Meet the Filmmaker: Roo Smith, “Ignite Your Spirit – A Disabled Ski Bum Story”

EFP: Why did you become a filmmaker?
RS: For me it’s always been about sharing uplifting stories of hope, joy and adventure and interacting with interesting people in compelling places. As a documentary filmmaker I’ve found myself in a wide range of environments, from professional recording studios in Canada to untouched beaches in Morocco but it always back to finding the positivity in the world and attempting to document it for others to experience.

EFP: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

RS: Kevin Wilson, 31 years after a paralyzing car crash, is now living his dream as a ski bum despite a long and difficult path to get to where he is now. After his car wreck, he struggled with mental health, alcoholism and obesity but wanted to make a positive change in his life – so he started skiing again. Now, he’s sharing his love of the mountains with others by running a non-profit dedicated to providing winter sport opportunities for individuals affected by a disability.

It’s screened at Boulder International Film Festival, Kendal Mountain Film festival, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, London Mountain Film Festival, Lookout Wild Film Festival, Backcountry Film Festival, Nederland Film Festival, and at the Patagonia store in Boulder.

EFP: What else are you working on?

RS: I have another short documentary film coming out in a few weeks about Ryan Kinder, a Nashville based musician who attempted to balance his physical training for the Ironman World Championship with recording his second full length country rock album. On top of that I have a couple other ski films that should be released later this spring as well.

EFP: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

RS: In every one of my films I always break at least one traditional camera operating rule – whether that be changing the shutter speed or intentionally putting snow over the lens, there’s at least one shot that doesn’t follow the rules.

EFP: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

RS: I release a monthly newsletter that people could sign up for on my website that shares more about who I am and what I do:


EFP: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

RS: I’m stoked to be able to share my work alongside other filmmakers in the area. The Colorado film community is super welcoming and fun to be a part of so I always enjoy getting connected to more local creatives here!

Ignite Your Spirit – A Disabled Ski Bum Story will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, January 19th, 2023 at The Bug Theatre.