Daniela Hochmuth and I made Dance With Us last year and I’m very excited to show you the trailer of the follow up movie.

People Who Rize presents four athletes (Manuela Mandl, Daniel Vonach, Simon Winkler and Darren Swift) who seek refuge in the mountains to feel alive, revel in the freedom, and to overcome fear and negativity. I hope their experiences and philosophy can inspire other people to rise above life’s challenges, no matter how extreme they are.

People Who Rize Trailer

Filming mostly in the Austrian Alps, myself and crew documented the highs and lows of these four riders. Here’s the trailer!

Introducing the Riders

I spent a few days with each of the riders and also used footage they already had. With the mountain weather, snow conditions and busy schedules, it was difficult to get all the needed shots in one season.

People Who Rize,Manuela Mandl

Manu sending it in Stubai.

Manuela Mandl

Manuela Mandl is a snowboarder from Vienna, who won the Freeride World Tour in 2018. She’s had parts in many movies, and was also in one of my Epic Innsbruck episodes. We also had a day filming with perfect weather on Stubai’s glacier. In People Who Rize, Manu discusses her experience with concussion following an accident and how that has affected her.

People Who Rize,Manuela Mandl

Manu enjoying the view.

Simon Winkler

Simon Winkler is a speedflyer and rider from Germany, and was part of Epic Innsbruck 19-03: Speeriding. He takes people on tandem flights, and performs in shows around the world. Simon documents a lot of his flights with his action cam, so we had loads of footage to work with, which was great. In People Who Rize Simon talks about preparing for flying, fear, and dealing with the work/life balance of the mountains.

Simon Winkler,People Who Rize

Simon showing his happiness for the mountains.

Daniel Vonach

Snowboarder Daniel Vonach comes from Vorarlberg, and and rides for Jones Snowboards. The title sequence of People Who Rize is Danny cutting a perfect Z shape on a slope at Stubai, and he also relates his experience of getting caught in an avalanche, and how that has affected his decision making.

Daniel Vonach

Dani about the start splitboarding.

Darren ‘Swifty’ Swift

Darren Swift is a snowboarder, actor and motivational speaker from England. I linked up with Swifty on facebook after seeing some pictures my photographer mate Hidde Hageman took of him. Swifty and I stayed at the Mooshaus in Kühtai at the end of the season, so we could venture out to some nice freeriding spots and also be close enough to Greta Kahn, Innsbruck to film the interview scene. Swifty lost his legs in a bomb explosion and talks about how the mountains give him freedom.

Darren Swift

Swifty checking out his line before dropping in.

The music

I wanted to produce all the music for this project. For the title song, I made a drum and bass version and a hip hop version. For the hip hop version, I took inspiration from the first snowboard movie I ever watched: True Life by Mack Dawg Productions (https://youtu.be/buQkOFWsl4s).

Simon Winkler,flying,paraglide

Simon flying from Hafelekar towards Innsbruck. © Simon Winkler.

A riding section of this movie has the acappella version of one of my favourite songs Soul II Soul – Back To Life, then some hip hop drums come in towards the end of the track, superb!

I wanted to do something similar. Dani wrote the lyrics and I knew an amazing singer living in Innsbruck – Maria Posch. I produced a Drum & Bass track at 170bpm so I could also create a Hip Hop version at 85 bpm with the same vocals, without having to time-stretch.

Darren Swift

Swifty shredding through the trees in Kühtai.

Maria’s performance in the studio blew me away; after just four hours we were done. I love her soul/1930 jazz style, it really fits with the lyrics and movie concept.

For the rock track, I recorded some electric guitars and some acoustic guitars for the emotional and uplifting parts of the movie. To finish things off, I produced two more film scores, one with a dark/sad feel and another with a deep but positive feel.

Daniel Vonach

Daniel catching some big air. © Adam Graf.

The Premiere

People Who Rize has already been accepted for the Line Hunters film festival in Innsbruck on 9th November – actually held at my favourite cinema, Leo Kino. The premiere starts at 20:30, so make sure you get there early to get your seat! 

Following the premiere, the movie will be released on Innsbruck Tourism’s Youtube channel.

Manuela Mandl,myinnsbruck,stubai

Manu surfing the powder.

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who made this happen. Thank you to the riders, the film crew, our friends and family. Also thanks to the brands who supported this project: Innsbruck Tourism, ABS – Avalanche Airbag System, Greta Kahn, Jones Snowboards, Mooshaus, ProtectOurWintersAustria and Pyua Ecorrect Outerwear.


Producer, Director, Editor, Screenplay, Music: Ashley Wiggins

Story and Concept: Daniela Hochmuth

Cinematography: Ashley Wiggins, Daniel Coffey, Thomas Stanglechner, Paul Challis, Paul Kuhn, Christa Vogel, Adam Graf, Manuela Mandl, Daniel Vonach, Simon Winkler, Darren Swift

Starring: Manuela Mandl, Daniel Vonach, Simon Winkler, Darren Swift

Co-starring: Ellie Challis, Justin Deisenroth, Daniela Hochmuth, Ashley Wiggins, Ferdi Toy, Petar Lonca, Rudi Gschwandtner

Theme song lyrics written Daniela Hochmuth and sang by Maria Posch. Music recorded and produced by Ashley Wiggins.

All photos © Ashley Wiggins, unless otherwise stated.

Follow more of my filmmaking and music production adventures on Instagram and Facebook