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Matchstick film premieres outdoors

Seven Sunny Days finds no helicopter necessary for powder skiing in Kashmir



What: Seven Sunny Days

When: Friday, Sept. 14, 9 p.m.

Where: Skier’s Plaza

Tickets: Free

Skiing in Kashmir was like heli-skiing with the best powder in the world, only this pow playground had a lift.

“The skiing is really good,” said Murray Wais of Matchstick Productions. “There is no grooming, only expert powder skiing. The most crowded day would be sharing a 4,000-foot vertical mountain with a ridge spanning a quarter mile of open terrain with 50 people at the most. We got really lucky. We got new snow and not a ton of wind associated with it. It is a powder skier’s dream. It’s heli-skiing with a lift.”

Matchstick Production crew and athletes were filming in Kashmir earlier this year for the Colorado-based film company’s newest flick, Seven Sunny Days: short stories from a long winter, premiering in Whistler in the great outdoors on Friday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. in Skier’s Plaza at the base of Whistler Mountain.

“In the past we’ve had our premiers at the Roundhouse on Whistler, but it felt like we were excluding people because it couldn’t accommodate everyone,” said Wais, executive producer and Matchstick co-founder. “We want to extend an open invitation to everyone. We are doing this for the locals and the skiers in Whistler. It’s free, outdoors and we hope everyone comes.”

The film will be shown on multiple screens in high definition in Skier’s Plaza with VIPs and athletes setting up shop on the Longhorn Saloon patio and more than 450 seats unfolded in the plaza for the public. First come, first served with seating opening at 8 p.m. and the film showing at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Matchstick carries on with the tradition of delivering one of the best annual ski films in the business. Their cinematography was nominated for an Outstanding Camera Work award at the 28th Annual Sports Emmy Awards this year in New York — the first ski film production team to garner a nomination.

Award-nominated camera crew, award-winning athletes. The film, shot everywhere from Bralorne and Whistler to Alaska and Terrace, boasts a roster of the world’s top skiers. Familiar names returning to the Matchstick screen include Simon Dumont, Sammy Carlson, Jon Olsson, Mark Abma, Hugo Harrison, Shane McConkey, Ingrid Backstrom, Sarah Burke, Eric Hjorleifson, Mike Wilson, Rory Bushfield, Chris Rubens, Colby West, CR Johnson and Mike Douglas, along with newcomers TJ Schiller and James Heim.

Every year the Matchstick crew tries to up the creative ante. This year, they pay tribute to 007 with Shane McConkey dedicating his segment to a re-enactment of a chase scene from the 1977 James Bond Film, The Spy Who Loved Me.

“The Bond segment was a challenging shoot,” Wais said. “It was stressful. We had to hire a full special effects crew… The whole thing came out really well.”

Explosions, machine guns and blood splattering, Matchstick packs in non-stop action along with base jumpers in wing suits and more snow than ever before — hence the film’s moniker.

“We spent a lot of time waiting for sun,” Wais said. “It is storytelling of the seven most epic days of the year.”

Stories from the filming are also working their way into the pages of a special, limited-edition book that is included with a DVD purchase. Matchstick fans can flip through photos, interviews and stories penned by crew and athletes alike.

DJs Peanutbutter Wolf and J-Rocc warm up crowds at 8 p.m. with meet and greets with the athletes before the film.

In the event of rain, Seven Sunny Days will screen Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 and 9 p.m. at MY Millennium Place. Tickets for the MY Place showing would be $5.