Toni and Anton Sponar, 77 & 28 respectively, work as ski instructors in Aspen, Colorado during the North American winter months. When the lifts stop running in the Rockies and most Coloradans set their sights on other seasonal pursuits, the Sponars pack their bags and leave behind a wife, girlfriend and friends to work a mirror winter season in the Chilean Andes. Toni and Anton are trying to establish a destination backcountry ski operation, El Arpa, located outside of Los Andes, Chile. It is an area where skiing is seen as an oddity, at best, as the operation far removed from the beaten path of the traditional ski industry.
In the past four seasons, The Sponars have built El Arpa from the ground up – financed by the modest life savings of Toni – who has worked as a ski instructor and guide for more than 40 years. Toni first arrived in Chile in the 70s, after driving a well-used VW bus from Colorado, in search of the eternal winter season. Working many years for the benefit of other business owners, Toni hopes to establish a stable skiing operation of his own that he can pass on his son. The Sponars are determined to make their dream a success, but many hurdles lay before them, and any season could be their last.
Sent Production will be filming this project in the summer of 2011, and plans to release the short documentary as a 2012 submission to the outdoor and action sports-oriented film festivals. Please visit our Kickstarter page for a fuller description of the project: (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1195210432/breaking-trail-a-skiing-familys-great-dream).