By Rachel Gregg, executive director of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.
Originally published in Missoula Current, February 15, 2019.
In 2008, I spent Christmas in the Arctic with my brother and his family who had recently moved to Kotzebue, Alaska, where his wife had a job with the Commissioned Corps. Each evening, after making the most of the four daily hours of rose light riding snowmobiles and cross-country skiing, we would tuck in for a toddy and a dinner of salmon and hydroponic vegetables, all harvested locally.
One such evening, we settled in for a movie and popped in a copy of “Red Gold,” a stunning 2008 documentary feature from Travis Rummel and Ben Knight on the Pebble Mine controversy in Southwest Alaska. Ninety minutes later, I was ready to take up a torch and pitchfork for the fishermen of Bristol Bay, swept up in fury over the environmental injustice and corporate greed that could eternally change one of the most productive watersheds and the largest salmon run in the world.
That was the moment I decided to pledge my future to the power of the medium of film. I wanted to find a soap box to spread awareness and build agency around important issues, and documentary film would be my megaphone
Ten years later, I’m writing this at my desk while wrapping up final details for the 16th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF) in downtown Missoula, where films from around the world will illuminate screens and minds with stories of resistance, resilience and a changing world. …Read the entire article at missoulacurrent.com.