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Steve Hawk and Gary Hammerslag engaging in a Q & A session. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)

Weber State University’s Outdoor Weber competition awarded over $75,000 to its top three finalists at the two-day film festival and keynote speaker events at Peery’s Egyptian Theater on March 20 and March 22.

The festival’s commencement began on March 20 with films screenings of the films “Elemental” and “Mountain,” followed by a discussion panel with guest speakers Steve Hawk, the executive editor of Stanford Business Magazine, and Gary Hammerslag, who invented the Boa technology for snowboarders and skiers.

The film “Elemental” explored world-renowned mountain biker and extreme skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa’s relationship with the four elements of the earth (water, fire, air, and earth) and how those elements shaped him into the athlete he is today.

“I feel like mountain biking and skiing really go hand in hand for me, and I think it’s something that a lot of folks can relate to,” Cattabriga-Alosa said. “There are so many similarities between the two whether it’s the way you read terrain, your stance or body position or the way you carve a turn. I have always loved those parallels.”

The film “Mountain” is a cinematic and musical collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and BAFTA-nominated director Jennifer Peedom. It explores our obsession with the mountains and the obstacles they challenge us with in order to shape our lives and dreams.

The films provided inspiration for the attendees to engage themselves with the outdoors and the mountains as a way to understand the complexities that they have on storytelling and human purpose.

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Audience watching the first film screening. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)

At the discussion panel, Hawk referenced his late father and the life lessons that he passed down to Hawk and his siblings while they were growing up.

“My father always told us to do what we wanted, do what we loved, do it well and put a lot of practice into it,” Hawk said. “My sister was a rock-and-roll singer in the 60s, and instead of my dad trying to talk her out of it, he built her sound equipment, took her to her gigs and became the manager of her band.”

Hawk’s younger brother, Tony Hawk, was an amateur skateboarder and approached their father to say that he never liked baseball and would rather invest his time into skateboarding.

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Gary Hammerslag smiling after asnwer a question asked of him. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)

“Our father said ‘Okay, fine,’ and went on to create the California Amateur Skateboard League and the National Skateboard Association, both of which exist today,” Hawk said. “Those are the lessons that our father taught us, which gives us a reason as to why we’re gathered here today.”

Hawk’s correlation between the film screenings and his father’s life lessons are one and the same. Storytelling becomes authentic through hard work, dedication and love.

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Cambira Hunter giving the introduction of the film festival screening. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)
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