Behind the Scenes with B4apres – Kashmir Ski Film Project
In February Doglotion.com was kickin’ it in Gulmarg, Kashmir, India, chasing monkeys, dodging avalanches and occasionally skiing some pow. How the hell did we end up there? We’d seen it in the mags and videos, and we couldn’t help but notice that all our Whistler amigos were migrating there this winter to help with Anthony Bonello’s newest film project – B4apres.
After a week of shredding with Anthony and the crew, we figured we should finally figure out what these guys are up to…
(Anthony’s answers are paraphrased, not quoted)
DL: So Anthony, what’s the deal with this B4Apres project? In a nutshell?
AB: I’ve always wanted to make a film. After finishing with Biglines.com and coming here (Gulmarg, India) last year, I was inspired to finally make the ski film a reality. I was lucky enough to rally a group of only good friends to come out here and help with the the project.
DL: So it’s a film project about shredding and life in Kashmir?
AB: Ya it is. Not get too deep on you here, I’ve done 5 winters of ski bumming now, and my interests are moving beyond skiing just for the sake of skiing. Skiing in Kashmir presents a unique opportunity to go beyond skiing – to storytelling through skiing. It will allow me to continue evolving my skills without just skiing and blabbing about camber and rocker. Basically I want to keep moving with my life, and evolve my journalistic/storytelling skills, and I get to ski some incredible mountains with great friends while I’m at it.
DL: We’ve seen you capturing some of the ski porn footage, but know you’ve been doing lots with the locals as well. So what’s this film all about?
AB: The vision/ambition is to make a Kashmir documentary about the issues and obstacles that Kashmiri’s face in rebuilding their tourism in this (hopefully) post-militant era. So rather than doing purely a political documentary (which is also of interest to me), we’re going to try capturing the ambitions of young Kashmiri people and how they’re trying to build a ski industry. It will hopefully serve as an analogy for any small tourism business in Kashmir, while focusing on something that’s close to us all – skiing. Essentially we’ll be filtering Kashmiri politics through the lense of skiing.
DL: Awesome, sounds like a cool project that might actually do something for the world as well. Go figure. How are you going to share it with the world? Film fests? DVD?
AB: At this point we’re shooting for film festivals. It’s not really something you watch over a bowl of Cheerios before a powder day.
DL: When do we get to see it? Obviously still a work in progress, as its only mid winter, and Puskas hasn’t gone big yet.
AB: You get to see it when it’s finished, but we’re aiming for this fall’s festivals.
DL: On that note, who all is in this flick? Not that it’s your usual pro skier porn flick, but out of curiosity?
AB: For Westerners, you’ve got Hippie Hipster Forrest Coots, Kootenay boy Pete Velisek, washed up Colin Puskas who’s killin’ it harder than ever, whistler’s own Shane ‘Stainer’ Carmichael, and finely tuned Chad Sayers. From over here we’ve got Billa the original Kashmiri freerider, the Indian Olympic hopeful Arif Khan, and perhaps a 13-year-old Muslim rippin’ ski girl names Basila who just won best intermediate ski technique at a recent ski camp here.
DL: Radtastic. Well this is a pretty cool place so hopefully this video and the awareness it brings helps these guys out. Any insights or thoughts for the gang reading this while they await the film release?
AB: Consider that India is one of the largest emerging economies in the world, with a population of 1 billion people, millions of whom are a 1-2 flight from some of the best skiing on the planet (Gulmarg). Do the math. This place is gonna get big.
DL: Right on, any last thanks or shouts out?
AB: Absolutely. We’d like to thank our supporters – Haglofs of Sweden, Moment Skis (who we approached because we like their gear so much we asked for pro deal, and they hooked us up), Icebreaker (it still doesn’t smell after 6 weeks), Black Diamond, Powderguide.com, Icebreaker and Smith Optics.
To follow the trials and tribulations of making a film in unreliable India largely dependent on mother nature, check out B4apres.com