Spotlight: Epic Rain; the Lure of Dog Sledding, and a Family Drama in Ski Country

By David Schonauer   Monday December 14, 2020

There are rainstorms.

And then there is the deluge captured in a video by Peter Maier. Two and a half years ago, Maier, the creator of the Visit Austria Instagram page, captured an epic cloudburst from the Alpengasthof Bergfried hotel in Carinthia, Austria. The downpour inundated an area around Austria’s Lake Millstatt. When you see it, you’ll know why Maier titled the video “Tsunami from Heaven.”

 “The full piece, just 52 seconds long, is nevertheless mesmerizing to behold,” noted PetaPixel, one of a number of websites that recently featured the video. “Maier’s short timelapse needs very little introduction—just a large, high-resolution display and some headphones if you have them.”

“Particularly extreme weather events are often a reminder that Mother Nature is in charge. From heatwaves to hurricanes, there’s no stopping the wrath of the elements once they get going,” added My Modern Met.

“For some reason, the video—which has acquired over 20 million views in the past two years—is taking off again in 2020… but you won’t hear us complaining,” added PP.

Our second video today, “North Country,” comes from director Nick Martini and DP Cam Riley. Its subject is a business that, by all rights, shouldn’t be flourishing — famed New Hampshire outfitter Lahout’s.

“100-year businesses don’t exist. The retail industry is dead. In the rugged White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, Lahout’s has remained open 365 days a year since 1920. While e-commerce and conglomerates have stripped the country of local, independent retailers, a family of Lebanese immigrants have prevailed for a century,” notes film’s producers at Vimeo, which made the video a Staff Pick.

Martini’s film isn’t so much a business story, though, as a family portrait that explores the ties that bind generations together.

Our final video also takes place in the far north. Director Karl R. Koelling’s 13-minute documentary “1000 Mile Dream” focuses on Liza Dietzen, who, note the producers at Vimeo, has dreamed of competing as a dog sledder “since learning about the Iditarod in kindergarten.”

“Ever since,” they add, “she's dedicated the majority of her life to raising and caring for her sled dog team, fostering a deep bond built on mutual trust. In her words, ‘To see 12 to 16 different personalities [of the sled team] all coming together, and you’re a part of that, it’s hard to put into words exactly what it means to you…it’s magical.’”

The film follows Dietzen as she prepares to compete in the UP 200, an Idiotrod qualifying race in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The video begins with a harrowing story about Dietzen, who nearly froze to death during a race in 2016. It is against that backdrop that her passion for dog sledding is painted.


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