As Alaska heads into the heart of sled dog racing season, there’s some new required watching for sprint mushing fans in a recently released documentary film about the legendary Huslia Hustler himself, George Attla.
Attla overcame tuberculosis and a fused leg in his youth and went on to win 10 Fur Rendezvous World Championships in Anchorage — the most ever — and eight Open North American Championships in Fairbanks.
Attla passed away in 2015, not long before mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, re-routed due to snow conditions, used his home village of Huslia as a checkpoint, just down the trail from his final resting place.
The new documentary is called “Attla,” and it’s directed by Catherine Axley. It tells George Attla’s story and includes as a focus how Attla was training his grandnephew to mush right up until his death.
Axley spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove about the film.