In many American ski towns, the tourism and services economies would grind to a halt without their Latino populations. In a place like Jackson, Wyoming, the Latino community is a mix of documented immigrants and undocumented workers - many of whom are facing increasing risk of deportation under the current Presidential Administration, often resulting in family separation.
Members of the Latino community ski alongside us, live next door, and participate in the same kids programs and school classes. They build homes and hotels, landscape, paint, clean sheets and towels, stock groceries, and cook in the restaurants we frequent. They keep the machine humming. Yet, we barely notice them.
The documentary film, The Quiet Force, investigates the human and economic impact of hispanic immigrants living in ski towns— specifically, Mammoth, Vail, and Jackson—where they comprise 30 percent (or more) of the local population.
We, filmmakers Hilary Byrne and Sophie Danison, have made it our mission over the past year to bring this story to life in film.
After working together in the post-production of the all-women’s ski film, Pretty Faces, we wanted to collaborate on another project. Having both spent time creating adventure sports content, we looked for a story that was within the outdoor realm, in our backyard, and carried some weight.
After reading David Page’s feature, “The Quiet Force,” in Powder magazine, we felt the topic was deserving of a deeper look, and began working to making the film a reality.
We spent last winter interviewing, networking, filming, and building the foundation for a film we truly believe is increasingly relevant, fascinating, and more complex than we could have imagined.
The film’s narrative will explore the effects of the current political climate and actions on Latino individuals and communities. Interviews with immigrant families, local politicians, law enforcement, educators, non-profit organizations, and economists will provide a balanced analysis of an ever-changing issue that remains murky even to the most seasoned.