In May, Alaska Far Away began playing on public broadcasting stations around the country. So far it has been seen by audiences in Oregon, Miami, Nashville, West Palm Beach, Vermont, the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa, Minnesota, and West Virginia, with another 65+ stations to come, coast-to-coast.
But this week, our film comes home to its roots: Alaska. Our presenting station, KAKM in Anchorage, is showing three prime-time broadcasts of Alaska Far Away this week:
Friday, May 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5 at 8:30 p.m.
All shows will be broadcast simultaneously on KTOO-TV in Juneau.
(Click here for the full roster of broadcasts these next two weeks, which includes stations in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, and Wyoming.)
Coming home to the Alaska airwaves is particularly meaningful for us. Back in 1994, when all we had was a rough draft of a proposal for this film, the long-time manager of KAKM, Dick Enders, was kind enough to sit down and listen to our ideas, and give enthusiastic feedback. He also gave us a very valuable piece of advice: put "Alaska" in the title, right up front. He sent us on our way with his blessing and a letter of recommendation, and told us to come back when the film was finished.
Well, by the time we came back, 14 years later, Dick had retired. But KAKM did fulfill his promise: our first broadcast was in September 2010, breaking fundraising records during the station's fall pledge drive, with additional airings in December 2010 and 2011. We are happy and grateful to be invited back.
But KAKM did even more to help this year. In order for American Public Television to offer our film to their member stations, we had to have a "presenting station" step forward on our behalf. KAKM took that step, and we are deeply grateful to them for making it possible for us to share our film with millions of viewers across the country.
While many Alaskans have seen Alaska Far Away several times, there are always new audiences who haven't seen it yet, and for whom the story of the Matanuska Colony is new. So for our viewers old and new, we are happy to share Alaska Far Away with you. And don't forget: Colony Days celebrations are right around the corner in Palmer - may our film inspire you to join the festivities!
Top photo: Volunteers answering pledge phones at KAKM in September 2010. From KAKM web site.
Bottom photo: Colonists Tony and Alys Vickaryous of Minnesota with their daughters Gerry and Tiny.