Saturday, December 03, 2011

AIFF 2011: Voices of Bristol Bay Precedes Inuk Opening Night

Opening night was sold out and packed.  Lots of people.  Lots of noise.

The opening short was a light and fun, yet very important look at people who live in Bristol Bay.  They gave 60 some people digital video recorders and asked them to video tape part of their day.  A wonderful glimpse at the people of the region.  It also got Alaska Native people into the theater to watch the Greenland film about troubled kids going out with traditional seal hunters.  I talked to one young man from Kotzebue (originally) after the film and he said he could understand a lot of it. 

Tony Sheppard introduced both films - it was strange without Rand Thornsley there - and then we saw the films.

Inuk was powerful and the story mirrored the story of many Alaskan Natives faced with the modern world impinging on their traditional way of life and with the added problems of global climate change having a huge impact on their frozen worlds.  The cast was all real people - kids at a shelter for troubled kids acted with traditional seal hunters.  One of the seal hunters - Ole Jørgen Hammeken - was there with the director Michael Magidson and writer Jean-Michel Huctin and they took questions afterward.

Even a film glitch with stopped the film and darkened the room toward the end didn't take away from the enthusiasm of the crowd. 

The video starts with Director Magidson telling the crowd how much they wanted to show this film in Alaska.  There's a brief clip of the film - after the glitch - and the Q&A.  The lighting in the Bear Tooth for Q&A has always been bad.  This year they did get a bit of light on the film makers. 

Here's a schedule for Saturday's films.  I'm late for the 1pm shorts at Out North.  Then I think I'll check out the Israeli SciFi flick at the Alaska Experience Theater at 3.  Unless I get sidetracked.

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