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Friendship, murder, and deceit in the Arctic – On the Ice is the first Alaskan feature by an Inuit director + entirely Inuit cast. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 8, 2011.

Friendship, murder, and deceit in the Arctic – On the Ice is the first Alaskan feature by an Inuit director + entirely Inuit cast.

About this project

I’m Cara Marcous, one of the producers of On the Ice – the first feature-length fiction film made in Alaska by an Iñupiaq writer/director with an entirely Inuit cast.  This film was written and directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean—an independent artist who is one of the first of many cinematic voices from a part of the world that has been profoundly under- or misrepresented in film.  We want On the Ice to be able to reach a significant national audience, and in doing so, we hope to blaze a trail for many filmmakers who are enthusiastically working towards the same goals. 

Thanks for visiting our Kickstarter page – we can’t wait to share On the Ice with all of you!

Please watch our Kickstarter video above for the lowdown on what we’re trying to do!

What is On the Ice about?

On the Ice is a suspenseful feature-length drama about two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town.  Early one morning, on a seal hunt with another teenager, an argument between the three boys quickly escalates into a tragic accident. Bonded by their dark secret, the two best friends are forced to create one fabrication after another in order to survive.  The shocked boys stumble through guilt-fueled days, avoiding the suspicions of their community as they weave a web of deceit.  With their future in the balance, the two boys are forced to explore the limits of friendship and honor. 

What inspired us to make this film?

We were inspired by the tenacity of young people in the Arctic as they balance staying true to their own traditions and heritage while engaging creatively with an avalanche of contemporary culture. We wanted to tackle head on some of the challenges—such as violence and drug abuse—that can tear apart the small isolated communities of the North.  Ultimately, we wanted to tell a story that was exciting, suspenseful, hopeful, and above all, true to the world it represents. 

What has happened with the film thus far?

On the Ice debuted in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival this past January, and then we went to Berlin, where it won the Best First Feature award as well as the Crystal Bear at the 2011 Berlinale. We were also just awarded the FIPRESCI Prize for Best New American Film at the Seattle International Film Festival. 

Why are we on Kickstarter?

Despite the success we’ve had on the festival circuit, traditional distributors are scared of a film with no famous faces, set in a community far outside the mainstream.  Awards or not, they don’t want to take a chance on a small, independent film without recognizable stars to help sell it. 

It’s been great taking this film all over the world and introducing it to audiences, but we didn’t make this film just to play it in festivals.  So we’re finding another way.  Through Kickstarter we’re hoping to raise enough to be able to release the film in at least ten theaters across the country.

Many great films over the past few years never made it to theaters because the industry couldn’t find a place for them, but with your help we can prove that it is possible for a film like ours to succeed - that audiences will come to a film with a fresh voice, a story full of suspense and humor, with characters and a world unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.  We think On the Ice deserves to be seen, and we hope you do too.


I'm excited about On the Ice - aside from donating, how can I help? 

There are so many ways you can help!  The most direct way to help is for individuals and organizations to help us spread the word to audiences far and wide.  Like our video at the top of the page and tweet it out to your friends; add us on Facebook and invite your friends to as well; make an announcement at your school, community group or church; or forward our email flyer to all your friends and family with your own personal message.  

When do you plan to release the series? 

We are planning on a late 2011/early 2012 release to theatres, retail, movies on demand, iTunes, etc.

What is your Kickstarter goal? What will the money go to? 

Our goal is to raise $80,000. These funds will be used, among other things:

  • To create our film trailer
  • To create and ship the 35mm prints
  • To pay for regional and national advertising in newspapers, magazines, on Facebook, on Twitter and elsewhere online
  • To pay for an experienced marketing and publicity consultant to help us properly advertise the film
  • To pay for an experienced team of distribution consultants to make sure that On the Ice is readily available through all possible outlets, from theaters to Netflix.

Can you exceed the goal?

Yes we can! The more funds we raise, the easier it will be for us to both market and distribute the film, and the more cities we can play theatrically!

Can donors increase pledges once they have been made? 

Absolutely! If you have already donated, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that, and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive! 

What do donors receive for giving? 

We spent a long time considering what those of you who will support On the Ice might want, aside from the film, in return for your generosity. Rewards range from a DVD and digital download of the movie for $30 to a signed, numbered museum-quality giclée print of a still from the film featuring a beautiful Alaskan vista for $500, to an authentic Alaskan experience led by an Iñupiaq guide in Barrow for $5500. For more information, just look to the right!

