Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 29, 2012.

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An Alaskan couple takes a 1,000 mile journey to remote native communities embroiled in debate about open-pit gold mining.

For most Documentarians, a camera, mic, and tripod are the most important equipment. This Alaskan couple first requires fatbikes, packrafts, and warm sleeping bags to make their film, as they travel hundreds of miles over the rugged terrain of the Alaskan wilderness. Through mosquito tsunamis and sub-zero temperatures, Bjorn and Kim discover firsthand just how enormous the influences of open-pit gold mining in the roadless wilderness could be. 

Life in the 'Bush' is hard by many standards. A subsistence fisherman realizes that the salmon run will not be enough to support his family. An Iditarod dog musher takes a wrong turn and winds up 50 miles off track in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, a multi-national mining conglomerate seeks feasible profits in a place that is hundreds of miles from existing infrastructure.

'Where the Heck is Donlin?' Most Alaskans have never even heard of the Donlin Gold Mine, despite the fact that this proposal would dwarf every gold mine in the state's history. Information on this project is scarce, and failed to answer many of Bjorn and Kim's critical questions. So they took their inquiry to the trail, to meet people see the land, and learn about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of large-scale mineral development in this rural region.

It turns out that Donlin is possibly just around the bend, but what exactly this spells for the fate of the Kuskokwim region, and Alaska at large, is still very vague. The purpose of this film is to ignite conversation, raise awareness, and promote critical thinking as decisions are being made now that will affect future generations for centuries and perhaps millennia to come.

Link to Dancing Man Knives and Ulus: http://dancingmanknives.com/

FAQ

  • Coal Point Seafoods here in Homer Alaska. From their website:

    "Over the past 40 years we have been busy building and fishing our boats the F/V Time Bandit, the Bold Ruler, the F/V Sea Wife, Invader, Gertrude Ann, Sadie Lady, Sukoi Bay, Freedom and the American Way.
    We have fished most Alaskan fish and shellfish species in all waters with most fishing gear types, from Ketchikan to the Bering Sea. We have also rehabilitated and enhanced all five species of salmon and restored Salmon runs damaged by the Alaskan earthquake from Noatak to Kodiak.."

    Read more here: http://welovefish.com/index.html

    Last updated:
  • Kim and I both use Surly wheels and tires. We received a sponsorship, from Surly, of Rolling Daryl rims (82mm wide) and Larry tires (3.7 inches wide). This combination served us well and we are strongly recommend them to anyone wishing to go fat.

    Read more here:

    http://surlybikes.com/

    Last updated:
107
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    8 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you a personal postcard and a digital map of their route. This project has been the accumulation of thousands of little steps. Given enough time, these small steps can add up into something grand.

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    40 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you a personal postcard and a copy of the DVD.

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    20 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you a limited edition signed photo from their expedition and a copy of the DVD. While traveling under the aurora borealis of winter and the midnight sun of summer we have captured some amazing still photos from our adventures.

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    8 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you wild Alaskan smoked salmon and a DVD. It has been said that salmon is Alaska's most valuable resource. Try this smoked salmon and find out why.

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    3 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you an authentic Alaskan Ulu and a copy of the DVD. These Ulus are made in Alaska by a master knife maker with recycled hand saw blades and shed caribou antler. They are both beautiful and practical. (See link to find out more about these Ulus.)

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    5 backers

    Bjorn and Kim will send you a hand made birch bowl and a copy of the DVD. Our editor is also a skilled wood worker. His bowls are beautiful works of art. (See photos below)

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    5 backers

    Anyone who donates above $300 receives an Ulu, a birch bowl and a copy of the DVD. We are also offering Kim McNett's one of a kind, framed, relief print to the person that pledges the highest. The image was inspired from our expedition. (See photo of Kim's print below.)

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Funding period

- (21 days)