A Winter Affair – EAST WEST
New Zealand’s Janina Kuzma, Anna Smoothy and Japans Ayako Kuroda cross New Zealand’s Southern Alps over the Main Divide from East to West starting at the Liebigs. The ladies are confronted with challenging terrain and weather conditions and a last minute change to their plans prepares the team to exit out on a different route. Disaster strikes when a member of the team falls ill and is airlifted out, leaving the teams remaining two girls to complete the expedition. What is concerning to the ladies is the visible disappearance of snow and ice on the glaciers they cross. The team reflect on the decline of the glaciers in the region as the ice is changing dramatically from year to year.
ATHLETE | PRODUCER
Janina is one of the most versatile female freeskiers in the world have competed on the Freeride World Tour as well as two winter Olympics in halfpipe skiing. She has won the NZ Freeski Open Big Mountain event seven times, is a two-time Canadian Freeski Champion and two-time World Heli Challenge Champion.
Following the announcement in 2011 that freeski halfpipe has been added to the Olympic schedule, Janina made the big call to take a break from the Freeride World Tour and instead followed the FIS World Cup circuit competing solely in the halfpipe discipline with the goal of qualifying for the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Janina met her goal and was selected to represent New Zealand at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang . Now Janina has taken on the producer role creating a new series called A Winter Affair.
Ayako was born in Tokyo but has been based in Whistler, BC where she attended high school. She moved in order to compete more regularly in Junior freeriding competitions. Currently she is traveling around the globe competing on the FWQ Tour. She is currently ranked 2nd in Japan. When Ayako is in Japan, she typically rides her home mountains in Hakuba and Echigo Yuzawa, as well as Sapporo and Asahikawa in Hokkaido where she grew up skiing. Her passion is freeriding and working more in the ski film industry when she is not competing on tour.
Anna grew up in the epic Lake Wanaka area, surrounded by mountains and a mad family who were always dragging her off on big and little adventures. In 2011 Anna visited her brother Sam during one of his winters in Chamonix, and life hasn’t really been the same since. Abandoning further studies, Anna has since skied all over Switzerland and NZ. She made a natural progression to big mountain skiing and began competing on the Freeride World Qualifying Tour.
For Anna, life in the mountains is amplified, experiencing the huge highs of beauty, adrenaline, and adventure with good friends, Mitigating risk where she can can, but also just trying to get thrills every day, smile and let go, Anna’s stars in the Winter Affair film EAST WEST.