Film festival a grab bag of Alaska political history

Group preserves sometimes-obscure footage of Alaskas past

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2003

Some 50 audio, video and film recordings documenting five decades of political history in Alaska will be featured next week at the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association's presentation "Politics of the Past."

Interviews with Alaska's first territorial delegate to Congress, recordings of the state's constitutional convention and early footage of attempts to move the capital are a few of the highlights selected for the hour-and-a-half presentation.

The show will explore pivotal moments in state politics such as the vote to institute the Alaska Permanent Fund, decisions on state taxes, and pro-and-con television spots from the early days of the subsistence debate.

"One of the things we love about all of this is that it's a reminder that the issues we're dealing with today are the issues that have been alive for decades," said Francine Lastufka Taylor, executive director of AMIPA.

The presentation also delves into the wacky with legislative bloopers, footage of former lawmaker Moose Moore wrestling a bear, and a young Eric Croft, now an Anchorage state representative, telling filmmakers how he feels about Alaska.

The show will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Centennial Hall.

The Alaska Moving Image Picture Association, a nonprofit organization based in Anchorage, has worked since 1991 to preserve audio, video and film archives that document the history of Alaska. The organization is supported through state, federal and municipal funding and private donations.

"We are not saving these things to put them on the shelf. We're saving them to take them off the shelf so people can see them," said Lastufka Taylor.

Lastufka Taylor said the association holds 10,000 to 11,000 recordings of events from public meetings to various festivals to discussions on the state's fiscal gap. She said the archive was assembled through donations and by AMIPA workers who have sought out recordings that have been thrown away or stored into obscurity.

"I myself have gone Dumpster-diving at least once," Lastufka Taylor said.

Tickets to the show are $25 for AMIPA members and $35 for nonmembers.

• Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at

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