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Bode Miller produces ‘Paradise Paradox’ film on mental health in mountain towns

October 10, 2023, 7:59 pm

A new documentary executive produced by ski-racing legend Bode Miller called “The Paradise Paradox” focuses on “the hidden mental health crisis unfolding in America’s picturesque mountain towns.”

It comes on the heels of Mental Illness Awareness Week and during October, which is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, and it uses the same alliterative title RealVail.com used in headlining a story on the topic in 2019.

Here’s the press release information on the new film:

Los Angeles, CA and Park City, UT — October 6, 2023 — Today, Podium Pictures, an Emmy Award-winning film studio dedicated to producing impactful media that addresses global challenges through powerful storytelling unveils its striking documentary, “The Paradise Paradox.” Executive produced by Olympic ski racer and gold medalist, Bode Miller, and Emmy Award-winning impact sports filmmaker Brett Rapkin (HBO’s The Weight of Gold), in association with Alterra Mountain Company, the eye-opening documentary shines a light on the hidden mental health crisis afflicting America’s idyllic mountain towns.


About the Film

“The Paradise Paradox” unravels the stark realities leading to disproportionately high suicide rates in America’s mountain towns and across the snow sports industry, including isolation, the lack of behavioral health services, stigma, and systemic issues in the healthcare and insurance systems. A “party culture” can exacerbate and complicate existing mental health issues, driving a cycle of unhealthy self-medication. And the stark economic gap among both visitors and local residents elevates mental health stress, as rising living costs and income disparity take a toll on the community’s well-being. 

Yet, in the midst of these challenges, a resilient spirit of unity and hope emerges. The film features compelling narratives not only from local heroes who are confronting these challenges head-on, but also from renowned figures like Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin. Together, they delve beneath the scenic vistas to reveal painful realities and the inspiring journeys of communities unifying to confront the issues they face.

Premiere, Screenings and National Community Action Tour

In an effort to elevate public awareness, inspire critical conversations, and catalyze actionable solutions to the burgeoning mental health challenges surrounding mountain towns, Podium Pictures will soon kick off a national Community Action Tour designed to bring together a coalition of individuals and organizations to host educational community screenings of the film. More information about the film, the Community Action Tour, and screenings can be found at ParadiseParadoxFilm.com

On Friday, October 6, 2023, “The Paradise Paradox” premieres at an invite-only event in Park City, Utah at Eccles Center for Performing Arts. A guided meditation led by renowned Andean Shaman Elena Radford sets a reflective tone for the event. After the screening, a panel discussion featuring Bode Miller, Brett Rapkin, and other notable community advocates will dive into the issues confronted by the film. (Note: Limited invite-only press seats and interviews available.)

Future screenings will feature discussions, Q&As, and panels, enriching the audience’s experience and engagement with the film’s pivotal themes. Participants will include community mental health organizations, civic leaders, key stakeholders, and the general public. The tour aims to reach community leaders, ski clubs, schools and resorts, including Alterra Mountain Company’s North American locations, amplifying its reach to communities nationwide. The ultimate goal is to not only raise awareness but to inspire actionable change, driving both local and national stakeholders to conceive, collaborate, and implement creative and effective solutions to the mental health challenges unveiled in the film.

Film Credits:

  • Co-Directed by Brett Rapkin and TJ Regan; 
  • Produced By: Brett Rapkin, TJ Regan, Sharmila Sahni, John Miller;
  • Associate Producers: Annie Weaver, Eric Slayman, Devi Jags;
  • Executive Producers: The Rieschel Foundation, The Dollinger Family, The Borgen Family Foundation, Brad Feld and Amy Bathcelor, The Jon and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation and  The David and Lura Lovell Foundation;
  • In association with Alterra Mountain Company;
  • Technical Credits: Director of Photography: TJ Regan, Edited by: TJ Regan, Gena Fridman, and Jonathan Meacham, Music by: Milo Cantor, Written by: Brett Rapkin, Sharmila Sahni, and TJ Regan, Co-Directed by: Brett Rapkin and TJ Regan.

