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New snowboarding film shifts focus from athletes to the landscapes they adventure in

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“SOMOS,” directed by Rafael Pease, is narrated in Spanish with English subtitles and premiers in Bozeman on Nov. 9


BOZEMAN—In his latest short film, director and athlete Rafael Pease opted out of the traditional structure of ski and snowboard movies by situating the mountains as the main focus rather than the people exploring them. “SOMOS” is narrated by remote Alaskan mountains, and in this story, the mountains speak Spanish.

While Pease intends to make “SOMOS” available for free streaming later down the line, the film is set to debut at the Rialto in Bozeman on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Pease, a Chilean-Cuban athlete, filmmaker and activist, has been making films since 2015 as an outlet for sharing environmental information with the public. For this project, Pease wanted the mountains to do the talking.

Although the film features Pease and Argentinian snowboarder Iñaki Odriozola mountaineering and riding, Pease said: “We’re not protagonists. We’re just figures in it… it’s [from] the perspective of nature and how she views us.”

Rafael Pease splits his time between Alaska and Chile, chasing the winter and spring seasons between hemispheres. PHOTO BY JANA ROGERS / CONNECTIONS MOVEMENT

Viewers of ski and snowboard films are used to seeing impressive, beautiful, snow-covered landscapes, but the narratives are too often framed as athletes conquering the mountains rather than learning to live harmoniously with them. The term “somos” in Spanish translates to “we are.”

Pease hopes that through viewing his films, people will be inspired to take action to protect mountains instead of continuing to conquer them.

“You can love things to death, and if you don’t know what your impacts are—or what the impacts of bigger industries are—on the environment, then you’re just going to be complacent,” Pease said.

Through making the film’s narration in Spanish, Pease paid homage to his roots while also working to make the film more accessible to Hispanic audiences.

“I feel like all the ski and snowboard movies I’ve seen come out of the states, that people from all around the world watch, are all in English and it’s all predominantly Americans in the films who look and speak the same,” Pease said.

While reading subtitles during a ski film isn’t exactly what English-speakers in America often expect, “SOMOS” offers a new experience and creates visibility for the mountains, Spanish-speaking populations and non-American athletes.

In the coming months, Pease intends to have the subtitles translated into many different languages and make the film easily accessible digitally across the world.

“My goal with all the films I have made is to have the largest visibility possible,” Pease said. “If we hold the position of being a journalist or a filmmaker, or whatever it is, then we must do it right.”

“SOMOS” will premiere at the Rialto as part of Earn Your Turns, an event featuring multiple backcountry-inspired snowboarding short films.

Rafael Pease and Iñaki Odriozola link turns down a steep, crisp mountain face. PHOTO BY JESSE LEVINE / CONNECTIONS MOVEMENT

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