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South Salt Lake Journal

Telemark skiing film tour makes a stop in Utah for a new generation of skiers

Dec 04, 2022 11:10AM ● By Jesse M. Gonzalez

By Jesse M. Gonzalez | [email protected]

With the winter ski season here, the city of South Salt Lake is eager to get the skiing community pumped up for some great runs down the slopes. And who is better to help ignite that spark than CJ Coccia, the filmmaker behind Telemark Colorado, a recreational project consisting of a keen film crew who are on tour promoting their skiing documentaries.

They stopped by the Freeheel Life Shop on South West Temple Street on Oct. 21 to show their three short films: “Orange,” “Maybe Not,” and “That’s Life.”

The previous night, Coccia and his crew stopped by a local brewery to show their films, but to appease all audiences and age groups, they decided to visit a local ski shop to engage the younger generations of skiers. “We want to expose to them what it is and not what it was,” Coccia said. “We always split it up to make sure that we can get the kids involved as well.”

The films depict various backcountry areas and mountains to showcase free-heel skiing and show what Telemark Colorado can do for the enthusiastic outdoor world.

Coccia, who is originally from Florida, found a passion for skiing and decided to move to Colorado to fulfill his fascinations and fervors with the sport.

“We film the different segments for the ’21-’22 seasons, and to edit them, I spent the whole summer working on them—very different styles, very different concepts and techniques, very different filming throughout all of them,” Coccia said.

Their tour started in Colorado and continues through the West. “Hitting Utah, Idaho, Montana then Washington, then once I get back to Colorado, I’ll be flying out to Duluth, Minnesota for a show…Burlington, Vermont for a show,” Coccia said. “I hope to come back out here to do some bigger film projects.”

One enthusiastic member in the audience of the film showings, sitting next to his father in the front row, was 13-year-old Fynn Osmundson. “I have been skiing pretty much my whole life, and I switched to telemark skiing in the fifth grade. My dad’s done it his whole life,” said Osmundson, who is referring to the technical form of skiing which consists of creating downhill carving turns by pushing on the front foot while the back foot is used to keep balanced.

“It’s my first time seeing this film, but I saw the last one and it was really good,” Osmundson said. “I’m really excited.”

Coccia mentioned how he wanted to engage with the younger generations of skiers, and Osmundson may be one to take the helm for further waves to come after him. Osmundson has big plans for this season in terms of getting out there on top of that mountain and continuing to level up his skill set.

“My favorite part about skiing is the enjoyment of doing something you thought you couldn’t and then stomping it and realizing how easy it was,” Osmundson said.