27 Nov 2023
World premiere What the FWT, presented by Alpina Watches
- Written and directed by Dom Daher and co-directed by David Arnaud, showcasing the untold story behind the FWT
- World premiere on Sunday, October 1, at the High Five Festival
- Following the opening, the movie will be presented at various film festivals, and released across five episodes on RTS TV from October 11, 2023, as well as on the FWT YouTube channel from October 25
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – September 21, 2023: What the FWT is a film presented by Alpina Watches that unveils the astonishing story of the FWT, including a behind-the-scenes look into the colossal effort it takes to run an event. For over 15 years, the FWT has been at the center of freeriding, helping to launch the careers of some of the biggest names in freeriding history. It has also been an integral part of the evolution of the sport itself, owing to the endless stream of young talent each year that brings new tricks and novel approaches to competition.
What the FWT gives viewers a glimpse into the most extreme ski and snowboard video production of all time. Watching 50 riders rip down gnarly terrain is just the tip of the iceberg, and what this movie shows is the unseen part of the story, from an intimate look at riders’ emotions to the logistical mountain the crew needs to climb at each event.
The film also focuses much of the story on the fabled Bec des Rosses, highlighting the importance each athlete places on conquering this mountain. The narrative is delivered in a Ken Burns-style documentary with a mix of several media – including 16 mm film from the archives as well as the latest footage
Who are the directors?
Dom Daher has been one of the principal photographers at the FWT since 2008. A former skier who competed in freeride competitions in the late nineties, he moved into journalism and became the editor and photo editor at Skieur Magazine between 2000 and 2004, and a member of the Red Bull photography network in 2007. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland, but works on extreme sports productions worldwide, as well as PR for a variety of clients, including GEO , L'équipe, The Red Bulletin, VSD and more. Dom is also the co-founder of Neuf Dixième, an outdoor photojournalism platform.
“My passion for skiing is as strong as ever, which can largely be attributed to the exciting evolution of the sport year after year. The amazing team that works here makes me feel like I am part of something very special and, with this film, I wanted to show the world the exceptional people behind the scenes that I consider my family, the Freeride World Tour family.”
- Dom Daher, Writer and Director, What the FWT
David Arnaud was the head of broadcast and video at the FWT between 2009 and 2017, which has given him intimate knowledge of the competition and its history, proving to be an essential asset in this production. He has produced and directed a multitude of projects and documentaries for various clients – such as Red Bull Media House, Audi, The North Face, Swatch and FIA – while his recent documentary Wild Waters earned him multiple awards in the most prestigious festivals around the world. A former extreme kayaker himself, he also has a great understanding of athletes’ minds in high-risk situations, as well as the ability to translate their experience to a mainstream audience.
“Making this film with Dom has been an opportunity to show the world what working at the FWT is like. We interviewed people we have known for a long time, and both athletes and staff unveiled their version of the story with surprising, funny and touching anecdotes, while highlighting the intensity of the FWT. With this film, we have finally shown what the FWT really is: a great human adventure.
- David Arnaud, Co-director, What the FWT
The FWT invites you to watch the world premiere at the High Five Festival:
- Where – Cinema Pathé, Annecy
- When – Sunday, October 1, 2023
- Time – 12:45 pm
If you can’t make it, watch episode one on RTS TV from October 11, or on the FWT YouTube channel from October 25. Otherwise, stay tuned to FWT socials for all the latest news as it drops, including future film releases near you.
FWT Management SA is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and has been organizing premier sports events globally in mountain resorts since 1996. The company founded the Xtreme Verbier, an iconic event in freeride skiing and snowboarding and, in 2008, it turned this single competition into a prestigious series of worldwide events, called the Freeride World Tour (FWT). The company has since grown to include multiple competition series that fall under the FWT brand – including FWT Challenger, FWT Qualifier and FWT Junior – with events across all formats taking place in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.