Cabler sets first event for Denver

Not to be outdone by the snow and film combo of Sundance, the Ski Channel’s first film festival is skedded for Jan. 27-29 in Denver.

About 22,000 mountain sports enthusiasts are expected to ski and snowboard vicariously through such fare as Greg Stump’s “Legends of Aahhhs,” the sequel to his legendary 1988 “Blizzard of Aahhhs,” which will be inducted into the Ski Channel’s inaugural Ski Film Hall of Fame; the channel is also naming it the best ski film of all time.

About 50 films will be screened in all, with some then airing on the Ski Channel.

The Ski Channel has funded three of its own films: “The Story” written, produced and helmed by Ski Channel chairman and CEO Steve Bellamy; “Downhill: The Bill Johnson Story,” which will premiere at the Santa Barbara fest; and short “Shane and the McConkeys,” dedicated to the late skiier Shane McConkey.

“Our long-term goal is to create a celebration of mountain cinema in the vein of the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy Awards,” says Bellamy. “We will use the power of … 45 million households as the marketing engine the same way ESPN drives the X-Games and MTV drives the music awards.”

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