Directors of Toughness Take Film Festival: Day 4

What is a film festival without a few movies? Well, it’s a ski hill owned by Robert Redford. But with films, it’s the largest independent film fest in America.

And I had the chance to attend a movie premiere at the film festival. When I was handed the ticket, I felt like Charlie winning a trip to the Chocolate Factory. In fact, the ticket was gold—so the comparison really does fit.

It was a pass to the Kevin Smith-directed highlight film Yoga Hosers. The movie could not have been a better choice to go see—it’s a much buzzed-about headlining film of this year’s festival. And it’s set in Manitoba, where Zach and I spent some time back in November tracking polar bears. That means I could laugh along with all of the humor regarding Candadian-speak (there were too many “eh’s” in the script to count) and weird convenience-store snack names and actually be able to relate.

When I got to the venue, the Library Center Theatre, the energy was high despite the late hour. This film festival is notorious for its midnight premieres. This year, nine films made the midnight lineup with Yoga Hosers being one of them. I had my ticket marked, I was directed to the back of a line, and I eagerly awaited my chance to get through the queue and grab a seat. I knew it would be a packed house. Everyone wanted the opportunity to see the stars in the audience as their performance played onscreen.

SEE ALSO: Directors of Toughness in Park City

Tyler Posey and Hannah Kearney at Sundance

I have to admit, it was surreal to know that Johnny Depp was in the audience and on-screen simultaneously. Additionally, it was wonderful to have been able to meet with Tyler Posey, who took a ski lesson with Zach and Hannah Kearney earlier in the week, and now see him in the film. He had spoke about his excitement regarding the premiere while skiing, and now seeing the final project I could attest to his sense of accomplishment. It’s just like crossing a finish line or publishing a story—we are proud of the work that we do. And I was glad to share it.

All in all, the film festival was an atypical trip for Zach and I. I was injured and had to find a way to busy myself off of the mountain. We were not being asked to challenge ourselves physically, but instead share the stories of all the times that we have in the past four months. And that itself proved that being a Director of Toughness isn’t just about being an athlete or an adventurer. It’s also about being an ambassador and able to not only live the stories, but also share them.

Emma Greenwell and Hannah Kearney hugging at Sundance

Follow Columbia Sportswear’s Directors of Toughness, Lauren Steele and Zach Doleac, as they journey around the world and put our latest gear through the harshest conditions on TwitterFacebookPeriscopeInstagram, and Snapchat (columbia1938).

Lauren Steele is a Midwestern farm girl turned migrant. She is a writer who knows that the unknowns in life make for the best stories—and for the most amazing adventures. Chasing those stories from Chile to Switzerland have prepared her to become Columbia Sportswear’s Director of Toughness. You can follow Lauren’s journey as Director of Toughness here and social channels including: Twitter | Instagram


ZachDoleacZach Doleac is an adventure travel and sports photographer (and full-time outdoor junkie) born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Traveling through places such as Central America, Canada, and the mountain ranges of the U.S., he only pauses long enough to make photographs of the people and places that he encounters along the way. You can follow Zach’s journey as Director of Toughness and social channels including: Instagram | Twitter