Talk with Marie-France Roy and it’s hard not to get thrown by her sweet nature and charming French-Canadian accent. But make no mistake about it: Called out by Snowboarder Magazine as “possibly the most well-rounded snowboarder in the world,” when it comes to powder, this girl can shred. Now, she wants to take her mettle beyond the slopes, through her crowdfunded, environmentally focused snowboarding flick, The Little Things. Roy hopes the film will inspire snowboarders to stay stoked on the slopes and on the small steps they can take in order to lead greener lives.
It all started five years ago, when Roy began to grapple with the reality that, as much as she loves nature and being outside, being a professional snowboarder isn’t exactly the eco-friendliest of jobs. “Snowboarding was giving me so much, and I wanted to give back,” she says. “But, when you snowboard for a living, you’re promoting the products of sponsors that support you. So I was promoting consumption, flying over the world. I just felt guilty.”
So much so that she considered quitting snowboarding altogether. But, instead of hanging up her board, she decided to use her name and star status to galvanize the snowboarding community around environmentalism. Her idea: make a film that features snowboarding’s biggest names, like Jeremy Jones and Gretchen Bleiler, and show the little things that they do in their daily lives for the sake of planet Earth — in between shots of them going down halfpipes and spinning through the air, that is.
But it wasn’t that easy: Roy says that at first it was hard to convince the snowboarding industry to back her environmentally tinged film, because it’s flavor is so different from most of the snowboarding movies out there. So, now in its final stretch, she’s looking for a little extra financial boost to get to the finish line — hence the Kickstarter campaign (which ends May 21). With the film slated to come out in September, Roy hopes to raise enough to cover the production costs so that they can donate all the proceeds to Protect our Winters and the David Suzuki Foundation.
Some of the little things Roy does in her own life? “I’ve been building a cob house,” she says. “I have a garden at my house and chickens in my yard, and I’m thinking of getting ducks this year. It’s going to be really neat to live in a sustainably built home and downsize.”
Now, those are the kinds of tricks we dig.
Watch a teaser for the film: