The biggest film festival in Alaska is back
Anchorage International Film Festival returns for 22nd year
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage International Film Festival is the biggest film festival in Alaska, showcasing films from within the state, as well as all over the world.
The 22nd year of the event, which kicked off Friday, has a little bit of everything, from documentaries to animation.
“We have this year, 74 films from all over the world showing here in Anchorage for these 10 days, but we also have a lot of local films, and that’s one of the coolest things about this festival, is that we bring in established filmmakers from around the world and also new filmmakers, local, international from all over,” Ida Theresa Myklebost, the festival’s co-director, said.
Myklebost says the festival belongs to the community of Anchorage. One of its goals is for filmmakers to learn from each other and network, or possibly even collaborate, in the future.
The event showcases a range of themes, from comedy to serious issues, like dealing with mental health. One of the showings dealing with more serious subject matter is “Dealing with Dad,” written and directed by Tom Huang.
“This film ‘Dealing with Dad’ is about a family dealing with a depressed dad, who’s actually nicer when he’s depressed than well, so they’re trying to figure out if they want to get him better or not,” Huang said. “This film has the background of depression but really it’s about a dysfunctional, functional family. The kind of family where, on holidays you go home and can’t wait to see what they do because they’re so crazy and outrageous.”
While there are more established filmmakers from the Lower 48 like Huang, many are made with an Alaskan narrative, including topics like Alaskan salmon, the Yupik culture, Inupiaq people and melting permafrost.
“This year, Anchorage International Film Festival — that’s right, your local film festival right here in Alaska — was named one of the top 20 best film festivals for new filmmakers in the whole world,” Myklebost said.
Organizers say the event only continues to grow.
“It’s going to bring light on Alaska Native filmmakers and films made, and stories told, about Alaska,” Ted Liu, producer of The Wind and the Reckoning, said. “So we are so blessed to be here because for those of our communities, which are kind of off the beaten path, to be able to showcase our stories is so important to have the world see it.”
The festival will be showing films through Dec. 11.
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