Friday, September 14, 2012

Sitka,Alaska's Anti-Bullying Campaign

I worked with SYLC youth in May, 2012 an an amazing organization dedicated to building bridges and creating positive change amongst youth in Sitka and across Alaska. Born out of LeadOn!, an annual statewide youth leadership conference, the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee provides a space for youth to constructively express themselves, be positive leaders and role models, and to feel a part of the community.

The above video is a PSA I completed with Sitka Youth Leadership Committee. I spent an entire semester with  Mt Edgecumbe students (an esteemed Alaska Native boarding school)  in Sitka talking about media literacy. The students, along with their SYCL mentor  Julia Smith, hatched an amazing sticker bombing campaign to address issues of bullying in our local community.  
Much of the group led discussions were in response to the high rates of domestic violence in Alaska. In fact 59% of Alaskan women will experience domestic violence or sexual violence in their lifetime (Alaska Victimization Survey, 2010), and the high rates of bullying in Sitka, twice the national average (Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, Blatchley Middle School Report, 2010), youth in Sitka are mobilizing to build stronger communities and stronger individuals by promoting respect, peace, and equality across the state.

After sticker-bombing the town of Sitka, our group documented the community's response.
We will be making a film about it in the fall. To be continued. /youth-leadership.html
facebook@LeadOn! For peace and equality in Alaska

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stand Up Speak Up video project

This is a Public Service Announcement I shot with Mt Edgecumbe High School students through SAFV and ANDVSA.

Many of us want to Stand Up, and Speak Up to promote respect and create safer relationships and communities. The first step to standing up and speaking up is understanding the relationship and respect basics.

Check out to hear stories from other Alaskan youth about their road to respect.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rain Power, a documentary short about alpine hydro-electricity in the Tongass

Set on an island community nestled between the mountains and the sea and completely surrounded by Alaska's lush temperate rainforest, 'Rain Power' chronicles one community's efforts to reduce its dependency on oil and take action on climate change.

The town of Sitka, Alaska is highly connected to the natural resources provided by their local environment. As a result, there is a strong desire to sustain local ecosystems and to prevent the potential devastation that climate change and ocean acidification could bring the region.

The film illustrates the unique challenges facing this remote community as they work locally to solve highly complex, global issues. 'Rain Power' promises to inspire audiences worldwide with its breathtaking natural setting, and story of one community's drive to become sustainably powered.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Benji and Judah a collaborative documentary by Hannah Guggenheim

This a scene from my film "Benji and Judah" a collaborative documentary we filmed over the course of five years in Oakland, CA.

This is a post from Film Click about the film that debuted at Mill Valley Film Festival

Mill Valley Film Festival - Benji and Judah
A year after befriending her wheel-chair bound neighbors, film student and first-time filmmaker Hannah Guggenheim, began to shoot them as subjects for her master’s thesis project at SFSU. She continued to pursue the story for years after finishing her degree. The result is Benji and Judah, an emotionally powerful story centered around twin brothers born with spina bifida, (a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spine during pregnancy) and their mother, Jeanette, who struggles to find a home for her physically-challenged sons and seven other children. The film screened at this yearʼs Mill Valley Film Festival as part of the Home In the Heart series.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Doc: Newtok, Alaska is sinking

A great new project out of the UK and Italy has come my way. I will begin shooting in April.

The indigenous people of Alaska have stood firm against some of the most extreme weather conditions on Earth for thousands of years. But now, flooding blamed on climate change is forcing at least one Eskimo village to move to safer ground.

Climate change forces Eskimos to abandon village

The community of the tiny coastal village of Newtok voted to relocate its 340 residents to new homes 9 miles away, up the Ninglick River. The village, home to indigenous Yup'ik Eskimos, is the first of possibly scores of threatened Alaskan communities that could be abandoned.
Warming temperatures are melting coastal ice shelves and frozen sub-soils, which act as natural barriers to protect the village against summer deluges from ocean storm surges.
"We are seeing the erosion, flooding and sinking of our village right now," said Stanley Tom, a Yup'ik Eskimo and tribal administrator for the Newtok Traditional Council.

The crisis is unique because its devastating effects creep up on communities, eating away at their infrastructure, unlike with sudden natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes or hurricanes.

Newtok is just one example of what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns is part of a growing climate change crisis that will displace 150 million people by 2050. The group says indigenous peoples in Asia, Central America and Africa are threatened by shifting environmental conditions blamed on climate change.

Floods blamed on climate change forcing Alaskan village to move 9 miles away

Twenty-six other Alaskan villages are in immediate danger

Move comes as indigenous people hold Anchorage summit on the crisis

UN: Climate change will force displacement of 150 million people by 2050
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