Attla tells the gripping but virtually unknown story of George Attla, an Alaska Native dogsled racer with one good leg who dominated the sport for five decades, becoming a rockstar figure for both Natives and whites across the state. Part dog whisperer, part ingenious businessman, part conniving competitor, part teenage heartthrob, Attla defies characterization, living through a unique period of history when Western education, economies and culture penetrated into the Alaskan bush and village lifestyle, and forever changed the state with the discovery of oil in the late 1960s.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Catharine Axley (director) is a documentary filmmaker who seeks stories of empowerment through subjects that defy expectations. She co-directs Paper Bridge Films with fellow Attla producer Kristine Stolakis. Her films have played at festivals including San Francisco International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Harlem International Film Festival and the United Nations Association Film Festival. She was recently a Regional Finalist for the Student Academy Awards and an official nominee for the David L. Wolper Award at the 2015 International Documentary Association Awards. Axley is the recipient of grants from Vision Maker Media, the Caucus Foundation and the Alaska Humanities Forum. Before directing her own films, Axley was the Line Producer on Morgenthau, a 2015 New York Emmy winner. Axley is currently a FilmHouse resident through the San Francisco Film Society. She holds an M.F.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. in History & Ethnicity, Race and Migration from Yale University.

Kristine Stolakis (producer) is a BAFTA nominated documentary filmmaker and producer. She co-directs Paper Bridge Films with fellow Attla director Catharine Axley. Her films have played at festivals internationally, including Hot Docs, DOC NYC, United Nations Film Festival and Seattle International and have been featured in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed and Mother Jones. Her film Where We Stand, about a courageous and controversial group of Mormon feminists, is currently traveling the country. She is the recipient of the Southern Environmental Law Center's Media Fellowship and teaches at Diablo Valley College. She holds an M.F.A. in documentary film and video from Stanford University and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from New York University. She proudly hails from central New York and North Carolina.

Melissa Langer (producer) is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer based in Oakland. She holds an M.F.A. in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University and a B.A. in History from Carleton College. Her short films include Treasure Island, Hauled Out and Terms of Intimacy. Her most recent film, My Aleppo, tells the story of a young Syrian family in South Africa as they struggle to retain ties to the ancient city of Aleppo. She is the recipient of a UFVA Carole Fielding Grant and her films have premiered at Telluride Film Festival, SXSW, IDFA and MoMA's Doc Fortnight.
Film Details
  • Language(s): English
  • Director(s): Catharine Axley
  • Producer(s): Kristine Stolakis, Melissa Langer
  • Cinematographer(s): Catharine Axley
  • Editor(s): Catharine Axley
  • Website:

FSP 1562