How one woman's passion for design and innovation revolutionized the outdoor industry.
A film produced by:
Q Stories, in partnership with Alpacka Raft
Sheri Tingey defied the odds and expectations of those around her by starting a company at age 50 that revolutionized the outdoor industry and changed the way paddle sports in the backcountry are viewed around the world.
'Sheri' is an incredible story about Sheri's life, the hurdles she overcame to launch her company, and the brilliance and commitment she brings to her projects every day. It is the story of her son, Thor Tingey, who built the company alongside his mother, but has only recently begun to fully grasp her level of dedication and what she has created not just for him, but for adventurers around the world who use packrafts to access remote and wild waterways. Sheri’s story will both warm and inspire audiences as they learn about how one woman's lifelong passion for design and innovation culminates in her most impressive design feat to date.
We created this film to honor Sheri and celebrate Alpacka Raft's 20th Anniversary (technically 2020, but you know...Covid). We are thrilled by the excitement around this film and are excited to announce that it has been accepted into several film festivals around the world. Dates for screenings will be published below and will be updated when confirmed.
Sheri Tingey, Thor Tingey, Sarah Tingey, Waylon Tingey, John Baker, Roman Dial, Dustin Partridge, Tyler Bradt
James 'Q' Martin
Director of Photography and Editor:
Art Director, Design and Animation:
James 'Q' Martin, Tom Attwater, Page Buono
Jim Hurst, Nelson Klein
Emily L. Doig, Jayme Dittmar, Sheila Smithson
Portugal. The Man
Awards and Accolades
- Banff Film Festival: World Tour
- MountainFilm: World Tour
- Nederland International Film Festival: Audience Favorite
- Stories Worth Telling: Best of Festival
Where to Watch the Film
- AMH (Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking): Anchorage, AK - May 24, 2023, 7PM
- Mendocino Film Festival: CA, June 1-4, 2023 (details and tickets here)
- Neptune Mountaineering: Boulder, CO - June 8, 2023 (details to come)
- Banff World Tour (multiple locations):
- United States Tour Locations
- Canada Tour Locations
- Other International Tour Locations
- Mountainfilm World Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- No Man's Land Film Festival - World Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- Paddling Film Festival - World Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- Wild And Scenic Film Festival - World Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- Women's Adventure Film Tour - World Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- Gutsy Girls Adventure Tour - New Zealand Tour: Dates and Locations can be found here
- Waterwalker Film Festival - Canada: Dates and information to come
- Mountain & Adventure Film Festival - Mammoth Lakes, California: Virtual - ongoing (details here)
- Wasatch Mountain Film Festival: Salt Lake City, April 20-23 (details and tickets here)
- Bear Tooth Theatrepub: Anchorage, AK - April 6, 2023 - proceeds support the Northern Alaska Environmental Center
- New York Wild Film Festival: New York, NY - March 2-5, 2023 (details here)
- Durango International Film Festival: Durango, CO - March 1-5, 2023 (details here)
- Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival: Vancouver, Canada - February 26 (in person) and February 24 - March 26 (online) (details here)
- Sedona International Film Festival: Sedona, AZ - February 18-26, 2023 (details here)
- Fort William Mountain Festival: Fort William, United Kingdom - February 17, 2023 (details here)
- Frozen River Film Festival: Winona, Minnesota - February 5-12, 2023 (details here)
- Scarab Short Film Festival: Dubai, UAE - February 3, 2023 (details here)
- Lookout Wild Film Festival: January 12, 2023 (details here)
- Anchorage Film Festival: Anchorage, AK - December 2-11, 2022 (details here)
- Nederland International Film Festival - Nederland, Colorado: November 5, 2022 (details here)
- Banff Mountain Film Festival - Banff, Alberta, Canada: Oct 29-Nov 6 (details here)
- Austin Micro Film Festival: Austin, Texas: November 5, 2022 (details here)
- Texas Short Film Festival: San Antonio, Texas: October 22, 2022 (details here)
- Oregon Short Film Festival - Portland, OR: October 22, 2022 (details here)
- Stories worth Telling Festival: Leadville, CO - October 15, 2022 (details here)
- Mountain & Adventure Film Festival - Mammoth Lakes, California: September 22-25 (details here)
- Mancos Valley River Film Festival: Mancos, CO Opera House - September 24, 2022 (details here)
- Stories worth Telling Festival: Golden, CO - July 7, 2022 (details here)
- Flagstaff Mountainfilm Festival: Flagstaff, AZ - April 7, 2022 (details here)
- Mountainfilm: Telluride, CO - May 26-30, 2022 (details here)
- No Man's Land: Denver, CO - March 4-5, 2022 (details here)
- Wild And Scenic Film Festival: January 16-20, 2022 (details here)
Who is Sheri?
"In one word, describe Sheri." A tough task to those who were asked. Sheri Tingey, founder of Alapcka Raft, is a unique and beautiful individual that is hard to describe. It's hard to pick just one word." The word may just be "Sheri". We're looking forward to getting your thoughts after you see the film.
What is Packrafting?
Never in a million years did anyone think Thor's request to build a better boat would lead to what packrafting is today...
Building a Better Boat
Thor Tingey had just finished a 700-mile traverse of Alaska's Brooks Range when he asked his mom, Sheri Tingey, to build him a better boat. He and his trip partners had a heck of a time on their trip with wholly inadequate boats and multiple gear failures keeping them on the verge of hypothermia. Never in a million years did anyone realize that Thor's request would revolutionize the outdoor industry and lead to the start of Alpacka Raft, a company that would become the industries leading packraft manufacturer.
From Struggles to Success
The trials and tribulations of a female business owner, starting her company at age 50 while struggling with a chronic illness, and getting criticized by others that didn't think she could do it. Sheri is the story of a woman who took her struggles in stride and proved her passion for innovation and design would revolutionize the outdoor industry.
World Premiere at Mountainfilm
We set out to create a 20th Anniversary film for Alpacka raft that morphed into a love letter documentary for Alpacka's Founder, Sheri Tingey. We kept that all a surprise to Sheri. Although she took part in the filming, she had no idea the film was actually about her and her 60 years as a pioneer in the outdoor industry. She arrived at Mountainfilm to watch a few films, knowing there was a film that had something to do with Alpacka Raft, but had no clue this film was a documentary about her life.
We successfully pulled off the surprise and are thrilled with Sheri's reaction. Check out this recent blog post about the Mountainfilm Premiere and her response when she first saw the film live.
In the News
- Outside Magazine: Our 6 Favorite Films at the Banff Mountain Film Festival
- Paddling Life: "Pat on the Back for Pack Raft Founder: Alpacka Releases Trailer for New Film “Sheri”"
- The Durango Herald: "Alpacka Raft celebrates 20th anniversary - A look back at the history of one of pack rafting's most influential designers"
- Telluride Daily News / The Norwood Post: "Indomitable human spirit. A peek at the few of Mountainfilm's screenings"
- The Journal: "Telluride's Mountainfilm Festival Returns to in-person"