Marie-France Roy has been one of the most diverse female riders in the game for years, her passion for snowboarding and all that it embodies has helped her to keep bringing a unique creative approach to snowboarding.
Last season MFR embarked on a two year project dubbed The Little Things Movie. Driven by the ever looming threat of climate change and a deep respect for the natural world, the project intended to focus on environmentally conscious riders and lifestyles. With a cast of riders that would send shivers down your spine, The Little Things Movie promises to be one of the most innovate and exciting films of 2014.
The SDS recently caught up with MFR after her win at the Baker Banked Slalom to learn more about the project and why she decided to get involved in the first place.
Interview by Matt Stillman.
So can you tell us a little about what inspired you to start this project?
I wanted to do something different and more fulfilling than just another video part. I think I needed new challenges and wanted to get more involved with some of my other interests in life. I have always been fascinated with nature and our environment on which we all depend and I wanted to find a way to spread a positive and inspiring message through snowboarding. After some thinking, I realized that one of the best way to do so with the assets that I had was probably by making a movie. I have very little experience in that field but figured that with a lot of work, good intentions and a good team, you can accomplish anything you want!
How did you determine the crew you are working with for the movie?
I wanted to work with people who care about the cause and that are easy-going. I asked Darcy Turenne to be the main filmer/director and we have been working together ever since. She has been a professional Mountain Biker for Oakley for a long time and recently got into filmmaking. She also studied environmental sciences and I always loved her creative style. Now I have 2 other amazing ladies helping me out, Natalie Langmann is our PR and Marketing Manager and Chelsea Waddell is our Social Media Manager. All a bunch of chicks!
As for the cast, the goal of the movie is to share the stories of riders who are inspirational for their riding but also through their sustainable lifestyles and initiatives. We didn’t want to be preachy or show the negative and dramatic side of it too much. I think we need to focus on embracing the people who are making an effort to start the switch instead of pointing the finger at what everyone is doing wrong. We all have major steps to make towards a sustainable future but it is important to realize that we can’t change the world overnight and every little bit of action exponentially leads to bigger and better ones. If we have to be 100% perfect with no footprint at all in order to be credible, then none of us could ever have a voice and that would mean Game Over for climate change.
What are some of the sustainable initiatives the crew is taking in producing the movie?
Most of the initiatives you will see are from the riders. The movie is more about what everyone can do in their own lives depending on what their situations and needs are, which is different for everybody. But as far as production goes, we try to reduce our air travels by filming mainly around BC or close to each rider’s area for example. We also are donating 100% of proceeds to Protect Our Winters (POW) and The David Suzuki Foundation. That allows us to fuel the work of people who already know how to make changes happen on a bigger scale.
The 2nd tailer for The Little Things Movie, via Snowboarder Mag.
What’s the most inspiring individual or event you have come across so far?
We have been blessed with so many cool interviews and stories already and it is too hard to choose one! Each rider brings in something totally different from the next. That way we can reach out to all kinds of personalities. Not everyone relates to the same perception so it’s great to have such good variety throughout the film.
Congratulations on the win at the Baker Banked Slalom, always an awesome event, seems like the vibe up there is pretty closely aligned with the Little Things project?
Thanks! The event was so awesome and really represents what the simple joys of snowboarding are… snowboarding with your friends, competing for fun in a friendly atmosphere, watching legends like Josh Dirksen, Barrett Christy or Terje carve down the slope from the chair, watching the groms and elders having so much fun down the same course… There’s nothing like it. I think this is what The Little Things is all about in a way that we want the same quality of life that we have now for the next generations to come. I hope I can ride with my grand kids one day!
What do you think the future holds for split-boarding? Is it a trend?
Well at least it’s a positive and really good trend! It’s rad to see so many people slowly getting into it and wanting to own their turns. I only see it becoming more and more popular, just like the fishing hats at Mt.Hood!
Can you tell us a little about your home, I’ve heard it’s a slightly unconventional….
It’s called a cob house, which is an old way of building with local and natural materials. Basically, cob is a mixture of sand, clay, straw and water. You mix it all together by stepping on it on tarps for a while and then use the mixture to make walls kind of like natural cement. It is a much slower process but way more rewarding, creative and free of harmful chemicals. The walls are about 1 foot thick and all made by hand and you can make all kinds of shapes and textures in it and incorporate cool materials like glass bottles or driftwood. It becomes a true art piece and can last for hundreds of years with the right maintenance and care. I have been working on it for 4 summers now with my brother and will probably be able to move in next summer!
Protect Our Winters is an excellent project and initiative, what are some ways we can all work to incorporate their philosophies into our daily activities?
Protect Our Winters definitely work on many different aspects to lead the fight against Climate Change. They introduced their “Hot Planet/Cool athletes” climate assemblies to the schools to bring awareness to the kids on the issues, they brought some of the best athletes to The White House where Jeremy got the Champion of Change Award and they started the POW Riders Alliance. You can also get more ideas on how to make a difference by taking their Pledge: http://protectourwinters.org/get-involved
What do you like to do in the off season to re-charge your batteries?
I like to surf, skate, garden, hang out with my friends and family, build and create cool things, etc…
In an ideal world where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see the state of snowboarding in 10 years?
I see myself living simply and hopefully snowboarding can be a part of it forever. We seem so obsessed with unlimited growth in everything in today’s society… but most things can only grow for so long, no matter if it’s profit, living organisms or progression and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is sustainable. The thing is, even if snowboarding stopped progressing, it will always be evolving with the times and will always remain SO FUN.
For the most recent updates from The Little Things Movie you can check them out on
-Follow the on Instagram: @Thelittlethingsmovie
-Follow them on Tumblr: http://thelittlethingsmovie.tumblr.com