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'Eating Alaska' filmmaker here Tuesday

April  13, 2011

Award-winning filmmaker, social activist, and community organizer Ellen Frankenstein will visit Augustana College on Tuesday, April 19, for a screening of her latest film Eating Alaska.

The film follows her story as an urban environmentalist who moves to Alaska and marries a man who is an avid hunter and commercial fisherman.

The documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Olin Center for Educational Technology. The viewing will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.

The event is sponsored by Augustana's Institute for Leadership and Service with assistance from Global Affect and the Augustana Local Agriculture Society.

Frankenstein is the director of the documentaries Miles from the Border, A Matter of Respect, Carved from the Heart, and No Loitering. Before becoming a full-time filmmaker and photographer, she worked with the developmentally disabled, migrant farm workers, and the elderly. These experiences inspired her to write and take photographs, to study filmmaking, and to make documentaries — not only to encourage people to tell their stories in front of the camera, but to help them participate in sharing their voices by using the technology themselves.

Her work has been supported by numerous grants and awards, including a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Independent Television Service, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Frankenstein has a master's in visual anthropology from the University of Southern California. Her most recent film, Eating Alaska, has garnered praise from national and international audiences. The film has been screened at the American Conservation Film Festival, the Sonoma International Film Festival, the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, and on PBS stations across the country. Frankenstein blogged about her work at the Huffington Post.

According to anthropologist Gary Nabhan, author of Where our Food Comes From, "Eating Alaska makes us ruminate, laugh and stand in awe, all at the same time." Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy, noted of Eating Alaska: “Food is the first place we're remaking our world, and Alaska is a wonderfully funny and varied case in point. You'll see people imagining, one meal at a time, what a more durable world might look like!"

For more information, contact Brian Leech of Global Affect.