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Local freelance Mike Parenteau proud of latest film, Ride of the Dead

During the filming of Ride of the Dead, local director Mike Parenteau spent time looking over his should during shoots in the Mexican jungle. — Submitted photos

Mike Parenteau is at it again.

The film director from Nelson, who now resides in California with his better half, recently put his stamp on a video for Red Bull titled, the Ride of the Dead.

This 12-minute video showcases the Trans Sierra Norte, multi-day enduro mountain bike race that take riders over the 1,000-year-old Mexican trail in the Oaxacan highlands.

“It’s refreshing to get back to my action sports roots,” Parenteau said via cell phone from Oregon as he returns to the Heritage City to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

“I’ve been shooting mostly commercial content so this is the first action sports piece I’ve done in a while so it was nice to come into it with fresh eyes and a different approach than I would have done before.”

Parenteau, 26, said he was approached by STEPT Productions of Los Angeles, who joined with Red Bull, to produce the film.

The film took approximately a month to deliver with the Parenteau’s crew bouncing through the cities, jungle and mountain bike trails in southern part of Mexico.

“There was kind of a special, cultural element (Red Bull) wanted to cover in conjunction with the mountain bike race and Day of the Dead festivities at that time of year,” Pareanteau explained.

“I thought it looked like a pretty cool project so we shipped out, spending nine days — half of that time in the mountains of Trans Sierra Norte mountains and the other half in Oaxaca City when all the festivities were happening.”

The film follows local trail builder Yefra Rham, who gives insight and history into the trails used during the race.

Parenteau experienced first-hand filming the race on donkey/mountain bike trails dating back centuries in the Sierra in the black of night that were predominately used to connect local villages and exchange goods while at the same time witnessing the craziest Day of the Dead celebration of his life.

“They say the Day of the Dead festival is the most authentic event one could take part in all of Mexico,” he said.

“It’s an all-night party where we were running around with our cameras for about 10 hours, filming non-stop.”

The project really opened the eyes of Parenteau, as he was able to get up close and in person with Mexican culture.

“Another highlight was covering the race . . . it’s a three-day race spanning over 100-kilometers of trails in that Mexican jungle,” Parenteau added.

“It was pretty crazy to think while we’re filming there are panthers, snakes and all sorts of animals that could kill you so that definitely got our heart-rates going, that’s for sure.”

The race finishes in Oaxaca City right about the time the fireworks are blasting off for the Day of the Dead fiesta.

Parenteau, who got his start in the industry freelancer filming action films when he was 17 years of age, prides himself on being a passionate individual full of creativity.

The 2009 L.V. Rogers graduate’s team is able to fulfill the creative vision, and still go above and beyond to bring the client’s brilliant idea justice.

Parenteau’s most recent film is Search for Freedom.  

The son of Gilles and Melanie Parenteau and avid Nelson Youth Soccer player when growing up in the Heritage City, now calls Venice, Calif. home, but continues to travel the world on assignments, recently completing another project in Europe.

“I would say this was one of the most memorable shoot I’ve had thus far in my career as a filmmaker,” he told Pinkbike.com.

“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a great team to make this piece come alive. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did making it.”