Mixing ski resorts and film is not a new idea. Sundance is not only Robert Redford’s amazing festival but the name of his Utah ski resort. Telluride and Aspen in Colorado both have impressive skiing and renowned festivals, whilst Banff in Canada devotes its own to Mountain film.
Les Arcs therefore was certainly following in some impressive footsteps when it created a festival some nine years ago. To create a distinctive voice they decided to put an emphasis very much on Europe (Russia and Turkey included).
The festival has been hugely successful and now offers an ambitious program of over 120 films in eight screening rooms. Ten films compete for the Crystal Arrow, Playtime features ten top films, auteur films are shown in Hauteur.
There are also Country Focus, Documentaries, Genre & Musical films, shorts and special screenings. Films in development are considered for an award and young film makers are selected for screenings and assistance via workshops and collaboration.
As with other festivals the fun does not end with the screenings – we took advantage of a useful series of professional events, enjoyed concerts, a virtual reality experience and a ski competition. There were lots of other activities that we could have joined in with, all in a buzzy atmosphere supplemented by breathtaking alpine surroundings.
We already guess that most people will know that Les Arcs resort sits high in the French Alps. Actually, Les Arcs is made up of four resorts – Arc 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000 – all purpose-built and traffic-free. They all join together within the vast Paradiski region which, with over 425km of piste, is the world’s largest linked area and – cliche alert – truly is a skiers paradise.
We selected the Fleur de Lys apartments in wonderful Arc 1950 as our festival base. Despite being purpose built there was a real mountain village atmosphere both in the village and within the apartment (read our full review here).
As well as being central for the screenings we could literally ski in and out of the apartment door and on to the interconnected ski system. It was so convenient that we managed to ski almost every day before grabbing a quick chocolat, or vin, chaud and heading off to a choice of at least one of the evening screenings.
This is a festival we really love – we found that the venues were big enough to avoid the usual bun-fights for tickets and seats, parking (if needed) was easy and convenient and other resort facilities were all close at hand.
Add some great skiing and amazing scenery and you have the recipe for a very special festival indeed. CELLOPHANELAND* are already booked in for this winter (we recommend that you get your accommodation reservation in soon) and we will be reporting back again from this winter’s event. We cant wait!
For more information visit www.lesarcs-filmfest.com
Professionals in film can pre-register at www.lesarcs-filmfest.com whilst tickets are available on the day at each screening.