Competition was fierce at this year’s Dirt Diaries at Crankworx, and laughter was the weapon of choice as all six competitors vied to make the audience — and each other — laugh their spokes off.
After six years of the short film competition, both team leaders and judges called it the closest year yet for quality.
In the end, former World Cup downhill racer and vlogger Micayla Gatto and Matt Dennison of IFHT Films took home first prize, and $5,000, with their film Ferda Girls, a parody both of sexist attitudes in mountain biking, and of ‘Humble’ by Kendrick Lamar. During the introduction of Ferda Girls, Gatto was asked how she approached her concept for the film.
“Oh man. This was Matt’s baby. We collaborated and there was a lot of pre-filming production creative stuff.”
Dennison responded by adding: “I am so stoked by all the films (screened), the progression makes me so happy. This is my shit right here.”
Gatto wrote the lyrics to Ferda Girls, and with lines such as “So quit your slo-mo/Take a seat, bro/Be humble/Pull up, bro/Sit down/Be humble,” there were plenty of supportive screams from the female members of the audience, and more then a few guys, too.
Dirt Diaries took place at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Second place, plus $3,000, went to pro-skier-turned-mountain-biker KC Deane, who self-parodied his efforts to try mountain biking.
Third place and $2,000 went to last year’s winner, Dylan Forbes, for The Black List. The other competitors were Ian Morrison, Zander Geddes and Steve Storey, who broke his foot at the start of filming and had to adapt his film’s story about trail building.
After being named winner, Gatto paid tribute to her collaborators.
“When I got invited to Dirt Diaries, my immediate reaction was to call Matt Dennison, because I had done a couple of things with him before and I absolutely love everything (IFHT Films) do, and Jason Lucas, and everybody else.
“They had to think about it, and said, ‘yeah, we want to do this remix to ‘Humble,’ and I love that song. I wrote (the new lyrics) myself.
“It’s a chronological story of my life as a female in mountain biking. You get that question all the time, ‘What’s it like being a female in mountain biking?’ It’s like (what the film shows), I guess.”
Asked what his secret is, Dennison said: “I don’t know. I like to create things that are outside the box, but I say that so much that ‘outside the box’ is now inside the box.
“It’s hard to believe that we can pull some of these ideas off when create them, and they come to fruition. But Micayla’s talent goes far beyond mountain biking... incredible. It was so easy to work with her.”
Unsurprisingly, the winning film went viral. By 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16, Ferda Girls had racked up over 72,000 views on YouTube and hundreds of comments.
All the videos can be seen at www.pinkbike.com.