Mountain Bikers Examine Their Relationship with Crashing [Video]

In this short documentary, three young women reflect on their willingness to sustain broken bones, concussions, and organ damage as professional mountain
bikers. ON FALLING is a dreamy, unorthodox glimpse into the inner landscapes of those immersed in a subculture where falling is normal. Blending white-knuckle riding, crashes, and quiet self-examination, the film unfolds as a sensory meditation on the rush of control that comes with completely letting go. ON FALLING features downhill world champion Miranda Miller, Enduro World Series medalist Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, and pro rider and Winter Olympian Brittany Phelan.

I live in Vancouver, Canada, on the edge of one of the world’s most renowned mountain
biking destinations. But to be honest, before making this film, I had little interest in
mountain biking and felt generally intimidated by pro riders. These people seem fearless,
whereas I’m an overthinker. They spend most of their time pushing the limits of their
bodies; I spend most of mine hunched behind a camera or computer. As someone who
is too afraid of falling to mountain bike, I’ve always felt like an outsider to this tight knit

Making ON FALLING was a way for me to examine how people who are deeply embedded
in this extreme sport think and feel about risk, failure, and vulnerability. I’ve seen how
treacherous a bike fall can be. A few years ago, my sister was in a road bike crash that
damaged her face, knocked out several teeth, and gave her a serious concussion. I
wanted to understand how mountain bikers deal with their own fear, and why they are
willing to constantly subject themselves to extreme risk.

Ultimately, my intention is to provide an unorthodox glimpse into the inner landscapes
of those immersed in a subculture where falling is normal. What does the idea of falling
apart or falling in love mean to someone who consistently experiences drastic physical
falls? I wanted to create a visceral and psychologically-layered exploration of falling that
would speak to non-athletes and sports junkies alike.

My hope is that ON FALLING pulls viewers into a quiet, imaginative space, to consider
the idea of falling in a new way, from the perspective of three of the world’s most
accomplished mountain bikers.

-Josephine Anderson

Full Production Credits

Directed by: Josephine Anderson
Featuring in order of appearance:
Andréane Lanthier Nadeau
Miranda Miller
Brittany Phelan
Produced by
Joella Cabalu

Director of Photography: Claire Sanford
Camera Operator: Scott Secco
Sound Recordists: Alex Shamku, Xavier Prat
Editor: Josephine Anderson
Composer: Mark Dolmont

Supervising Sound Designer / Re-recording Mixer: Mark Dolmont
Colourist: Sam Gilling
Production Assistants: Katie Weldon, Milena Salazar
Story Consultant: Jocelyne Chaput
Archival Material: Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, Miranda Miller, Brittany Phelan

Insurance: Candice Huddleston Nieson, Front Row Insurance
Legal: Nathaniel Lyman, Chandler Fogden Aldous


Supervising Producer: Telus, Malcolm Oliver

Supervising Producer: The New Yorker, Sara Joe Wolansky
Executive Producer: The New Yorker, Soo-Jeong Kang
Special Thanks: Darcy Hennessey Turenne, Matthew Casson, Amy Ertel, Kelsey Serwa, Stan Rey, Remi Gauvin, Nicole Lanthier, Tara Lazarski, Marty Lazarski, Lisa Anderson, Bryan Marthaler, Lewis Bennett, Jax Williams, Tony Massil, Kathleen Hepburn, Nisha Platzer, Nicole Van Poelgeest, Matt Drake, Steve Owst, Kat Jayme, Stella Santiago, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre, Mountain Fitness Center, Juliana Bicycles, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Kona Bikes

Filmed on the Traditional Territories of the
Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) & St’at’imc (Whistler) Peoples

Josephine Anderson 2020

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