The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Fern Greenbank
LOG Editor 

Balto Film Festival looks for locals


Dorene Lorenz, president of the board of directors for the Friends of Jesse Lee Home non-profit, is also the brainchild behind the Balto Film Festival in Seward July 25-27.

Following a 2013 successful festival, Lorenz added features this year to draw even more participants to Seward.

“It’s a great event for all types of people,” said Lorenz. “It’s great for families, people who are interested in learning more about filmmaking, people who have film ideas and people who know a lot about the area, its beauty and its history.”

A call was made to filmmakers to submit short films to a contest named Balto 49. Lorenz said there are five submissions to be screened and judged at the end of the Balto Film Festival. Those filmmakers were given three prompts to follow and just 49 hours to create a short film.

Another competition, named Togo 24 hour sprint, will begin Friday at 7 p.m. when filmmakers are given just one prompt and then sent off to create a short film. Filmmakers will be looking for local people to be in their films or help with their films.

“You can do anything from drive someone around to pointing out great secret places or holding a camera,” said Lorenz.

If you are interested in participating, you can express your preferences on the Balto Film Festival Facebook page, said Lorenz.

Added this year is a special guest, Dr. D.B. Palmer from the University of Alaska Valdez Campus where he directs an outdoor adventure film program. Palmer will be discussing learning opportunities in Valdez and sharing his insights about the world of adventure media.

“I really hope the participants will see what is great about Seward,” said Lorenz.



Seward Library/Museum

6:00 p.m. Filmmaking Workshop

Professor DB Palmer of Adventure Film School Alaska, the first and only adventure film making degree program in the State. Professor Palmer co-leads University of Alaska’s week-long intensive Adventure Film Research course (FLM 298)

7:00 p.m. Togo 24 Hour Sprint Prompts released.

UAF K.M. Rae Building

8:00 p.m. TRAILERS

Food/Spread Alaska

8:15 p.m. Red Bull Mt. St. Elias


UAF K.M. Rae Building

ALASKA FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE - Short films by Alaskan filmmakers not in competition


6:15 p.m. Food

Q&A: Filmmaker Marcus Mooers

In Competition: Shorts

7:00 p.m. CQ In My Dreams

Q&A: Corliss Kimmel

In Competition: Shorts

7:30 p.m. Santa and Death

In Competition: Shorts

8:00 p.m. Break in Reality

Q&A: Filmmaker D.K. Johnston

In Competition: Shorts

8:30 p.m. Our Salvation

Q&A: Filmmaker Kyle Murphy

In Competition: Shorts

9:00 p.m. Gateway to Darkness

Q&A: Filmmaker Marcus Mooers

In Competition: Shorts

9:45 p.m. Mr. Right

Q&A: Filmmaker: Carl Webber

In Competition: Shorts

10:15 p.m. Space Trucker Bruce

Q&A: Filmmaker Anton Doiron

In Competition: Features


UAF K.M. Rae Building

3:30 p.m. For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska

In Competition: Features

Q&A: Filmmaker Jeff Silverman

5:00 p.m. World School

In Competition: Shorts

6:00 p.m. Togo 24 Hour Sprint Screening/Judging

7:00 p.m. Balto 49 Hour Film Challenge Screening/Judging

8:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony

Friday Night Lights

Information provided by the Balto Film Festival

At 8 p.m. on Friday evening, July 25, a screening of an award winning adventure film, Mt. St. Elias, will be screened at the K.M. Rae Building. The opening event is sponsored by Red Bull. Lorenz said the film is “jaw-dropping” and dramatic.

A dramatic and awe-inspiring feature documentary following three of the world’s greatest ski mountaineers to the Mount St. Elias in their attempt to realize the longest ski descent of the world.

Set against the backdrop of Alaska’s dangerous beauty, Mount St. Elias is about a visionary borderline experience where unparalleled physical and mental pressure pushes them to the absolute limit. They find themselves in puristic situations, in which heroism cannot easily be distinguished from folly. Situations which can only be mastered if reason is supposedly abandoned and in which courage as well as trust in their own abilities and last but not least luck are used as guidelines.

Two Austrian ski mountaineers Axel Naglich and Peter Ressmann as well as the American freeski mountaineer Jon Jonhston are facing this breathtaking challenge! A team with individual abilities, but also a team of leaders, knowing they literally cannot survive without teamwork and cooperation. Especially Axel Naglich, he unconsciously takes the role of the protagonist due to his charismatic and authentic personality and, within the permanent struggle not against nature but against himself, polarizes as a strong character.

A movie about men who accept mountains as a challenge. A process whose vision becomes a real adventure. Men who, formed by their origins, want to experience their passion as intensively as possible and above all want to survive.


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