Editors Note: We've asked our friend and writer Zach Altman to do a profile for us one of our film makers providing us with a world premier for the Virtual Edition on Friday May 1st at 5:30m(Pacific Time)
Eli Tianse Abeles-Allison is no stranger to filmmaking in the outdoor community. Whether he’s running singletrack through the mountains, off trail in the backcountry with hunters and anglers, or trudging through winter storms to ski and film big lines, Tianse’s determination behind the lens doesn’t waiver. Folks always say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Well, Tianse always has a camera with him.
His commitment to telling stories that matter has been long standing. In 2017, he was the filmmaker behind the Common Ground film, a project depicting the 240-mile run across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the public lands issues surrounding it. This year, he’s back on the festival scene with his latest short film, Trail Medicine.
In the age of Covid-19, we hopped on a video call to learn more about what inspired the film.
What is the basis for your new film, Trail Medicine?
“This film is all about Fern Fae’s journey (pronouns, xe/xer), dealing with depression, PTSD, and anxiety, and working through these things with trail running. It's about xer experience using running to overcome and process different issues xe is going through. The film captures Fern as xe discovers serenity, insight, and release in running trails. Something I’m sure a lot of us relate to, especially with all that is going on in the world!”
What inspired you to pursue this project?
“About a year ago, Fern had mentioned this idea about doing a film depicting running and xer depression. A few weeks ago, we received an email calling for film submissions for the festival, and we thought, ‘yeah, let’s do this!’ The stay at home order set us up with plenty of time here at home around Jackson, so we got right to work telling Fern’s story.”
With current events keeping most of us at home, (BIG thanks to all essential workers!) many runners are finding solace in their local trails and neighborhood sidewalks. Trail Medicine is a prime illustration of how running can help us cope with, and eventually recover from, the hardships we face.
Learn more about Tianse’s other works at https://porterfilmswy.weebly.com/
Zach Altman is a storyteller based in Bozeman, Montana on the edge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Find his work at https://www.zachaltmanmedia.com/
A few weeks ago Abram, my fellow co-director, had an idea. A really good idea. To do a live-stream show this spring! We’re all stuck in our homes, no races to go to, no group runs, parks and trails either getting over crowded or closed down. Hoarding toilet paper has lost it’s luster. And [spoiler alert] it turns out, the Tiger King is a jerk, cute baby tigers aside.
What a great way to rally our community and get inspired for when we can break loose of these coronavirus chains! Throw in supporting the filmmakers, raising money for folks in need and telling the stories of what it’s like for people going through this crisis all over the globe and, to us at least, it seems like a no-brainer.
Sure we can’t all gather together like normal in theaters. But we can still watch great films, drink tasty adult beverages, and eat popcorn together. We can still laugh, cringe and cry together. We’ll just do it from a safe distance, for now. Ok?
Friday May 1st at 5:30pm(PST) I’ll be on stage (aka my living room) and it’ll be my honor to share the evening with you if you’ll join us? BYOB
Click here for more info and to buy your tickets
Crazy times, eh? Those of you that know me you probably know my "day job" is organizing trail running races through my company Rainshadow Running. And in fact idea of The Trail Running Film Fest was born at one of our races back in the late 2000s well before we started doing shows in theaters in 2013. But right now races are on hold. One of the benefits of that is that I've got more time to put into projects for the film fest!
With all this new time we hope to enact some of the projects that have been just collecting dust in my mind and at least one new project! The new project, the brainchild of of my new partner in film fest crime, Abram Dickerson (of Aspire Adventure Running fame), is super exciting and we'll announce it on Monday.
Going forward look for this new blog, The Director's Cut, to provide you with regular news and other resources from the greater trail running film universe. Things like announcing new films coming out, reviews of films, "top 10" type lists, "how to's" with top film makers, back stories, film maker features and more!
One positive of this world wide crisis is that we can perhaps see our lives and the world around us in new ways. Expert storytellers, like the filmmakers in our trail community, can help to frame these introspective opportunities. Abram and I are honored to help in the process and we're excited for the chance to continue to support our community in fun and creative ways even if the ways are different than we're used to and the stakes higher than ever.
Take care of each other out there folks and I'll be in touch again soon,