Canadian Cycling Magazine
Remembering Steve Smith in film
Since Steve Smith’s untimely death in 2016, the legacy of the “Canadian Chainsaw” has reshaped the landscape of downhill racing in this country. The documentary Longlivechainsaw, released this past December, tells the full story of Smith’s inspiring career.
While Smith is known for reaching the top of the downhill world rankings, his story starts in Cassidy, B.C. The film leans hard into those Canadian roots. “Stevie is such a hero in Canada, and he was a really proud Canadian,” says Ian Dunn, one of the film’s producers, “We didn’t want to shy away from that.” In fact, the film continues Smith’s passion for promoting Canadian talent. All proceeds go directly to the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation, which offers support to Canadian DH riders.
The film’s production company – Anthill Films, based in Squamish – has a deep connection with Smith. It first introduced Stevie and his mom, Tianna – who would shuttle her son many times a day so he could improve – to the world in 2008’s Seasons. For the latest project, Anthill worked closely with the Smith family and foundation director Gabe Fox. Numerous filmmakers donated archival footage and their time to the project.
The result is a movie that is moving, but also joyous. It is about celebrating the way Smith lived, and the legacy he leaves behind, as much as it is about his death. “We’re quite close with a lot of the athletes who we work with, but we were big fans of Stevie, too,” Dunn says. “The way he lived life so full-on totally paired with how he rode his bike. We really wanted to show that as much as we could.”— Terrymckall