Anchorage International Film Festival


Alaska, Far and Away

Alaska/USA - 91 min - Documentary - Snowdance selection

Directed by Paul Hill & Joan Juster
Alaska, Far Away tells the story of the Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935, a creative and controversial New Deal program that relocated 202 families devastated by the Great Depression,
taking them from the upper Midwest to the Matanuska Valley in Alaska to start an experimental farming colony. It generated a whirlwind of publicity and controversy at the time, not only as a federally-funded
social experiment, but also as one of the last pioneer movements in America. The Matanuska Colony isn't just a fascinating footnote to the history of Alaska. It encompasses the despair of the Depression, the creative energy of the New Deal, the adventure of pioneering in Alaska, and the best and worst of our government and ordinary citizens in facing those extraordinary challenges.

Thursday, December 11 at 5:30 PM - Anchorage Museum

Co-director Joan Juster is scheduled to attend the screening.

Great Projects: The Building of Alaska

Alaska/USA - 90 min. - Documentary - Snowdance selection

Directed by Ken Mandel and Daniel B. Polin

Celebrates Alaska’s engineering achievements during the 50th anniversary of statehood. Vast, mountainous and seismically active, Alaska’s arctic climate, with permafrost, cold and darkness, make it a difficult and expensive place to build. The story of overcoming these obstacles to create engineering masterpieces is the stuff of dramatic and visually spectacular films. Building Alaska was produced by Great Projects Film Company. Great Projects produced the four-part Great Projects: The
Building of America which the American Association of Engineering Societies honored with its Engineering Journalism Award. The company won an EMMY® award for George Marshall and the American Century and was nominated for an Academy Award ® for An Essay on Matisse.

Sunday, December 7 at 4:00 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre ($5)

In the Wake of the Belgica

USA - 55 min. - Documentary short - Snowdance selection

Directed by Simon Arazi

Date completed 2008

An international crew of seven adventurers retraces the saga of the 1897 Belgica expedition to Antarctica, discovering along the way how the past and present connect in surreal ways.

Saturday, December 6 at 6:15 PM - Anchorage Museum

Cinematographer Troy Henkles will attend the screening

The Last Days of Shishmaref

Netherlands • 88 mins. • English - Snowdance selection
and Iñupiaq with English subtitles • 2008

Directed by Jan Louter

While politicians, scientists and environmentalists debate the effects of global warming, the Iñupiaq Eskimo community of Shishmaref in Northwest Alaska, just under the Arctic Circle, faces the real world consequences of climate change every day. As the ice beneath the small village melts, homes fall into the ocean. The situation is so severe that it has been predicted that the entire village will disappear
within the next 10 years. How can you move an entire way of life? And should these villagers go to
the edges of a city, or retain their rural ways? The transience of the Iñupiaq’s traditional way of life
becomes apparent in the face of climate change, satellite television and mail order shopping. Here,
the icy landscape — its water, smoke, steam and sky — is beautifully photographed, as are the
village’s inhabitants.
Sunday, December 7 at 6:15 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre

Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 PM - Fireweed Theatre

The director is confirmed to be in attendance at these screenings.

Junk Dreams

USA • 73 mins. • 2008 - Snowdance selection

Directed by Skye Borgman

Two brothers, 77 and 76, board a 29-foot Chinese Junk Boat and head 1,620 miles to Valdez, Alaska. In their two and half month voyage, Ernie and Charlie encounter torrents of rain and raging water, engine trouble and broken masts, bringing them face to face with adventure — their fountain of youth. The two men visit towns like Prince Rupert, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Juneau on their way to Valdez, Alaska.
Saturday, December 6 at 12:30 PM - Anchorage Museum

The director is scheduled to be in attendance at the screening.


Saturday, December 13 at 12:45 PM - Bear Tooth Theatre ($5)

XT & Me

Alaska - 4 min. - Animation

Directed by Peter Dunlap-Shohl

A wannabe film mogul in Alaska discovers a charismatic, talented alien and grooms him for stardom only to have his protégé wooed away by big-time Hollywood muscle. The alien makes one film before descending into a nightmare of drugs and dissipation. The one shot wonder disappears, but our sadder-but-wiser Alaskan plans a comeback for them both.

Stop & Go

Alaska/USA - 3 min. – Super short

Directed by Brad Swenson

Sure to make you laugh, this film about movie watching is a Hoot from fade up to fade out.

Director Brad Swenson is scheduled to attend the screening.

We’re Just Kids

Alaska - 17 min. - Documentary short

Directed by Brandon McElroy

Students from the Alaska Theatre of Youth’s Summer Theatre Conservatory rioted in the streets and demanded answers to life’s deepest and most profound questions.

Butterfly’s Evil Spell

Alaska / 4 min. - Puppetmation

Directed by Buzz Scwhall

Local artisan Buzz Schwall brings his beautiful puppet creations to life in what originally was
the first play by the twentieth-century Spanishdramatist Federico García Lorca.

Susitna Story

Alaska - 4 min. - Animation

Directed by Peter Dunlap-Shohl

Accompanied by narration that is reminiscent of Robert Service meets The Charlie Daniels Band,
a plucky musher must defend Alaska pride and her soul when she is challenged to a sled dog
race by Satan.

The Oracle

Alaska - 5 min . -

Directed by Ward Hulbert

An oracle in the Himalayas heals people in the villages by going into a trance and sucking evil
spirits out of their bellies.

Tits N Skatin'

Alaska - 14 min - Live action

Directed by Hannah Kaplan

Producer Kodiak Resource Development and Camera Q Productions

(T&S) is a satire/mockumentary by filmmaker Hannah Kaplan. Filmed entirely on Kodiak Island
Alaska, this film goes into a funny and smart account of the drive to become a professional
female skateboarder. Filled with plenty of action, dialog, and music, T&S really gets into the
heart of these young women, and their hilarious personalities and persona. The personal
interviews in this film also captivates whereas the audience gets a grand taste of the young
women of Kodiak and their unusual quirks.

Some of the film participants are scheduled to be in attendance at the screening.

Sikumi (On the Ice)

Alaska • 15 min. - Live action

Directed & Written by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean

An Inuit takes his dog team out onto the frozen Arctic Ocean hunting for seals only to inadvertently
stumble upon a murder.


Way Up North

USA - 22 min. Live action
Directed by Levi Taylor

Way Up North is a whimsical tall tale about betrayal and revenge set in the last frontier. Local director Levi A. Taylor brings a community of ambitious artists together to experiment with a
unique brand of storytelling. Featuring the musical stylings of Anchorage's own Rebuttals, Way
Up North
will have you tapping your feet to every unspeakable act and leave you grinning
for more.

Friday, December 12 at 10:10 PM (with Love and Pain) - Bear Tooth Theatre

The director is scheduled to be in attendance at the screening.