A Film Crew Weighs Risk Versus Reward in the Latest ‘La Liste’ Ski Movie
Sam Anthamatten and Jérémie Heitz set out to ski aesthetic, high-altitude lines, but an accident along the way creates a new challenge
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In the new film La Liste: Everything or Nothing, from Sherpas Cinema, Swiss big mountain skiers Jérémie Heitz and Sam Anthamatten travel around the world skiing 6,000-meter (19,600-foot) peaks. It’s the sequel to the original 2016 La Liste film. In the process, they must repeatedly make calculated decisions around risk, but when their photographer Mika Merikanto becomes gravely injured in Peru, the whole crew is forced to evaluate how they relate to the mountains. We talked with Malcolm Sangster, producer and co-creator of the film, which is streaming now on Outside Watch, to learn a bit more about the project.
OUTSIDE: Why did you want to pursue this film?
MALCOLM SANGSTER: We had previously done projects with both Sam and Jérémie and various partners. Knowing their immense skill and goals, and being big fans of the original La Liste film completed by the duo, hoping on board for the sequel was a no-brainer.
What message do you hope the audience takes away from your film?
In the end, we want to create a dialogue about risk versus reward in the mountains. It’s an ongoing conversation that every adventure seeker needs to have with themselves, constantly weighing the pros and cons of pushing the limits in extreme environments. It’s a personal question—how much risk you are willing to tolerate—and we feel it’s healthy to continually analyze this.
What were the biggest challenges you encountered with telling the story?
Skiing 6,000-meter peaks in countries like Peru and Pakistan is immensely challenging in and of itself. Between logistics, permits, conditions, and timing, being successful on these expeditions can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. On top of that, we were engaged in this production in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so international travel and logistical challenges were compounded.
Were there any other films you looked to for inspiration when telling this story?
La Liste was certainly an inspiration, as were climbing films like Freesolo, The Alpinist, and The Dawn Wall.
Skiing is known for having a very niche and dedicated audience. How did you go about telling a story that hardcore and casual fans could both enjoy?
Sherpas Cinema has been engaged with passionate ski fans since the mid 2000s, so we were fairly confident that with amazing skiers like Sam and Jérémie we would certainly have a voice for the audience, by showing their skiing prowess in places like Mica, British Columbia and the Alps. With the expedition filmmaking in Peru and Pakistan, the film’s main accident in Peru, and all the conversations around risk vs reward, we wanted to craft a documentary that your average viewer would enjoy, and be able to imagine themselves in these sensational environments.