As Sochi unfolds, the snowboarding documentary about the cost of x-competition raises consciousness – and questions.
The Winter Olympics just started. For over twenty years, market research has placed bets on its decline. Studies show kids don’t care about the Games. To win them back, the International Olympic Committee has increasingly pushed an agenda of no limits.
Welcome to Sochi: the X-ification of the Olympics.
Extreme sports now account for 20 of Sochi’s 98 events, including a record 10 snowboarding events. A new 2,083-foot-long Slopestyle course was fast-tracked and built. Sebastien Toutant from the Canadian team described the course: “It’s like jumping out of a building.” Three athletes, including Shaun White, were injured last week. White withdrew.
Sports marketing asks for youth relevance. And it demands faster/harder/higher from young athletes. But there are limits to no-limits. This is the part of the Olympics that we don’t usually see: its human cost. We can’t afford to look away.
It’s for this reason that films like The Crash Reel become vital. Lucy Walker’s extraordinary documentary tells the true story of Kevin Pearce, a U.S. champion snowboarder pushed beyond the brink. He could have been a casualty of the halfpipe. He survived.
In partnership with Phase4 Films and PictureMotion, we helped spread the message behind the film in the days leading up to Sochi. The BitTorrent Bundle features new footage from the doc, an alternate ending, deleted scenes, interviews with the filmmakers, and tools to promote concussion awareness.
To date, it’s been downloaded 3.4 million times. 52 thousand people joined the film’s email list. And 4,361 new impressions were generated film’s pledge: a call for helmet safety in winter sports.
It’s clear that the landscape for distribution is changing fast. With the Winter Olympics happening there couldn’t have been a better time to partner with BitTorrent to reach a wider audience. The download numbers have shown that Kevin’s story resonates with BitTorrent’s youthful community. At the heart of the film is an important and timely message about protecting our brains and we hope that by embracing new methods of distribution we can create greater exposure for the film, concussion awareness and sports safety.
– Julian Cautherley, Producer, The Crash Reel
On Friday, Kevin Pearce carried the torch during Sochi’s opening ceremony. As the Olympics unfold, his story reminds us all what’s at stake. The message has already reached millions. You can get the Bundle here.