Alaskan Native Covenanter Wins Norwegian Film Festival

laureli ivanoff

UNALAKLEET, AK (February 24, 2016) – Laureli Ivanoff, who attends Unalakleet Covenant Church, and another former journalist were named the winners of the Meet the Arctic Short Film Competition, which was sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The win earned Ivanoff and Ben Matheson a trip to the Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway, where the film was screened.

The film, “Arctic Contrast,” was one of 11 entered in the contest. A Facebook message posted by the embassy stated, “The movies truly showed that the Arctic is more than polar bears, empty landscapes of ice and snow, Santa Claus, Queen Elsa and Olaf. The movies showed the true Arctic; the Arctic where people live, work, and go to school, a place on earth that is both booming economically and facing challenges due to climate change.”

In keeping with its name, the film depicts scenes from Alaska highlighting disparities between wealth and poverty, natural beauty and the effects of climate change, the darkness that covers the area for much of the year and the awe-inspiring brilliant light.

Ivanoff and Matheson are both former radio journalists and had never made a film together before.

The film took them three weeks to put together but had been in the making long before they knew it. Matheson shot most of the footage over the years on video cameras and his iPhone. Ivanoff also contributed footage, but told the Alaska Daily News that she contributed more of the human element to the script.