On November 22, 2023

‘Advice for Girls’: An exciting new woman-led ski film


By Sarah Calvin

Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.— KILLINGTON — “Advice for Girls,” a new ski film highlighting the stories of girls and women in the ski industry, comes to Killington Resort’s Snowshed Ballroom at 7 p.m. The screening follows a panel discussion called “Doing it All” led by women ski industry professionals at 6 p.m. also in the Snowshed Ballroom.

Filmmaker and big mountain skier Sara Beam Robbins wants to see more equality within the ski industry. Robbins knows that, all too often, women are underrepresented in ski films or left out entirely. Her new film, “Advice for Girls,” aims to change that narrative. Boasting an all-female cast and production crew, “Advice for Girls” highlights women skiers of all ages and abilities, weaving in powder shots with the athletes’ unique stories.

An avid skier, Robbins got her start in filmmaking by following her friends around the terrain park with a GoPro, compiling video clips into a snapshot of their season. In 2016, she co-founded a production company, The Road West Traveled, and produced a documentary, Abandoned, about abandoned ski areas in Colorado. Abandoned was well-received, and Robbins cites the incorporation of a storyline alongside the skiing as the reason for the documentary’s success.

“I wanted to see more stories integrated within ski media,” Robbins said. “I think oftentimes you see a lot of like stoke, like powder shots which are great, and [“Advice for Girls”] definitely has those too, but I think what’s unique about our film is it also has story, and I think that’s ultimately what people want to come watch. The skiing is just the vehicle for the stories to be told.”

“Advice for Girls” is the brainchild of professional skier (and a producer of the film) Addy Jacobsend. Jacobsend first approached Robbins with a concept for a short film in which an older version of Jacobsend would give advice to a younger version. Robbins liked the idea, and the two women turned the concept into a feature-length film about woman empowerment and community within the ski industry. 

All 26 athletes featured in the film either are current professional skiers or are pursuing a ski career. The movie segments the athletes into three groups: The Pioneers, women like AJ Cargill who won competitions alongside men; present-day athletes like Jacobsend who are making a name for themselves; and the “groms,” up-and-coming athletes from 8-16 who are already making waves in the ski community. Robbins says the diverse group automatically became a little community.

“I think that the coolest part [of filming] was just seeing how naturally everybody meshed together,” said Robbins. “We’re all starting from the same foundation and…everybody coming together with that common denominator just made for fast friendships and just all around a good time. We kinda had an ethos within the production team of safety first and open communication. If someone didn’t feel safe or someone didn’t feel comfortable with what we were doing, it was kind of a unanimous agreement to switch directions. I think that made it the most special…with as many athletes as we do have, there was really like zero drama because we just had awesome open communication throughout the entire thing and we were all striving towards the same goal.”

Shot in the inner mountain west at locations like Grand Targhee in Wyoming, Snowbasin in Utah, and the backcountry of Crested Butte in Colorado, “Advice for Girls” features enough flying powder and trick shots to satisfy the most hardcore ski movie fan, and enough heart to inspire every audience member to be a little bit kinder to themselves.

“Don’t be afraid to take up space [and] know your worth,” Robbins said. “The industry needs more women. A big underlying goal for our film is we are aiming to pay all of our creatives and all of our athletes involved, which oftentimes doesn’t happen in the ski media world. If somebody isn’t willing to pay you what you’re worth then it’s not the right opportunity. One no just means a bigger yes later on. Hold true to that and don’t settle.”

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit: adviceforgirlsfilm.com.

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