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Kiana School kids learn filmmaking, hold festival of shorts

  • Author: Carey Restino
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published May 11, 2013

Kiana students recently got a chance to learn about an occupation that has an increasing presence in the Arctic -- filmmaking. Some 30 Kiana School students recently took part in a week-long filmmaking workshop taught by Piksik, an Anchorage-based film service company and Evergeeen Films, a local film production company.

"This was an incredible opportunity for these students to think creatively and learn something new and exciting from experts in their field," said Piksik President Robin Kornfield. "It's something they can be proud of and it's opened the eyes of the students to possible career opportunities."

Eight cameras and tripods were donated to the school for the project and for future use. Students were challenged to work in groups and create short films ranging from one to one-and-a-half minute films. They were limited to three subjects: family, tradition or place.

Teachers at the school said the program was a big hit with students.

"These kids here are no different than students at urban schools -- they love technology," said Kiana School Career and Technical Education Teacher Nathan Dutton. "It was really fun to see them light up when they got hold of the camera and really run with it."

The professional filmmakers taught students how to film and edit their footage as well as how to write a script and think visually. After the week-long course, the eight short films were presented to village residents at the school as part of the Kiana Film Festival.

Piksik, a NANA Development Corporation (NDC) subsidiary, provides location scouting, catering, logistics security and other support services to the film industry. Evergreen Films, a Piksik partner, is a full-service film production company.

This story first appeared in The Arctic Sounder. Carey Restino can be reached at crestino(at)

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