Mountain Dew Films Teams With Universal Pictures for Theatrical Release of First Descent

By AlpineZone News |
Sep 12 2005 - 12:07 PM

PURCHASE, New York and UNIVERSAL CITY, California ??” Mountain Dew (MD) Films and Universal Pictures jointly announced today that they will release the thrilling and historical documentary First Descent in theatres on December 2, 2005. The documentary First Descent chronicles the rebellious, inspiring and sometimes controversial rise of snowboarding — as seen through the eyes of the snowboarders setting the standards and breaking the boundaries of this worldwide phenomenon.

First Descent spotlights a handful of snowboarding’s early pioneers (including Shawn Farmer, Nick Perata and Terje Haakonsen) and some of snowboarding’s current stars (Shaun White and Hannah Teter) and literally takes them to the edge-the snow blanketed mountains of Alaska-where these five icons face some of the most challenging and hard-core natural terrain on the planet. The five come for different reasons-Perata and Farmer to see if they still have what it takes, Haakonsen to add another credit to his Big Mountain resume, and White and Teter to undertake their first Big Mountain ride ever- and yet they seek to challenge themselves to accomplish the best snowboarding feat of their lives.

The crew of five share their stories, comparing viewpoints, individual lifestyles, and unedited opinions on the evolution of snowboarding that began as a delinquent child of skiing and now stands as an international cultural movement that has permanently changed the face of winter sports.

Intercutting footage from the snowboarding revolution of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, real-life accounts from both notorious and famed riders, and dramatic, newly-filmed scenes from the biggest winter contests and experiences these riders undergo on their way to and in Alaska, First Descent creates a fast-paced portrait of a snow sport that has quickly evolved from a fringe hobby to a full-fledged global event.

Universal Pictures will handle the domestic theatrical distribution of First Descent in the U.S. and will market and distribute the DVD release. This is the first motion picture produced by MD Films, the marketing arm of the soft drink brand, Mountain Dew, which is dedicated to promoting action sports through film. Transition Productions originated the concept in association with Embassy Row, LivePlanet and Davie-Brown Entertainment. Hired by MD Films to shoot, edit and deliver the movie, Transition Productions is based in New York City. First Descent is produced and directed by Kevin Harrison and Kemp Curley and written by Harrison. Executive producers are David Burwick, John Galloway, Jaime Weinstein, Chris Moore, Tera Hanks and Larry Tanz.

“Universal Pictures is the perfect partner for this project. They share our passion for the sport and their marketing expertise and distribution strength ensures that the film will reach broad audiences across the country,” said John Galloway, executive producer, MD Films. “We have been big supporters of snowboarding for more than a decade and we hope to introduce new fans to the sport through this film.”

“Universal has admired how Mountain Dew connects with fans of snowboarding and other sports with immediacy and longevity, and we jumped at the chance to partner with them on their first motion picture,” stated Adam Fogelson, President of Marketing for Universal Pictures. “The story of how snowboarding, in less than two decades, rocketed from being rejected by major media as ‘the worst new sport ever’ to being the fastest-growing sports phenomenon and a fixture of pop culture is a subject that is perfectly suited to a movie. We were wowed by what MD showed us on First Descent and believe that there is an audience for this film far beyond devoted fans of the sport.”