Jacob Adams Sr. of Utqiaġvik

A whaling captain who opposed passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, then made the end result work for his people. An artist who survived a near drowning to become a world-renowned carver and metalsmith. Early state political leaders and the first — and so far only — Alaska Native Superior Court judge.

The stories of six leaders who helped shape Alaska’s political, social and cultural landscape are told in the documentary series “Magnetic North: The Alaskan Character.” Selections framed around a theme of resilience will show Friday at the Anchorage International Film Festival.

The screening will take place at the Anchorage Museum starting at 6:30 p.m. Plan to arrive early. The First Friday event is free with seating first come, first served. The documentary series was produced by the Alaska Humanities Forum in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation. The films were written and directed by longtime Alaska documentary filmmaker Marla Williams. At the screening, she will host a discussion on her filmmaking and experiences with these individuals.

The series explores the personality of character of: Iñupiaq leader and whaling captain Jacob Adams Sr. of Utqiaġvik; Tlingit carver Nathan Jackson of Ketchikan, who was Rasmuson Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Artist; the late Roy Madsen, who is of Sugpiaq-Alutiiq descent and served as a Superior Court judge in Kodiak; retired businesswoman and politician Arliss Sturgulewski of Anchorage; commercial fisherman and retired politician Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove; and former Gov. Bill Sheffield of Anchorage. Excerpts from five of the six films will be shown; Sheffield’s is still in progress.

“Collectively, they challenge preconceived notions of the Last Frontier, promote a richer understanding of its unique identify, and speak to our shared experience of life in contemporary Alaska,” according to Alaska Humanities Forum.

{Read a story here about how Magnetic North came to be.}

Learn more about the film festival here.