Q&A: Amie Engerbretson talks Warren Miller’s legacy and what she’s been up to during the pandemic ahead of virtual ‘Future Retro’ premiere
Warren Miller Entertainment’s 71st film, “Future Retro,” unfortunately won’t get the classic premiere events this year, but the film is still available for (smaller) silver screen celebrations at home.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, tune into a virtual event with host Jonny Moseley, who will still keep traditions alive with athlete interviews and giveaways. While the live stream starts at 6 p.m., ticketholders will have access to the stream for 48 hours, and a $30 general admission ticket allows up to four people watching from one device to enjoy the film and the fun. Ticket purchase also gives participants access to door prizes, national sweepstakes and up to four coupon codes.
The film itself will combine footage and stories from Scot Schmidt and the Egan brothers, who paved the way for big mountain skiing in the 1980s and ’90s. It will bring together past, present and future with younger athletes like Lexi duPont and Baker Boyd.
One of those athletes is Amie Engerbretson, who took some time to share some stories with the Vail Daily: about filming “Future Retro,” her favorite places to ski and what she’s been up to during the pandemic. Below are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Vail Daily: The summary text for “Future Retro” calls you and duPont “progressive, young female skiers.” What does that mean to you? What attributes about you as a person and as a skier contribute to that mindset?
Amie Engerbretson: Young? Heck I will take it. But seriously, I think both Lexi and I have worked really hard to make our ski careers work. For me, a lot of that has come from getting really creative. On snow, yes, I am always pushing myself and trying to progress and be the best skier possible, but there is a lot of ‘progression’ that takes place off snow. I have become very involved with creating and producing projects that I am a part of. I don’t sit around and wait for the phone to ring. I go out and make opportunities happen for myself. In line with that, I am always trying to bring my friends, especially fellow female skiers, along with me.
What I love most about working with women is the collaboration that takes place. We have learned that we are so much stronger together than individually. Creating a place in the ski industry for women has been the work of many athletes that have come before me and the work will continue on. I feel honored to be doing my part and hopefully paving the way a little further for the female athletes that come after me.
VD: What was your favorite part about working on “Future Retro” and how did that experience compare to other Warren Miller films you’ve been in?
AE: Every time I have the opportunity to be in a Warren Miller film, it is a huge honor. This year being my fifth film was no different. We got to go to Switzerland, I have skied there a bit. This year, between being comfortable with the location and terrain, along with being comfortable with the Warren Miller filming process, I felt like I could really just relax and enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, that didn’t mean we didn’t work, work hard we did as always, but it felt like I could really settle in and be confident. It was really cool. We faced challenges for sure, as we were in Switzerland as everything with the pandemic was coming to a head. We had to leave early because of travel restrictions going into effect. In a lot of ways, my Warren Miller trip was the last time life felt “normal,” so it holds an even more special place in some ways.
VD: What does it mean to you to be part of the Warren Miller Entertainment universe? Did you grow up watching ski films?
AE: Being a part of Warren Miller is a huge honor and a total dream. Not only did I grow up with Warren Miller films, I grew up watching my dad dream about being in the films. I had the dream of being part of the WME family before I even knew what a dream was. My dad went on the film with the company and now I, of course, ski in the films. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to see these dreams realized. It is more than just my dream, it is my family’s dream which is pretty cool.
Warren Miller is all about legacy and I have my own micro experience of that with the legacy of the Warren Miller dream in my family. When I first got sponsored and started pursuing my ski career, I would email the WME producer every year asking to be in the film and explaining why I would be a good fit. I am sure at the beginning they were like, “yeah, yeah, kid,” but eventually, I made it.
VD: Favorite place(s) you’ve skied and why?
AE: For me, the pinnacle skiing experience is Alaska. It is the most wild place I have ever skied, and the mountains challenge me greatly. That being said, that is not an everyday skiing experience and that isn’t what holds skiing so deeply in my heart.
I could say British Columbia, I could say the Swiss Alps, I could say my home mountain Squaw Valley, and that would all be true. But the best answer is my favorite skiing is anywhere the snow is good and the people are great. That is what really makes skiing wonderful, the people and yeah, the snow.
VD: What have you been up to during COVID-19?
AE: Well, this recent time has been a huge shift. It is by far the longest I have been in one spot for a decade. I have been at my house in Truckee, California, and I spent the summer just exploring my backyard. Tons of camping, backpacking and exploring places really close to home. I have felt super lucky to live where I do.
Other than that, I have been really leaning into home life. When I am traveling, I am always feeling like I am missing out on the routine of daily life, and now I am filling up that tank. Tons of cooking, new recipes, fancy homemade cocktails, home projects, extreme organizing and lots of time with my dog Bill. Don’t get me wrong, I am really ready to travel again when it is safe to do so, but this time has been really nice in a lot of ways.
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