Alaska Crews Produce Documentary “At the Edge of Tomorrow”
Little Diomede, situated along the International Dateline, is the subject of the two-part documentary At the Edge of Tomorrow.
A two-part documentary premiering on public television is the product of an all-Alaskan crew. At the Edge of Tomorrow, about life on Little Diomede Island, airs on KAKM November 16 and 23.
Looking to the Future
The film depicts the challenges facing a small Native-owned construction company working to bring running water, sewer, and basic infrastructure improvements to the Iñupiaq community of Little Diomede. A story of resilience in the face of old and new rivalries, the effects of climate change, and honoring the past while looking to the future, At the Edge of Tomorrow was shot on location on Little Diomede Island, two miles from Russia’s Big Diomede Island separated only by the International Dateline—the divider between yesterday and tomorrow.
The series follows Cliff Johnson and his team as they struggle to launch their World War II landing craft to supply Little Diomede and other remote Alaska villages with life-changing improvements during the 90-day Arctic construction season. Johnson’s operation balances on the edge between solvency and bankruptcy as it faces unanticipated setbacks and delays.
“Like the people of the region, I have my challenges, and like them, I am resilient and will persevere to bring these radical life-changing improvements to Diomede,” says Johnson, who is also one of the documentary’s executive producers.
The documentary was produced by Northern Lights Originals, an Anchorage-based production company, in association with Jensen Hall Creative, an Anchorage-based film and video house. Jensen Hall Creative founders Carolyn Hall and Scott Jensen are executive producers. Hall also served as a producer and Jensen served as director of photography and editor.
“It was an all-Alaska crew in the field, and that certainly helped us tell this uniquely Alaskan story along with the help of many people in Western Alaska and in Anchorage,” says Andy MacLeod, series director and executive producer. “We initially thought we’d be filming for nine to twelve weeks, and that was two years ago. The unanticipated delays actually helped, as we were able to gather cultural and historical background that gives the series additional perspective and context.”
The focus of the documentary is a vintage landing craft that supplies Little Diomede and other Bering Strait villages.
In addition to the broadcast premiere, the documentary is available to stream on demand on the PBS Video App and pbs.org.
“We are glad to support and share Alaska stories created by Alaskans,” says Linda Wei, chief content officer for Alaska Public Media. “It’s part of our mission as a public media organization and the best way we can reflect the communities we serve across the state.”