Skier Candide Thovex big winner at Powder Awards

Candide Thovex, courtesy Powder. For more on the Powder Awards, click the photo

Candide Thovex, Level 1 Productions, Tom Wallisch, and Ingrid Backstrom earned top honors last night at the 13th annual Powder Awards presented by Icelandic Glacial natural spring water. The event, coined the Academy Awards of skiing, debuted on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival in powder capitol Park City, Utah, to a sold out crowd of athletes, industry insiders, celebrities, media, and ski fans.

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“It was a beautiful night celebrating skiing at a new venue in a new town,” said Powder editor John Stifter. “It was a night of firsts, from Candide collecting four awards to the Level 1 crew bringing home their first Movie of the Year award after a decade of making films.”

The big winner of the evening was the enigma that is Candide Thovex. He tracked the longest voyage to Park City, importing all the way from La Clusaz, France, to accept four awards including Best Male Performance and the Icelandic Glacial Full Throttle Award for his role in “Few Words” from Process Films. The film also earned the Best Documentary title and Best Cinematography Presented by GoPro.

“Once more, thank you,” said Thovex upon accepting the Best Male Performance award. “That’s a big one, right there. I think a lot of people actually deserve this one. Thanks for choosing me.”

“Sunny,” the latest from Level 1 Productions, claimed the prestigious Movie of the Year video award as well as a nod for Best Editing. It was the first Movie of the Year award for Level 1 Productions with over a decade of filmmaking under their belts. Others nominated in the category, an honor in itself, included “The Dream Factory” (Teton Gravity Research), “The Eighty Six” (Stept Productions) and “Few Words” (Candide Thovex).

“We wanted to make something that wasn’t epic,” says Josh Berman, who snuck into the first Powder Awards in 2001. “We were going for a relatable and accessible film. This award is humbling, yet reassuring to know our vision of skiing is something that other people are appreciating.”

In the Men’s Reader Poll, fans voted Salt Lake City local Tom Wallisch to the top of the chart for the third consecutive year.

“Awesome. Third time, really stoked. This is amazing. Mahalo. Party on. Get drunk,” said Wallisch. “Thanks to all the readers and the fans. You guys are why I do what I do.”

Ingrid Backstrom of Olympic Village, California, claimed a record eighth consecutive win in the women’s Reader Poll, further solidifying her dominance and popularity as one of the best female skiers of all time. The late Sarah Burke maintained her No. 2 spot on the poll.

“It feels amazing,” said Backstrom. “I’m overwhelmed. It feels great to be honored by the readers of Powder magazine and the magazine itself.”