We are so grateful to the Anchorage Museum for exhibiting ten films produced by the fall 2021 class, “Alaska Native Filmmaking: Stories for Climate Justice” co-sponsored between the UAF Department of Theatre & Film and Native Movement, with sponsorship from Visionmakers Media and Nia Tero.
The exhibition is open at the museum Circumpolar Cinema from September 30, 2022-March 2023. In conjunction with the opening, we held a panel discussion, archived on Facebook:
Join participants of the Alaska Native Filmmakers Intensive alongside their mentors as they reflect the production of films featured in Stories for Climate Justice, which opened September 30 in the Northern Narratives Gallery on the second floor. The evening will include a back-to-back screening and panel of the exhibition’s ten films examining how Indigenous Alaskans are responding to the impacts of climate change on their homelands and communities.
Moderator: Maka Monture
Panelists: Alaska Native Filmmakers Intensive participants Shak’shaani Éesh / Konrad Frank, Rodney Evans, and Brittany Woods-Orrison, with mentors Ruth Miller (Climate Justice Lead Instructor) and Maya Salganek (Lead Filmmaking Instructor)
What an honor to have this film, Diiyeghann naii Taii Tre’eedaa, selected as one of the “Brightest Stars” of the festival! ImagineNATIVE is the most inspiring film festival I’ve ever attended, and I’m speechless to have contributed to this wonderful film directed by Princess Daazhraii Johnson. Mahsi’choo!
I am fortunate to have worked in the Gwich’in community of Vashraii K’oo or Arctic Village during the summer of 2022 on a research project funded by NSF. I worked with University of Alaska Fairbanks students and researchers, along with colleagues from Haverford College and the University of Arizona to talk with Elders about climate change in their community. I directed the students on video documentation methods, and video fieldwork while directing the documentary film project.
Decolonizing Fieldwork: Using Videography as a Method to Empower Alaska Native Youth and Promote Inter-Generational Dialogues on Climate Change in the Arctic
This presentation will be led by an Indigenous research team that utilizes videography as a research method to document Indigenous knowledge on climate change impacts in two regions of rural Alaska. Participating undergraduate students will feature a short video and share their journey to decolonizing fieldwork in partnership with two federally recognized tribes. Discussion topics will include: the importance of relationality in research, the value of engaging Indigenous youth and elders in inter-generational dialogues around climate change and sustainability, and the opportunity to learn and use digital technology as a tool to perpetuate the transmission of Indigenous knowledge by and for tribal communities. Student panelists will share their perspectives as Indigenous students learning to interact and engage with local communities in tribally-led research efforts. By intentionally putting Alaska Native values into practice and elevating relationality into the research framework at every opportunity, the students actively sought to decolonize the fieldwork experience. One innovative aspect of this work is its focus on challenging Western research norms regarding the collection, management and ownership of data. Students will share how research agreements and practices were designed specifically to support tribal goals and self-determination. This project is an inspiring example of empowering young, tribal citizens to learn videography and put their vision and new skills to use in service of tribal communities.
New Mexico In Focus, a Production of NMPBS
Published on Jul 19, 2019
July 19, 2019 – Correspondent Antonia Gonzales talks with producer Maya Salganek about a new PBS KIDS series about a 10-year-old Alaska Native girl, called “Molly of Denali.” The show weaves together literacy skills and Native values. It’s the first nationally distributed children’s television series to feature a Native American lead character. Salganek was born and raised in Santa Fe.
It’s been an incredible journey producing and directing the film Bodies of Water at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Each day the film has become richer and deeper, and the enthusiasm of the students has only grown through the weeks. Making art. What a gift.
One amazing evolution of UAF FRAME-Film Production Services is being able to connect with other programs of the University of Alaska Fairbanks system, and learn more what they do. Here’s an example of a FRAME project I mentored this spring with a film major at the helm.
The Emerging Scholars Academy prepares incoming, first-time-freshman for college, and provides 8 academic credits saving the average student over $1000 in classes.
Mister asks Leona if she fears anything…. must try a take of laughing… She is so terrified, so tormented, that the question itself is ludicrous. The “laughs in the face of fear” approach eases everyone into her space. She takes the upper hand.
It laughs at fear and is unafraid. It does not run from the sword.
Leona is three different characters within Bodies of Water.
Leona is a child – confrontational, rebellious, but still a child.
After the death of Willow – Leon cuts her ties with her family -she is tired of being judged. She chooses to enter the world (reborn) on her own terms, but quickly gets drawn into another family – the troupe.
Finally- Leona births herself. The Water Cell as Womb into this persona – still stuck. Still reliving the tragedy, but finding freedom and even grace within it. As close to the edge of life as she can be. The edges of life – before birth-into death. In the water.
Because if we don’t show it, then someone else will get it wrong.
This vision statement underlies the focus of my efforts in founding the
Film Program and FRAME at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
The Alaskan Lens captures the people, stories, places, and unique viewpoint of Alaskans by Alaskans. Alaskan film is infused with the voices of history and cultural knowledge, and embedded in the geographic wonder of the North. Alaska film students are asked to create content that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of our isolation and interdependence. They are encouraged to make films that are self-reflective of the Alaskan diversity of language, cultural complexities, and strong traditions of Northern peoples. The Alaskan Lens will seek partnerships with established filmmakers of the North and South and serve to bridge the needs of today’s students with the future of digital storytelling.
Students will be prepared in both conceptual and artistic expression as well as technical and professional expertise. They will be strongly prepared to continue their education in graduate programs, work in a career path, or venture into the field on a path of their own making. Our graduates will have both clarity and capacity to focus their vision on the world.