Sun Valley Resort likes to get an early leap on the ski season. Last year, the resort inaugurated The Gathering Film and Music Festival to serve as the kick off to the upcoming ski season. The event was so successful that it's back for a second year, Sept. 22-24.

"We had a great turnout and a lot of filmmakers coming in. We got positive buzz out of it," festival organizer Mike Fitzpatrick told us. "This year, we're getting so many films that we expanded a day."

The festival takes place throughout Sun Valley and Ketchum. Several events are hosted in downtown bars; others take place in the Ketchum Town Square or the lawn outside the Sun Valley Pavilion.

The event features top ski and snowboard filmmakers and athletes. New films from Teton Gravity Research, Level 1 Productions, Smith Optics, Burton Snowboards, 4BI9, Tanner Hall, and Sammy Carlson are scheduled for showings throughout the weekend.

The movie lineup tag teams with live music featuring popular regional artists such as Taylor Brown, The Itals, and Old Death Whisper. The annual Marley in the Mountains reggae event joins in The Gathering this year, too.

The festival also provides a venue for local talent to compete for the Young Filmmakers Award. "The two top films made last year were made by local kids. They were awesome untapped talent. That's a big part of what this thing is," explains Fitzpatrick. "Last year's winner, Ben Parker, even got to help out with Level 1's shoot this winter at Sun Valley."

Festival all-access passes cost $35 per person. They are available at the Sun Valley Recreation Office. Event pass purchasers who attend the Saturday night Itals concert will be eligible for winning a 20-day pass in a drawing.

Those still looking to enter the amateur film contest can do so until Sept. 17. Rules for the contest are available on the Sun Valley Gathering web site page. Winners receive prizes that include a 20-day pass, lodging and lift ticket package, and bag of goodies.

More information. Or call 208-622-2135.


Trailer: Tanner Hall's "Retallack: The Movie"


Trailer: Sammy Carlson's "On Top Of The Hood"