There must be something Utah needs to know about The Crash Reel, a popular documentary that premiered at Sundance in January. After all it was shown eight times during Park City's revered film festival.

Don't worry if you missed the memo. The Utah Film Center and Park City Film Series are presenting the film five more times at five different locations on March 13, free of charge, first-come first-served. So what is there to learn from this story?

The documentary follows the rise, the fall and the slow rise again of professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce after he suffered a severe brain injury while training in Park City in 2009. Even if you don't snowboard, the humanity displayed from Pearce as the film's face and storytelling from director Lucy Walker send a greater message of individual competition and family support that everyone can relate to.

Pearce is part of a sport that is clearly individualistic. Snowboarders are constantly inventing the sport through the sheer thrill of seeing how high and far each athlete can take it. They aren't molded by other people like athletes in other organized sports. Instead they shape themselves to find what their true abilities are.

That being said, Kevin Pearce learns that the high stakes involved in his sport aren't purely individualistic.  

When a landing goes terribly wrong, Pearce discovers the real foundation he's had around him all along. Rehabilitation from injury is far from an individual undertaking. Pearce's family and snowboarding community have stuck by him with constant support, and are the ones pushing him to work harder during his recovery.   

In a similar way we are all driven by the individual need to succeed, whether in sport, work or play. Success is defined more on an individual basis rather than at the societal level these days. But when bad things happen, it's actually your own community that helps you when times get tough.

Besides the film's connection to Park City, these themes of outdoor thrills and family in The Crash Reel are very applicable to Utah's demographic. Take the family and experience this inspiring film as a community on Wednesday, March 13.

Lucy Walker will be available via Skype for a post-film Q&A moderated by RadioWest’s Doug Fabrizio. Post-screening discussion panels will also be organized in Ogden and in Park City.

Screening Locations

Simultaneous screenings of The Crash Reel start at 7:00 pm at the cities and venues below:

  • Salt Lake City - Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
  • Park City - Jim Santy Auditorium in association with the Park City Film Series
  • Ogden - Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in association with Peery’s Egyptian Theater
  • Sundance Resort  - Screening Room
  • Upper Ogden Valley - Pineview Lodge - 3923 North Wolf Creek Drive, Eden