06/01/2018, North of nightfall world premiere
Arctic Epic: Berrecloth Debuts North of Nightfall
Freeride legend Darren Berrecloth's new film goes big, but touches on a bigger mission.
When Darren Berrecloth joined his freeride friends Cam Zink, Carson Storch and Tom Van Steenbergen to make a film, the plan was simple; find a wild, far-flung, untouched location, get epic shots of the boys sending it, and stoke out the fans.
Sometimes, though, a greater purpose presents itself.
The newest RedBull Media House film—North of Nightfall—made its world premiere May 30th in Bend, Oregon (and makes its proper debut June 5th, with a U.S. film tour to follow). It was a star-studded affair, with the movie’s protagonists on hand, excited to see how the film would be received. A sold-out packed house of nearly 500 freeride fans descended on the theatre to see how epic it would truly be.
The film sees the quartet undertake a month-long expedition to the top of the world to explore Axle Heiberg Island, high in the Arctic Circle. The frozen landscape experiences a harsh, dark winter, contrasting sharply with summer featuring endless daylight. The ecological result is a raw, desert-like escarpment that was unlike any other ridden; backdropped by glaciers and the occasional yak or wolf, it was uttly riding in a quiet void of geologically untouched land. Spending that month in a camp that required electric polar bear fencing around their campsite, the riders were able take on 3,000-foot lines, fun whips and big jumps... in total solitude. Epic is an oft-overused euphemism, but it held true on Axel Heiberg Island.
The four freeriders also received location prep research help from Laura Thomson. A glaciologist with Simon Fraser University in Canada, Thomson visits the island every year to study glacial recession on Axel, just as she has for the last nine years, to track the key indicator that mark the effects of global warming, and she explained to the riders the effects global warming were having on the glaciers receding around them. Suddenly, Berrecloth’s movie took on a whole new value.
“As a group, we didn’t set out to make a global climate change film, but as it unfolded and as we spent time in the north, and talking to Laura, we realized there was a much bigger story that needed to be told,” Berrecloth said. “It was hard not to be affected by what she was telling us, and then what we were seeing.”
Following the world premiere at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend, the riders and movie producers hosted a Q&A (What did you eat on a deserted island for a month? Answer: "terrible dehydrated food"), following it with an autograph session, and the sold-out crowd of nearly 500 people poured out and the party moved to the bar across the street, there was a greater resonance than the epic drops and lines they’d just captured. And as a father, the opportunity of having the mic in a meaningful way wasn’t lost on him.
“You know, the riding itself was amazing,” Berrecloth says. “To spend that time in the high arctic pioneering those big mountain lines and pushing our limits, it was a big achievement. At the same time, were over excited hearing the positive feedback from people at the premiere. As athletes, we have a great platform, and to be able to spread the good word, to hopefully leave our children a plan they can thrive in, it was important to me as a dad… really, it was important to all of us.”
The film’s U.S. tour stops can be found at northofnightfall.com, with the film’s release by RedBull Media House and Freeride Entertainment taking place June 5.