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Katmai National Park Film “The Ends of the Earth” Wins Award at Sondrio Festival


Katmai National Park's new film “The Ends of the Earth” has won a Special Jury Award at the Sondrio Festival in Lombardy, Italy.

"We are proud to see international recognition for the Katmai park film and that it is reaching a wide audience," said Katmai National Park Superintendent Diane Chung. "Many people do not have the means or opportunity to visit the park, so this is a way to bring the magnificence of Katmai to them."

"The Ends of the Earth" profiles the ecosystem of the Alaska Peninsula, a cloud-cloaked land of active volcanoes, rolling tundra and greatest concentration of the largest bears on earth. The film explores a remote landscape where bears outnumber people and the sockeye salmon run is the most prolific in the world. At the base of the peninsula lies the 4 million acre Katmai National Park, a wilderness larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite -- combined. Farther down the peninsula, a giant volcanic caldera emerges on the horizon, so remote that more people climb Everest every year than visit Aniakchak National Monument.

"The Ends of the Earth" premiered in May at the Bear Tooth Theatre in Anchorage with two sold out screenings, and a version was broadcast in July on PBS as a national prime time special. The film was also a finalist at the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival before winning the Special Jury Award at Sondrio. Sondrio is a unique international film festival featuring blue chip natural history films on parks and protected areas worldwide.

The Sondrio jury wrote, "The astoundingly beautiful images and shots that immortalized uncontaminated and boundless breath-taking landscapes, shots that alternate between the present and the past using the screening of short vintage films and the comical aspect of observing the difficult undertaking of the bears while catching salmon were all taken into consideration when selecting this exceptional film. But most of all, the vital message given that warns us of the potential effects due to progressive climate change and human intervention is clear, even in such remote and faraway lands."

The Ends of the Earth was written, produced and directed by John Grabowska of the National Park Service and co-produced by Roy Wood, Chief of Interpretation for Katmai National Park. Alaska Geographic, a nonprofit partner of the National Parks in Alaska, hosted the premiere of the film in Alaska and a September broadcast of the film on Alaska Public Media. Alaska Geographic is also making the film available through their bookstores.

Roy Wood, co-producer and chief of interpretation for Katmai and Aniakchak NPs, was in Sondrio to present the film and accept the award (having taken time off and traveled to Italy at his own expense).


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