For professional skier and BASE jumper Matthius Giraud, controlling fear is a way of life.
“I think in the end, whether you’re jumping off a cliff or sending a kid off to college or stepping into parenthood, we all face a lot of these similar feelings and uncertainties,” Giraud said. “The question is, can you find a level of acceptance and serenity in it? Or are you going to let it crush you?”
Fear and facing fear is a main theme of the new documentary film “Super Frenchie” starring Giraud and directed by Pacific Northwest filmmaker Chase Ogden.
“It’s a movie about fulfillment and finding a way to be fulfilled and achieve your dreams,” Giraud said.
Eleven years in the making, the film follows Giraud as he pursues his passion for ski BASE jumping across continents, through injuries and through falling in love and starting a family.
“It captures everything from my first ski BASE jump on Mt. Hood when I was 24 all the way to my latest jumps in the Alps,” Giraud said. “You have the full evolution as an athlete in there. My relationship with fear, for example, changed throughout the movie. In the beginning I kind of ignore it and toward the end it’s a place of acceptance.”
Giraud — who was born in France and now lives in Bend — hopes the movie will change misconceptions he believes some people have about extreme sports and professional athletes.
“We’re not thrill-seekers, we’re not adrenaline junkies, we’re not daredevils,” Giraud said. “It’s actually a higher purpose. It reflects a philosophy of an existential quest.”
“Super Frenchie” is out this Friday on streaming services and in theaters, including the Sisters Movie House.