Video: So It Begins

Ahmet Dadali, Mike Hornbeck, and La Familia take a stand against FIS and competitive freeskiing in the Olympics

La Familia, a group of skiers led by Mike Hornbeck and Ahmet Dadali, released their first short film today. The film, So It Begins, is more of a mission statement than a brand video. A short statement about the evolution of freeskiing is presented at the beginning, followed by a decisive line being driven between those who believe in competitive freeskiing’s inclusion in the Winter Olympics and those who do not. La Familia does not.

With solid showings by Dadali, Hornbeck, brother Giray Dadali, a couple of newcomers, and Tanner Hall, So It Begins undeniably displays the effortless style that put these skiers on the map. There is enough in the 14-minute edit to satisfy skiers looking for a video throwback to the grainy VHS glory days of twin tip skiing’s infancy. One hour before the film’s release, I called Dadali to chat about the previously mentioned mission statement, skiing, and standing up for what you believe in.

Powder: That’s a pretty big statement at the beginning of the movie.
Ahmet Dadali: It’s a little long.

Who wrote that up?
I wrote it, but it’s from all of us. It’s a full group message that we all believe in.

What are you trying to accomplish with that message of anti-Olympic competitive skiing? Who do you want to see it?
It’ll get a mixed reaction, I’m sure. I think that kids don’t really know the history of freeskiing and they are welcoming FIS’ movement with open arms. We think there’s kids out there who are lost and don’t know what to think about it. La Familia is another avenue for them.

La Familia draws the line between skiers who support the Olympics and those who don't. They do not. PHOTO: LaFamiliaChannel.com

La Familia draws the line between skiers who support the Olympics and those who don’t. They do not. PHOTO: LaFamiliaChannel.com

Is it really a line of this side or that side?
Yeah. Somewhat. You’re going to see a separation of skiing soon. We want people to know that you can go out and have fun with your friends with a video camera. You don’t need to be chilling in the gym or doing competitions and spend money to go on the circuit. It doesn’t have to be like that.

What about guys that you’ve filmed with in the past like Tom Wallisch and Henrik Harlaut? They’re doing well in competitions and filming. They’re on both sides.
I know what Henrik thinks about it. Henrik knows what he’s doing. Those guys gotta do what they gotta do. Henrik doesn’t show full support for it and he’s not going on blast talking about the US Freeskiing, FIS, and that stuff.

What is La Familia? Is this just a statement or are you launching a brand?
It’s our brand. Contrary to popular belief, we did not take the name from Technine. It was Hornbeck’s crew from way back in the day in Michigan. We gathered the homies together and it has that crew kind of feel. That’s La Familia. We decided to start it up as a company that’s going to be creating a cool product once we get the means together to be able to. We want to be a company that gives back to freeskiing as much as we’re taking money out. We’re reinvesting the money back in, whether we’re going to the Midwest to connect with kids to ski with them at their home resorts or hosting rail jams at ski areas around the US. You don’t have to pay a membership fee to do any of it. We want to be a company that gives back to skiing.

Final question. Is this the first all-Tupac Shakur soundtrack in a ski movie?
[Laughs] Definitely. Yep.

You’re proud of that, aren’t you?
I think he’s one of the most influential musicians of all time. Ever. He was a super political guy that stood up for what he believes in and believed in what he was saying. That’s what we want to portray with La Familia. We believe in something and we are going to stand up for it. We’re going to stand up against what is going on in freeskiing like Tupac did with what was going on in his world.

Add a comment

  • Seth

    These guys are clowns. Did they already forget that just a year ago Tanner was competing and trying to make a “comeback” for Sochi?

    Skiing isn’t gangster and its not about crews, never was. Competitive Freeskiing is what it is and will have no negative effect on the rest of us. Don’t be a hater. If a kid wants to compete and train in the gym, that’s great. He won’t stop you or your “crew of homies” from shredding the hill the way you want to, so don’t worry about him and his competitions. Maybe you’re more concerned about him stealing your sponsorships?

  • StillUp

    Seems insulting to compare a small rift in a privileged sport to the class struggles documented by Tupac’s work. Are these guys really that clueless?

  • STERN

    Wow, that movie is pretty weak. Minus the text, lame use of tupac and other bs the skiing was legit. I am a life long fan of tupac and know he just rolled over for this.

  • Montana

    What a joke! Since when has ‘freeskiing’ been such a fucking hood rat thing? It’s simple…go up to the mountain, ski some trees, drop off a few good rocks then rally for a few cold beers…freeskiing!

  • Twig

    Skiing is possibly the least gangster thing you can do but some of these comments!?

    Firstly, at no point does anyone liken the rift between freeskiing and comp skiing to anything Tupac experienced. You can respect/admire someone, and take inspiration from them without thinking you are going through the same thing they did. I think Gandhi is a good example to follow in life, but I don’t live under an opressive regime…

    Secondly, I actually agree with a lot of the message. Competitions are damaging. They do bring money in but they only give it to a few guys. The situatuation gets worse for guys who only film. So yes they are worried about losing their sponsors to the comp rats, but I am worried about that too. I don’t give a shit who wins the olympics or xgames but I do want to watch the best creative skiers travel the world and do things on skis I can only imagine, and be inspired by the skill of others. The only way that is going to continue is if money stays in that side of the sport and doesn’t all get funnelled to Shaun White champion of the world.

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