What’s in a name? Lots of meaning, when it comes to Canadian filmmakers Sherpa Cinemas, a duo loosely based in British Columbia. Last fall, they released the cryptically-named “All.I.Can“, a ski film a la Warren Miller, with lots of impressive athletes skiing mind-bending lines in Chile, Morocco, Alaska and BC: Kye Petersen, Mark Abma, Eric Hjorleifson, JP Auclair, James Heim, Chris Rubens, Mike Douglas, Dana Flahr, Rory Bushfield, Ian McIntosh, Lynsey Dyer, Alexi Godbout, Matty Richard, and Chad Sayers, among others. All.I.Can has so far garnered over 20 awards, with skiers and ski publications alike foaming about its innovative imagery: ”The Sherpas are firmly in the lead of a new wave of filmmakers that are changing the face of ski films for good” says Leslie Anthony, Skier Magazine, ”The best movie in skiing” raves Jamey Voss at ESPN.
Filmmaker Eric Crosland has worked on films since high school, producing shorts that have toured the world. Part of the duo behind Sherpa Cinemas, his work includes the avalanche education film The Fine Line and All.I.Can, which played at Mountainfilm 2012 in Telluride recently.
The twist with All.I.Can? The film features young and old, pristine wilderness and crazy tricks in urban settings, the contrasts between them reminding us that we are all living through a period of colossal environmental change, in which the outdoors we play in is increasingly affected by the thousands of ways in which our civilization is changing the environment. “I just think you’re so attached to the environment as a skier, as someone who recreates outside a lot, it was just something that was on my mind,” Crosland says. Skiers across the globe are realizing that their favorite powder stashes may disappear and never return, prompting campaigns like extreme freeskier Alison Gannett’s Save Our Snow.
“To start, the Sherpas conceived the idea of the title—All.I.Can.—to promote a global awareness that skiers and riders can achieve, “writes John Stifter in Powder magazine. “Although the film possesses an environmental angle, it’s more than that. Broken up into chapters, the “All” seeks to depict how we’re all contributors to some form of mode; the “I” shows the extraordinary talents of the individual (Read: Kye Peterson’s segment, set to a dramatic tribal-like song, still has me fired up three days later); and the “Can” unites us all, young and old, to acknowledge hypocrisies and negativity and to engender positive change. Usually, a title rarely holds its meaning throughout a film, but All.I.Can. shifts the paradigm, leaving viewers encouraged and united on a communal front. During a time in a world of talked-about change, the film’s originality is change.”
The urban skiing clip below featuring pro skier J.P. Auclair-which was filmed in Rossland, Trail and Nelson-has gone viral on the internet, with almost 10,000 likes on Vimeo.
Eric Crosland and partner David Mossop are hard at work on several other films, and are currently in Nepal and Bolivia working on new projects.