20th Annual Powder Awards Winners Announced

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Michelle Parker accepting the award for Best Female Performance.Photo: Courtesy of David Reddick/POWDER Magazine

This article originally appeared on Powder.com and was republished with permission.

POWDER Magazine celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Powder Awards on Saturday, Dec. 7 in front of a sold-out crowd at Hotel Jerome.

Editor-in-Chief and the evening’s host, Sierra Shafer, invited two local girls to the stage, Sunny, 7, and her sister Jane, 10, to present the award for Movie of the Year to Eric Pollard and Nimbus Independent’s Drawn From Here.

“This is why we do this,” said Shafer, pointing to the girls. “They’ll be up here next.”

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Editor-in-Chief Sierra Shafer with Sunny and Jane Morehouse announcing the Movie of the Year. Photo: Courtesy of David Reddick/POWDER Magazine

Pollard used his acceptance speech to speak to the legacy of ski cinema, its influence on generations of skiers, and to the love of skiing itself—all major themes throughout the night.

Best Female Performance winner Michelle Parker pointed to Eric Pollard as her earliest inspiration, while Hilaree Nelson, subject of the Best Documentary winner Lhotse shouted out the legendary Mike Hattrup who was in the crowd as hers. Founded in 2001 as the first awards show recognizing the artistic expression of skiers, cinematographers, and photographers, the Powder Awards is the longest-running show in skiing and the night’s winners grew up watching those early films.

Parker used her platform to discuss the growing threat of climate change. “To everyone in this room, the outdoors industry is bigger than fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals,” she said. “Stand up, 2020 is a big year. If you don’t use your voice no one will hear you.”

New kid on the block Sam Kuch took home the award for Best Male Performance for his appearance in Return to Send’er. “I’m on stage in front of all my heroes,” he said. “And thanks to POWDER Magazine for teaching me how to read!”

Elyse Saugstad took home second place in the women’s Powder Poll—the reader-voted award—alongside Parker in third place, and Angel Collinson as the winner. While accepting her award, Saugstad fell off back of the stage, sticking a switch landing. “I stomp and I stomp in heels!” she said, to thunderous applause. Her husband Cody Townsend took home first place in the men’s Powder Poll.

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Elyse Saugstad. Photo: Courtesy of David Reddick/POWDER Magazine

Among the night’s other big winners were Sammy Carlson who won Photo of the Year with photographer Darcy Bacha, raising $6,000 at auction for the High Fives Foundation, as well as Carlson’s production company CK9 Studios. Representatives Clay Mitchell and Simon Shave came dressed as Dumb and Dumber’s Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn and reflected on the journey of quitting their jobs and becoming ski bums before making their first film.

The local ski bum scene also proved to be alive and well in Aspen, embodied by locals Pat Sewell and Chris Tatsuno, who presented the award for Best Powder and reminisced about sneaking into their very first Powder Awards years ago. The award went to The 7 Stages of Blank’s Stan Rey, Josh Daiek, Alexi Godbout, and Barclay DesJardins.

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Darcy Bacha’s photo of the year auctioned for the Hi 5’s Foundation. Photo: Courtesy of David Reddick/POWDER Magazine

The night culminated with words of gratitude from Pollard and dance-floor entertainment by DJ Naka G.

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Eric Pollard. Photo: Courtesy of David Reddick/POWDER Magazine

Below is the complete list of winners:

Best Line: Karl Fostvedt, Return To Send’er, Matchstick Productions
Best Cinematography: Over Time, CK9 Studios & Sammy Carlson
Women’s Powder Poll 1st Place: Angel Collinson
Women’s Powder Poll 2nd Place: Elyse Saugstad
Women’s Powder Poll 3rd Place: Michelle Parker
Best Air: Tom Wallisch, Cruise Control, Good Company
Photo of the Year: Darcy Bacha and Sammy Carlson
Best Jib: Keegan Kilbride, Romance, Level 1 Productions
Breakthrough Performer: Lucas Wachs
Best Post-Production: Drawn From Here, Nimbus Independent, Eric Pollard
Men’s Powder Poll 1st Place: Cody Townsend
Men’s Powder Poll 2nd Place: Chris Benchetler
Men’s Powder Poll 3rd Place: Tanner Hall
Best Short: Nuance, Brady Perron and Phil Casabon
Best Powder: Stan Rey, Josh Daiek, Alexi Godbout, Barclay DesJardins; The 7 Stages of Blank, Blank Collective Films
Best Documentary: Lhotse, Field Day Studio
Best Female Performance: Michelle Parker, Originate
Best Male Performance:
Sam Kuch, Return to Send’er, Matchstick Productions
Movie of the Year: Drawn From Here, Nimbus Independent, Eric Pollard

Special thanks to event partners 10 Barrel Brewing Co., High West Distillery, Hotel Jerome, and for their support, without which the Powder Awards would not be possible.

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