The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Student-Helmed Ski Documentary In the Works

Mac+Gaither+behind+the+camera+at+Lost+Valley+filming+Amanda+Yolles%2C+director+of+MaineLines+for+the+ski+patrol+section+of+the+film+
Ali Priganc ‘24
Mac Gaither behind the camera at Lost Valley filming Amanda Yolles, director of MaineLines for the ski patrol section of the film

Amanda Yolles, ’26, wears many different hats. She’s an environmental studies major, the Captain of the Bates Sailing Team, a teaching assistant, and a ski patroller at Lost Valley. Her newest hat is one of director and producer. In November 2023, she embarked on the ambitious project of making an all-female ski film. “Maine Lines Ski Film” will follow the stories of female athletes, exploring what it means to be a female skier in various domains, including park skiing, ski patrol, racing, or backcountry. It aims to capture and communicate the bonds that unite female skiers. In an interview with the author, Yolles elaborated on her plan for the film, stating that “Interviews, personal reflections, and shared experiences will provide a nuanced view of the unique challenges, triumphs, and community that defines female skiing.” Yolles is new to film but has been skiing her whole life. Her parents taught her how to ski when she was just three years old. 

However, as she grew up, Amanda noticed the striking absence of female role models within the ski industry. Her father took her to one ski film each year, and she was raised on Warren Miller. But, she had never seen an all-female ski film. They didn’t exist until “Pretty Faces” came out in 2014. Written and directed by Lynsey Dyer, it was the first all-women ski film ever made. Nine years later, in October 2023, “Advice for Girls” was released. It was the first ski movie with an all-woman everything—cast, crew, director, cinematographers, and producers. Seeing herself finally represented in these films ignited a spark within Yolles, a realization that she could contribute to the representation of female skiers. The conversations she had with the cinematographers of “Advice for Girls” at its screening in Portland provided her with valuable encouragement and insights about camera techniques and ski photography, further solidifying her determination to pursue her own project. 

As her roommate, I remember her returning to our dorm after seeing “Advice for Girls” and saying: “I’m going to make an all-women ski film.” I could hear the passion in her voice. I could see it sitting steadfastly in the determined lines of her face. I knew this wasn’t some whim; Amanda would make it happen. 

The next day, Amanda made an Instagram to get the word out about her idea for the documentary. Fifteen girls reached out to her immediately, eager to be a part of her project. In the following weeks, the overwhelming interest from fellow female skiers reaffirmed Amanda’s conviction that this film is not only desired but necessary. It underscores the hunger within the female skiing community for greater representation and recognition in the skiing world.

“Maine Lines” is in the early stages of production. They are currently in the process of filming. Amanda partnered with the Bates Film Production Club to capitalize on their wisdom, resources, and talent. Female-identifying skiers, photographers, producers, and cinematographers are coming together from the Bates community and beyond to participate in this film. To follow along the “Maine Lines” journey or to be a part of it, follow Instagram, contact [email protected], or check out their website.

“It’s important to recognize the amazing things that women can do,” Amanda said in an interview with the author. “One all-women ski film is not enough. We’re doing this to continue the conversation for women in the ski industry and get our voices out there, to inspire the next generation of girls to see themselves as skiers and feel comfortable in male-dominated spaces. Our goal is to inspire others with our stories in Maine from our skiers.” 

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About the Contributor
Gail Curtis, Contributing Writer
Gail is a sophomore from Rockport, Maine. She is an English major on the Creative Writing track, and a Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies minor. When she’s not writing, she loves reading gothic novels, swimming in lakes, and drinking honey-vanilla chai lattes from the Ronj.

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