Our Second Annual Film Grant Recipient: What If?

We are thrilled to award our second annual film grant to “What If?” which will premiere at all Backcountry Film Festival screenings this tour season!

A countdown into the mind of a backcountry skier as he contemplates the delicate balance between risk and reward; confidence and apprehension.

“What If?” highlights two separate spaces of Mallory Duncan’s personal reflection of his time in the backcountry and his physical exertion in the backcountry. The first: a peek inside Mal’s mind as he recites his poem, What If. We feel his focus, contemplation, hesitation and reflection as a moment in time. The second: the payoff from all of the focus and dedication.

To weld these two different environments, Mal’s poetry recitation is intercut with footage of his physical preparation and personal reflection in the backcountry. At the top of the line, we wait anxiously for Mal to drop. Finally emancipated form his own internal dialog, he carves artful lines down a blank white canvas. Free at last.

Meet the Film Crew

We’re so thrilled to award this creative and talented group the funding for their film. Join us in celebrating their win and our partnership by learning more about the faces and skills you will see on screen at your local Festival event soon!

Mallory Duncan

Writer, Poet, Backcountry Skier


Josh Goldsmith

Director & Executive Producer


What is the Human-Powered Film Grant

Wild stories are told to connect individuals, communities, organizations, businesses, and more. Too often those connections don’t reflect all of the human-powered voices in our lives and outdoor spaces. Connection is built through representation.

Presented by Winter Wildlands Alliance and Sierra Nevada, the Backcountry Film Festival Human-Powered Film Grant provides financial support for these kinds of connecting stories.

This film will premiere each year at the Backcountry Film Festival winter tour – kicking off in our hometown in Boise, Idaho, and touring throughout the snow belt to your hometown.

Thank You to our Grant Sponsors