United States / 2007 / 91'
Shot in Alaska, Wyoming, Canada, France and Iceland, Steep is about a mountain sport that did not even exist 35 years ago: extreme skiing. Free-riding began on the mountains of Chamonix, in France in 1970, where a few skiers started to ski down some extreme slopes, at the limit of folly. Men such as Anselme Baud and Patrick Vellencant decided to challenge conventional skiing and tried to ski in impracticable locations where nobody before them has ever dared to go. Today, two generations later, some of the most prominent skiers want to fulfil the dream of this sport whose goal is not to win but simply to investigate one’s own limits and explore the steep slopes of the wild mountains. However, the star of the film is Doug Coombs who has been considered the best extreme skier ever. Coombs died in a ski accident in La Grave, in France, in April 2006, only a few days after this film was shot. His intense life and tragic death have brought to the fore the core issue of extreme skiing, namely the ability to evaluate the risks and one’s own limits against the great passion to overcome them.
Mark Obenhaus is a documentary film producer, director and writer. Since 1991 he has worked with the major television networks and production companies. He worked as a producer for ABC, and has written several documentaries, programmes and TV series such as Day One, The Century (1998), In Search Of America (2002), The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy (2003) and UFOs: Seeing Is Believing (2004). He produced and directed cult movies such as The World that Moses Built, Mr. Sears Catalog and JFK: A Time Remembered. In the 70s he worked in the movie industry and collaborated with Bob Fosse in producing full-length films and independent documentaries. Mark’s work has received many awards, including five Emmys and other prestigious international prizes.