Thursday, January 6, 2022

Congratulations to our Visiting Assistant Professor of Screenwriting, Alessandra Bautze, for winning the Best Screenplay award at the Anchorage International Film Festival! Alessandra dedicated her award to her students in the B.A. in Screenwriting Arts program, many of whom encouraged her to finish the script.

Screenwriting Professor and award winner Alessandra Bautze stands on stage at film festival, receiving award.

Alessandra's screenplay Racing the Wolf God is a drama set in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska. After ten years in prison, Kim, a 26-year-old Yup’ik woman and former champion musher, returns to her hometown of Bethel, Alaska. But freedom isn’t what she expected it to be. She struggles to reconnect with her younger sister Helen and adhere to the terms of her parole. So when she gets a job at a sled dog racing kennel run by the enigmatic and no-nonsense Ms. Tillie, she sees the potential in an abused dog and vows to race the Kuskokwim 300 again. Thrust back into a world that she thought she left behind, she must confront her past, try to deal with the trauma of her incarceration, and find a way to reclaim her identity.

While in Anchorage, in addition to attending the film festival, Alessandra visited the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center and the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the Yup’ik community. She also visited a working mushing kennel to learn more about the inner workings of dogsled racing.