Cup events. He's also photographed world leaders, celebrities and royalty. He's photographed the inside of the Oval office, the Northwest Passage and countless locations in between.
Scott Markewitz: Considered one of the most influential outdoor photographers currently working, Markewtiz's images have appeared on more than 400 U.S. and international magazine covers. He has a keen eye for action sport with a trademark style that has been used in ad campaigns for most major ski and outdoor brands.
Ian Hylands: After specializing in bike photography for the last 10 years, he now serves as photo editor for Pinkbike.He's worked in action sports, lifestyle and portraiture and teaches action sports photography as part of the Van Arts Digital Photography Program in Vancouver.
Justa Jeskova: Shortly after Slovakian-born Jeskova settled in Whistler at the turn of the millennium, she took up photography as her career. After taking up cycling three years ago, she settled on her niche. Now, after only a few years in, she's been featured in several international bike publications — not to mention countless other clients for sport and lifestyle photography through the Sea to Sky and Vancouver.
As with last year, Pinkbike.com fans had the chance to vote for a wildcard photographer to join the competition. Who did they pick? Mike Zinger, a photographer based in Victoria, B.C.
Priority seating tickets for Deep Summer and Dirt Diaries can be purchased at Whistler Blackcomb guest realtions, or by calling 1-866-218-9690.