When will I receive my rewards?

We will be shipping all rewards just before the release, which will be late 2011/early 2012 – except for the set visit, which will take place in the two weeks immediately after the end of the campaign.

How much is shipping?

Shipping is included in all minimum pledge amounts!

Who is Lynette Howell? When can I join her on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines?

Lynette Howell is our friend and fellow producer, someone who has worked in Hollywood for several years and has produced such noted films as Blue Valentine. Her next film, The Place Beyond the Pines, is shooting from July 25th through Sept. 23rd, so you will be able to visit the set as soon as our Kickstarter campaign ends!

How will you know where to send my incentives, or what t-shirt size I wear? 

After our deadline, we will send you a Kickstarter message (which automatically forwards to the email address you gave Kickstarter) requesting all the necessary information. 

Can I give an incentive as a gift? 

Gifting an incentive is a wonderful idea! After the campaign, when we message you for details on your incentives, you can then give us the information for the person you wish to gift.

What happens if the goal isn’t reached in time?

If we don’t reach our goal, On the Ice receives no funding for its marketing and distribution. Let’s not let that happen! 

How can I contact you?

You can reach us at  – feel free to email with questions, comments, or happy thoughts! Just be aware that we get a lot of emails, so please give it a few days for us to respond! 

I want more information…

You can take a look at for more information. We also have

Once again, thanks for visiting our Kickstarter page – we hope you’re able to support us!  


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    A digital download of a deleted scene from "On the Ice".

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    179 backers

    A full digital download of "On the Ice" + a special "Thank You" on the wall of our Facebook page.

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    314 backers

    Download/Thank You + a DVD copy of "On the Ice". Includes shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    126 backers

    Download/Thank You/DVD + a limited edition crew T-Shirt. Includes shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    51 backers

    Download/Thank You/DVD/T-Shirt + an "On the Ice" movie poster with a personal note written and signed by director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean. Includes shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    34 backers

    Download/Thank You/DVD/T-Shirt/Poster + a full digital download of the breathtaking score from "On the Ice", composed by iZLER + 10 gorgeous digital images from the film and of the natural beauty of Alaska + 20 "On the Ice" postcards + A digital copy of the final shooting script of "On the Ice!" Includes shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $320 or more

    6 backers

    Download/DVD/T-Shirt/Signed Poster + your name in the "Special Thanks" of the printed DVD insert + a handwritten, signed "Thank You" note on the DVD insert. Includes shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    10 backers

    Download/DVD/T-Shirt/Signed Poster/Credit/"Thank You" note + Signed and numbered museum-quality giclée print of a still from the film! Includes shipping.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers

    Download/DVD/T-Shirt/Signed Poster/Credit/"Thank You" note/Signed Giclée + 2 tickets to a private screening of "On The Ice" in New York or Alaska with director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean and producer Cara Marcous, or in Los Angeles with producer Lynette Howell with cocktails afterwards! Includes shipping, however travel and lodging not included.

  • You selected
    Pledge $3,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Download/DVD/T-Shirt/Signed Poster/Credit/"Thank You" note/Signed Giclée/Private Screening + a visit to the set of producer Lynette Howell's next film, "The Place Beyond the Pines" (starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper). (DISCLAIMER: set is located in upstate New York, and production ends Sept. 23rd - two weeks after the end of this campaign)! Includes shipping, however travel and lodging not included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,500 or more

    2 backers

    Download/DVD/T-Shirt/Signed Poster/Credit/"Thank You" note/Signed Giclée/Private Screening + Experience Barrow, Alaska! Come to the top of the world for a guided tour of Barrow and the locations from "On the Ice". Explore the frozen ocean via snowmobile, meet members of the cast and hear stories from our shoot, see a polar bear or the northern lights, experience the midnight sun or endless night, take a picture at the northernmost point of the United States 320 miles above the Arctic Circle, try some traditional foods and visit the Iñupiaq Heritage museum! JUST ADDED: EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF DOG MUSHING OVER THE ALASKAN TUNDRA! Includes shipping, however travel and lodging not included. Or for Alaska residents or others who can't get to Alaska, come to New York City for a guided tour with Andrew & Cara!

Funding period

- (45 days)