SLEDFILM 2015 Recap
SLEDFILM, the largest snowmobile and snow bike film and awards show in the winter motorsports industry, was held on November 6th and 7th in Bend, Oregon.
Almost 1,000 attendees over two nights came to watch some of the best feature films and shorts produced for the 2016 season by Slednez, Braaap, 509, Alpine Assassins, Trax, Kyle Finlay, etc. The crowd was treated to an amazing performance by master of ceremonies Duncan Lee each night, who fired the audience up and kept things interesting.
The annual event was held in the beautiful historic Tower Theatre, with Polaris on board as the title sponsor for the fifth year running. Almost 100 other sponsors helped support the two-night event (a different show each evening), providing close to $30,000 in gear, services, lodge stays and other consideration for the crowd. New this year was an emphasis on snow bikes, with an incredible KTM 6 Days bike with a short track Timbersled on stage from Cascade Motorsports. Attendees journeyed to SLEDFILM from all the western states, as well as Alaska, Colorado, the Midwest and Canada.
Each year various professional athletes join the crowd, talking about their film segments, signing posters, giving tips and just hanging out for the evening. The list of top caliber athletes this year included Brandy Floyd, Jay Mentaberry, Sahen Skinner, Ryan Berchtold, Ryan Phillips, Cody Monroe, Luke Rohde, Shane Kelley and of course MC Duncan Lee and his MC sidekick athlete Ryan Hansen helping out with the many giveaways.
Athlete Jay Mentaberry commented on the event saying, “Receiving the Red YETI award for my segment in 509 volume 10, and other riding efforts and accomplishments, is really an honor. The caliber of riders out there today is super impressive, so to be ranked among the top is literally a dream come true. It’s also adds more fuel to my fire to ride even harder and deliver an even better film segment for the 2016 season! Thanks to the Hansen family, along with all my great sponsors, friends, family and everyone who is out there riding and having fun!”
Event organizers also commented on this year’s show: “We didn’t really know what to expect this year, given some of the lackluster attendance reports from the various snow shows. However, it was pretty clear from the very beginning that we were going to have a amazingly strong showing. We completely packed the venue on Saturday, and had super strong numbers on Friday as well. It is safe to say that SLEDFILM destroyed the trend of weak attendance at pre-season events. This was pretty cool to see, as it validates what we have heard from a number of our sponsors that SLEDFILM really stands on its own as a major event in the industry and has become more of a national-level or destination event. The sponsor support was incredible this year as well. We had 100% of or major sponsors return, and we added some incredible new top-tier sponsors.”
Along with professionally produced films at the event, SLEDFILM runs an amateur contest each year, sponsored by GoPro. This year, films from aspiring winter filmmakers were submitted and were evaluated by a panel of 18-20 athletes, industry reps and insiders, filmmakers, etc. The winner receives the highly respected YETI trophy, has their film shown on the big screen and receives product from sponsor GoPro. This year, past honorable mention winner Joe Gill / Highcountry Octane received the top honors at the event.
In addition to the amateur YETI, SLEDFILM also awards trophies to athletes and industry reps for their contribution to the sport. For 2015 Ryan Berchtold, Jay Mentaberry, Sahen Skinner, Randy Sugihara, Brandy Floyd and Simon Selberg took home YETI’s for various categories and accomplishments.
SLEDFILM has maintained that the core philosophy of the event is to support and create excitement for the films, athletes and filmmakers and to support the snowmobiling community. With a goal of using the event to do good, SLEDFILM has also raised money and provided support to a number of causes over the years. This year SLEDFILM partnered up with Pink Ribbon Riders, and was able to donate several thousand dollars to the organization, as well as work to provide visibility to their mission and goals.
The SLEDFILM event is an incredible experience, and we would encourage everyone to come check it out. You have a number of months to plan a trip to Bend for next November, but keep an eye out for ticket sales in early September as they do typically sell out. We would recommend that you follow their Facebook page at fb.com/sledfilm. They also give away loads of free stuff via Facebook throughout the year, so it is worth it to follow just for that aspect.