Keep It Lean

Our production crew from the Lower 48 will usually consist of the project's founder/producers and the film professionals who will be leading the filmmaking workshop throughout the late spring and summer of 2016.  It has been our intent from the onset of this project to engage the locals as fully as we can in the production.  During our trip in July of this year, we met several young people who were not only interested in the technical side of filmmaking, but who were pretty talented, as well.

We Are Outcome Driven

When we started following this story six years ago, we were driven by a feeling that people should know . . . no, that they would want to know what was transpiring on the northern fringe of our country.  The Yup'ik are a remarkable, warm, and vibrant people and to know them is to admire them.  As we followed the story, did our research, and spoke with a many people close to the issue, we started gaining a perspective on how our story could do more than just raise awareness.  We may only be able to help in modest ways, but we're undertaking this project to do all we can to bring attention to these amazing people, their fishery, and how decisions we make as consumers can help them rebuild their economy.

This region of Alaska doesn’t have oil or coal or timber. It has fish.
— Jack Schultheis, Kwik'Pak Fisheries
 

We are delighted to be the the recipients of a service grant from the Creative Visions Foundation, renewing a collaboration with some old friends who do amazing work with creative activism.  They will be helping us over the coming year to expand our capacity building efforts and the reach of our impact campaign.

 

In Their Own Words: A Media Workshop

Concurrent with our field production we will host a storytelling and filmmaking workshop for media interested individuals in the 17 to 24 age range from Emmonak and other Lower Yukon villages.  We will host accomplished filmmakers who will lead the workshop for a month, after which the instructor and workshop participants will rotate.  The participants will be paid for their time so that their financial needs are met while they take time away from whatever summer jobs they might otherwise hold.

The focus of the workshop will be to capture stories of their elders – grandkids interviewing grandparents, daughters interviewing mothers, the younger generation exploring the stories that have shaped their lives and their families, and which define their way of life.  Working with their filmmaker mentor, the group will undertake all aspects of planning, production and and aspects of post production.  Some of this material will be used for the Kings of The Yukon film, giving the workshop participants a sense of authorship with a theatrical documentary, while framing the narrative of the story in an authentic Yupik voice.

This will serve as an apprenticeship for the participants, giving them hands-on training in filmmaking and an opportunity to contribute to the production and direction of our project.  While we had originally thought about hiring local assistants and fixers, this plan has a stronger and more lasting impact on the community.  We already have a camera operator who has worked on House of Cards, HBO’s The Wire, Veep, and several feature films committed for one of the four fellowship slots.

Bernadette Redfox

Bernadette Redfox

Stella Kameroff

Stella Kameroff

Nick Tucker

Nick Tucker

We are planning to embed in the Yupik community of Emmonak, Alaska in late 2016 and throughout 2017.  By virtue of our presence and the personal relationships we have with the locals, we will be able to present a portrait of their incredible way of life.  Over that same timeline we’ll maintain a production office in Anchorage, from which we will follow facets of the story unfolding in Kenai, Cordova, the Copper River area, and SE Alaska.

The Project's Founders

Matt Fox:
Consulting Producer

Matt is fish biologist who has worked throughout the state of Alaska, including a few seasons on the Yukon River.  As a special consultant to several news organizations he has been tracking the situation with fisheries, potential effects of climate change and the impact on indigenous populations.  His expertise and relationships with stakeholders on all sides of these issues lends a breadth and depth to the storytelling for Kings of The Yukon.

 

Chip Warren:
Director & Producer

Chip has been been making social justice oriented documentaries for film and television for the last eight years, including projects for broadcast on American and UK television via broadcasters such as A&E, NBC, ABC, Channel 4, and the BBC. He is also the cofounder of ManifestWorks, a community-based nonprofit that teaches production skills to people coming out of the justice and foster care systems.