About Podium Pictures:

Podium Pictures is an Emmy Award-winning film studio and the global leader in social impact sports storytelling. For the past two decades Podium’s work has been centered on informing, inspiring and igniting action around some of today’s most poignant but overlooked social issues. Known for producing the celebrated feature-length HBO documentary “The Weight of Gold” in partnership with Michael Phelps, the Emmy Award-nominated film revealed the deep psychological struggles many Olympians face and helped create institutional change for Team USA and its athletes. Podium Pictures combines compelling narratives with innovative distribution strategies to inspire change, engage communities, and elevate conversations around the most important social issues.

About Podium Society:

Podium Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, partnering with leading philanthropists and organizations globally to create impactful media that leverages storytelling to address humanity’s pressing challenges. With a focus on mental health and wellness, the environment, social justice, and gender equity, Podium Society is committed to producing content that inspires change and impacts lives. For more information, visit https://podiumsociety.org/.

About Alterra Mountain Company:

Alterra Mountain Company is a family of iconic year-round mountain destinations, the world’s largest heli-skiing operation, and Ikon Pass – the premier ski and snowboard season pass offering access to more than 50 iconic mountain destinations around the world. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado and born out of a shared love of the mountains and adventure, the company has brought together some of the world’s most aspirational brands, including: Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Palisades Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort and Snow Valley in California; Stratton Mountain and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont; Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada; Crystal Mountain in Washington; Schweitzer in Idaho; Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. Also included in the portfolio are Alpine Aerotech, a worldwide helicopter support and maintenance service center in British Columbia, Canada, Aspenware, the ski industry leader in technology services and e-commerce, and Ski Butlers, the global leader in ski and snowboard rental delivery. For more information, please visit www.alterramtn.co

10 Responses to Bode Miller produces ‘Paradise Paradox’ film on mental health in mountain towns

  1. Julie Lingle Reply

    November 29, 2023 at 11:14 am

    How do I get tickets, find out where what time this is being held in the Vail Valley…. I’ve been on numerous websites and can find no details where / when how much how to get tickets.

    This is about our valley and it is so difficult to find information…this should be everywhere. There should be posters in schools, grocery stores, churches…. Please share the details.

    • David O. Williams Reply

      November 29, 2023 at 11:18 am

      Agreed. I’ll reach out to the film company for more details and post asap. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Sarah Givens Reply

      December 4, 2023 at 12:29 pm

      Julie–It’s playing 12/20 at the Vilar Center–but very hard to find out the info and I still don’t know the time. See you there;)

      • David O. Williams Reply

        December 4, 2023 at 12:42 pm

        I just reached out to the film company’s publicists again to try to get details. I’ll share anything they send. Thanks.

      • David O. Williams Reply

        December 5, 2023 at 12:01 pm

        They just told me the VPAC screening is private. I’m trying to find out if there will be a public screening. Stay tuned.

        • David O. Williams Reply

          December 6, 2023 at 11:58 am

          I’m talking to the filmmaker on Friday and will post a story next week but in the meantime there is no current plan for a public screening but they are looking for someone to host one and they have an application link on their site. This seems like the absolute right time of year for a public screening locally. Here’s the link: https://www.paradiseparadoxfilm.com

  2. David O. Williams Reply

    December 18, 2023 at 9:43 am

    Well here’s a lot more info about this week’s screenings (scroll to the end of the story): https://www.vaildaily.com/news/eagle-countys-grassroots-effort-to-address-mental-health-crisis-is-central-in-new-paradise-paradox-film/

  3. JD Reply

    January 14, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    Can they put this on a streaming site so we can pay to watch, I really think this is an important documentary for everyone to be able to see!

  4. Janice Workman Reply

    January 26, 2024 at 12:24 pm

    I’m very interested in what happened to the showing that was scheduled for Fraser Colorado next month?? Was it canceled? I live in Grand County and have observed a major lack of mental health resources and the tragic result and reality of living in a resort community. Would you please get some information out as to where this film will be showing in Colorado. I have reached out previously to support/ make public, the showing here in Grand county. My understanding is the it was shown once at the Headwaters event center in Winter Park but was only for a select group of viewer.

  5. David O. Williams Reply

    March 18, 2024 at 9:01 am

    Bode Miller appeared on the Today show on Monday, March 18, 2024, to talk about this film. He announced it’s now available on Prime Video, which I double-checked, and, indeed, you can now buy the film on the Amazon streaming platform for 99 cents. Miller talked about how the Eagle Valley has addressed mental health issues: https://www.today.com/video/olympian-bode-miller-talks-the-paradise-paradox-family-life-206793285777

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