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As Heard on Morning Line: Keep Talking Film and Anchorage International Film Festival

Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

One of our guests for Morning Line, Angie Demma, highlighted Alutiiq language revitalization efforts that will be showcased on a film screening at the Anchorage Museum Thursday evening – it’s called Keep Talking.  The film follows four language learners over the course of five years as they journey toward learning their traditional language.  Angie mentions the positive effects of language learning efforts, as it has even been shown to reduce suicide attempts. 

Program details from the Anchorage Museum website:

Curated Conversations: “Keep Talking” Film Screening and Panel Discussion

6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. Free, use the museum’s 7th Avenue entrance.

Directed by Karen Weinberg, “Keep Talking” was shot in Kodiak and Anchorage over five years and follows the efforts of Alaska Native women as they work to preserve their endangered language. The film screening, in partnership with the Anchorage International Film Festival, will be followed by a panel discussion addressing issues of revitalization, historical trauma and recovery.

Panel speakers:

Roy Mitchell (Research Analyst at Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council)
Melissa Borton (Tribal Administrator at Native Village of Afognak)
Alisha Drabek (Executive Vice President of Afognak Native Corporation)
Karen Weinberg (co-producer of Keep Talking)
Candace Branson (co-teacher; featured in film)
Marya Halvorsen (co-teacher; featured in film)

Our other esteemed guest, Rebecca Pottebaum, Director of the Alaska International Film Festival echoed the use of film as a cultural revitalization tool.  One film, is about a Sami rap artist, an indigenous person from Norway, where the Sami people face many challenges encountered by Alaska Natives.  

Some of the other films that caught Rebecca’s eye include Alpha Go, a film about an oldschool master of the ancient game, Go, and his epic battle against an Artificial Intelligence programmed to play the game, another film called Arctic Daughter, chronicling the life of a homesteader family.  She also mentioned the workshops, panel discussions and the venues – the Film Festival is spread across the city, from the opening at the Bear Tooth, to the Alaska Experience Theatre, as well as the E Street Theatre.  To see more about the films worth freezing for, check out the film festival’s website:

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