Fairbanks Filmmaker Rolls Forward on Yup’ik Movie
A Fairbanks resident has a movie in the works featuring Alaska Native characters. She’s looking to cast Yup’ik, or Alaska Native people.
Fairbanks resident Daniels Calvin wrote the screenplay for the movie, ‘Atellgun’ or ‘Namesake,’ with inspiration from wilderness survival and something closer to home.
“I was inspired by the story of plane crash survivors, and things that they do to save their lives and the lives of their children. And my daughter is Aleut, she is from Perryville, but there wasn’t anything like a musician for her on TV. Or it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of actors on TV that are Alaskan Native. So I wanted to create an outlet for her to have these role models she can look up to,” says Calvin.
She says she decided to make a Yup’ik-themed movie after looking back to her time, with Yup’ik people in Bethel, when she worked for 4-H. Though not a Yup’ik speaker, or Yup’ik herself, Calvin wrote the screenplay relying on an online resource from University of Alaska Fairbanks, “Alaskan Native Knowledge Network.” She also took responsibility for funding the movie.
“There really isn’t a lot of hand holding that goes on here in Fairbanks, uhh, this project is funded by me working three jobs. Being a filmmaker is all about passion, if you don’t have it you’ll never survive. There’s not really a lot of places to find money, you find people doing kick starters and things of that nature but for this particular project I am doing this all with borrowing resources, checking things from the library, peoples time they’re donating, and out of pocket from myself,” says Calvin.
The movie is in the preproduction phase, and Calvin says she’s scouting locations but will not be filming in Bethel due to cost. The movie will be filmed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.
Auditions will be held this Sunday, August 10th, at the UAF Great Hall in Fairbanks, from noon to three.