ATTLA (Independent Lens 2019) tells the gripping but little-known story of George Attla, a charismatic Alaska Native dogsled racer who, with one good leg and fierce determination, became a legendary sports hero in Northern communities around the world.
Directed by Catharine Axley. Produced by Kristine Stolakis and Melissa Langer.
ATTLA is a Molt Films production and a co-production of Vision Maker Media and ITVS.
ADRIAN BAKER, Filmmaker
Adrian Baker has worked in animation (web/TV) for over ten years. His current project is INJUNUITY, a half-hour animated documentary using a mix of animation, music and real audio to explore modern American life from a contemporary Native American perspective, a co-production of Vision Maker Media. Even though he works as a producer and director of animated content, he has no formal education or training in the animation field. He comes to the table as a storyteller, with a background in writing that includes a BA from USC and an MA from San Francisco State. He has always loved animation as a form of storytelling.
DELPHINE RED SHIRT SHAW, Author & Native American Studies Professor
Delphine Red Shirt (Oglala Sioux) is a Senior Lecturer in Native American Studies and in the Special Languages Program (Lakota) at Stanford University. She has a PhD in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona and has previously served as chairperson of the nongovernmental organization committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. Red Shirt is the author of Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood (Nebraska, 1997), Turtle Lung Woman’s Granddaughter (Nebraska 2002), and George Sword’s Warrior Narratives: Compositional Processes in Lakota Oral Tradition (Nebraska 2016).
PHIL DELORIA, Author & Professor of History
Philip J. Deloria is Professor of History at Harvard University, where his research and teaching focus on the social, cultural and political histories of the relations among American Indian peoples and the United States, as well as the comparative and connective histories of indigenous peoples in a global context. His first book, Playing Indian (1998), traced the tradition of white “Indian play” from the Boston Tea Party to the New Age movement, while his 2004 book Indians in Unexpected Places examined the ideologies surrounding Indian people in the early twentieth century and the ways Native Americans challenged them through sports, travel, automobility, and film and musical performance. He is the co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to American Indian History (with Neal Salisbury) and C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions by Vine Deloria (with Jerome Bernstein). His most recent book, co-authored with Alexander Olson is American Studies: A User’s Guide (2017), which offers a comprehensive treatment of the historiography and methodology of the field of American Studies. He is currently completing a project on American Indian visual arts of the mid-twentieth century, and coediting (with Beth Piatote) I Heart Nixon: Essays on the Indigenous Everyday.
JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS, Alaska State Representative
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins represents Sitka and much of rural Southeast Alaska in the Alaska House of Representatives. At twenty-five years old, he is the youngest member of the legislature. He cares deeply for rural Alaska and the issues its small communities face. Jonathan was born and raised in Sitka, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout while growing up. He attended Yale College for three years before leaving school early and without a degree to run for the Alaska Legislature. Jonathan has started three programs that inject young people and energy into Sitka and have brought well over 100 young people to volunteer, work, or live in Sitka. He also helped start the Sitka Fellows Program, a multidisciplinary residency that brings up-and-coming artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs from around the world to Sitka for seven weeks to work on their projects.
KRISTINE SAMUELSON, Filmmaker
Kristine Samuelson is a documentary essayist. Her works have screened at festivals worldwide, from Sundance to Seoul and have appeared on PBS and at museums including NY MOMA. She is the Edward Crossett Emerita Professor at Stanford University. Samuelson was nominated for an Academy Award for Arthur and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She has also served on the Board of the Independent Television Service.
LEONARD KAMERLING, Filmmaker & Professor
Leonard Kamerling is Curator of Film at the University of Alaska Museum of the North and Professor of English at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has produced numerous award winning documentary films about Alaska Native cultures and Northern Issues. His film Uksuum Cauyai: the Drums of Winter, about Yup’ik Eskimo music and dance, was named to the National Film Registry of the US Library of Congress in 2006. His most recent film, Changa Revisited, about a Tanzanian Maasai family seen from two points in time across a thirty-year divide, was awarded the Best International Film Prize at the 2016 ASTRA International Documentary Film Festival in Romania. Throughout his career Leonard Kamerling has been primarily concerned with issues of cultural representation in media and the role that documentary film can play in eliminating stereotypes and credibly translating one culture to another.
MICHAEL SMITH (1951-2018), Former Director American Indian Film Institute/American Indian Film Festival
Michael worked with Indian Peoples all his adult life. Beginning with the Seattle Indian Center (1972) as a peer counselor; to Cultural Education Coordinator (1973-1975) for United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle. At UIATF, he visioned and produced the 1st American Indian Film Festival, March 1975 at the University of Washington. Later the film festival was sponsored by the San Francisco Indian Center (1977-1978) and National Congress of American Indians (1979) where Michael served in public relations capacities. During this era, he organized the 1st National Indian Media Conference (1977). NIMC evolved to what is today Native American Journalism Association. AIFI was formally established in Culver City, California in 1979. Now, almost 40 years later, the American Indian Film Festival has screened over 2,000 film-works and remains a strong and viable media showcase for American Indian and Canada First Nations media makers, emerging and veteran.
NOELLE STOUT, Cultural Anthropologist & Filmmaker
Noelle Stout is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at New York University (NYU) and a faculty mentor to the Native American and Indigenous Students’ Group at NYU. Her research and media projects explore how economic crises affect the intimacies of daily life. She is the director and co-producer of the award-winning documentary Luchando (2008). Stout earned her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University, with a certificate in Visual Studies from the Sensory Ethnography Lab.
SAMANTHA GRANT, Filmmaker
Samantha Grant is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and educator. Her documentary A Fragile Trust recently won The National Press Club’s Award for Media Criticism and the National Ethics Award by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2011, Sam was named a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, where she began work on the robust transmedia companion project for A FRAGILE TRUST. When she’s not shooting or producing independent documentaries, you can find Sam lecturing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford’s Knight Fellowship program. Through her San Francisco based production company GUSH productions, Sam has created work for clients including MTV, ABC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World, and Al Jazeera International.
STEVE LINDBECK, former CEO of Alaska Public Media
Steve Lindbeck served as the CEO and General Manager of Alaska Public Media from 2007-2015, which includes KAKM-TV, KSKA-FM and the Alaska Public Radio Network. In that role he is responsible for leadership and oversight of a media organization capable of reaching audiences throughout Alaska. Previously, he had 30-year career in journalism and public affairs. He has also volunteered on many boards and committees, including the Anchorage Museum Association, the Alaska World Affairs Council, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Anchorage, United Way of Anchorage, Anchorage Cultural Council, Alaska State Council on the Arts review panels, Downtown Anchorage Rotary, and Commonwealth North.
Alaska Film Archives at the Rasumson Library, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Alaska Humanities Forum
Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association
Alaska Sports Hall of Fame
Frank Attla Youth & Sled Dog Care-Mushing Program