Last January, backstage at the Powder Awards in Aspen, Mike Douglas was telling me about a two-year film project still in the works. It was something I hadn’t heard of, something by Sherpas Cinema. Douglas turned to a couple of dudes nearby and waved them over—the Sherpas crew. “Remember these guys,” Douglas told me, “because next year they’re going to win Movie of the Year.”
That film, of course, is All.I.Can., and already it has garnered more critical acclaim than most in the ski-film genre, including Best Feature-Length Mountain Film at the prestigious Banff Film Festival. Still, while Douglas’ prophesy remains to be determined—as are the official nominees for all 13 Powder Awards categories—All.i.Can. will most certainly be a contender for Movie of the Year at the upcoming 2012 Powder Awards, slated for Jan. 25, back in Aspen, Colo.
And while we haven’t finalized all the official nominees yet, here’s a quick run through of some other contenders who should figure into the big show. — Tim Mutrie
MOVIE OF THE YEAR
As noted, we’re expecting All.I.Can. to be in the mix here. There’s also the lastest offings from perennial contenders to consider: MSP Films (last year’s winner, for The Way I See It), Teton Gravity Research, Field Productions, Poor Boyz Productions, Level 1 Productions, as well as Seth Morrison’s The Ordinary Skier and Sweetgrass Productions’ Solitaire.
All the above contenders should also be considered here, in particular All.I.Can. and Being There from Field Productions. Of course, when you’re talking cinematography, you can’t exclude MSP and TGR nor Nick Waggoner of Sweetgrass. The dark horse in this category comes from Stept Productions with their film Weight, an all urban film heralded by the Newschoolers.com community.
It seems the days of cut, copy, paste, and insert hip hop track are behind the folks at Level 1 Productions. Along with All.I.Can., Solitaire, Field Productions, and Poor Boyz, this category may be the hardest one to determine a winner.
Trailer: Field Productions, Being There:
BEST MANMADE AIR
Last year, Sammy Carlson won this category. This year, we’re looking at Parker White (and specifically his zero spin), Legs of Steels’ 13-man train, LJ Strenio’s whale tale double from Meathead Films’ Prime Cut, Dane Tudor from PBP, Bobby Brown (triple cork 1440 and from PBP), Tom Wallisch from TGR, and Jesper Tjader (switch 9 to double cork 12).
J.P. Auclair’s street segment (All.I.Can.), Tom Wallisch’s c rail (4bi9), LJ Strenio (PBP), Leigh Powis (PBP), Cam Riley (Stept), Evan Sigstad (Field), Jesper Tjader (Field) and Tim McChesney could all factor into the mix here. That said, Auclair’s gone-viral segment from All.I.Can. has generated significant buzz in-industry and out, and for good reason. Last year’s winner, for what it’s worth: Ahmet Dadali (L1P).
Point of View is literally in the eye of the beholder (of a GoPro). Creativity in filmmaking is present in this category and Seth Morrison’s The Ordinary Skier comes to mind here. So does All.I.Can.‘s whole POV segment, Simon Dumont (PBP), Tom Wallisch (TGR) and Mike Hentiuk (PBP). Last year’s winner: Julien Regnier (PBP).
Trailer: Seth’s Morrison’s The Ordinary Skier:
BEST NATURAL AIR
So many hucks, so few spots for nominees. Here, there are strong cases to be made for Todd Ligare (TGR), Kye Petersen (All.I.Can.), Jacob Wester (MSP), Dane Tudor (PBP), Adam Widen and the Free Radicals crew, from The Sunny Side. Last year’s victor: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (TGR).
On the strength of her film, Say My Name, Grete Eliassen collected one of the marquee awards last year. She must be considered a contender once again. Also look for Ingrid Backstrom (MSP), Christina Hargin (Free Radicals) and Guilia Monego (Free Radicals).
This is another tough category. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa won it last year, but it will difficult for him to retain it, thanks to strong performances by Parker White (L1P), Eric Hjorleifson (MSP), Sean Pettit (MSP) and Ian McIntosh (TGR).
Of all the categories, this one might be the most difficult to peg. Here are some of the names bouncing around the office: Ian McIntosh (TGR), who is the defending champ here, Dane Tudor (PBP), Eric Hjorleifson (MSP), Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (TGR), Kye Petersen (All.I.Can.),and Dean Cummings (The Steep Life).
Steep and deep! Our favorite. Level 1 Productions found bountiful bliss in Japan and the Legs of Steel crew are proving that metal and powder skiing can be the best of friends. Look out for annual favorites MSP and TGR in this category.
Shane McConkey’s favorite award is up for grabs this year. What’s your flavor? We’re keeping the names in this category under wraps till the show. Their mind-blowing exploits have changed skiing forever.
Todd Ligare or Parker White? The choice couldn’t be more difficult in the office. From Ligare’s monster front flip and getting “the call” in TGR to P-White’s all around smooth style on… well, everything, these two are the favorites to take home the Breakthrough Performer honor. Last year’s winner: Ahmet Dadali.