The Anchorage International Film Festival is back with a whole new lineup. And one new category, Made in Alaska, is shining a light on movies made right here in the 49th state.
The woods around Willow provide a perfect backdrop to the story of three brothers working to solve a mystery in the movie “Detective Detective Detective.” Justin Edwards wrote and directed the film, which stars three actors from Los Angeles and some familiar faces from Alaska.
“My sister and her family played some parts,” said Edwards. “My dad played a part in it too, so it’s kind of a half Alaskan, half LA cast.”
He says making movies in Alaska isn’t easy, giving hiking to a remote rest stop in Hatcher Pass as an example. But, Edwards says, it’s worth the work.
“When it showed up on screen, the whole place laughed,” he said. “They’re like, I know that bathroom. So it was so great to share that with them again, that hometown crowd.”
Edwards says it was great to bring his project home, especially with the announcement of the new Made in Alaska category.
“I said, ‘Absolutely,'” he said. “And that was the first category I was straight for.”
Edwards says he’s had the chance to check out some of the other films in the new category, calling it a great way to show aspiring filmmakers they don’t have to go far to be successful.
“You don’t have to go to Hollywood or New York or something,” Edwards said. “You can make films in your hometown.”
“Detective Detective Detective” is showing again this Saturday at the Alaska Experience Theatre in downtown Anchorage.
The film festival runs through Sunday, Dec. 14th. See here for a complete list of all the movies.