During the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race the independent filmmaker Greg Kohs followed four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey along the trail. Combining that hard-won film footage with family photos, interviews and other media, Kohs produced a film which told an incredible story of one man’s dedication, endurance, and faith, not only in his own abilities, but in his dogs, and in his family, friends, fans and sponsors who helped him achieve the seemingly near-impossible.
In March the film was screened for audiences in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and in an article for Alaska Dispatch Suzanna Caldwell quoted Kohs, “What was appealing to me about Lance was his openness and honesty, he was just very authentic.” Caldwell wrote [the film] “…traces back to his early life, with family interviews, including dad and 1978 Iditarod champion Dick Mackey, along with his hard-scrabble rise over the years to becoming a legendary dog musher.”
The film was enthusiastically received by sold-out crowds in both Anchorage and Fairbanks, and this past weekend Kohs’ film, The Great Alone, won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually since 1976, is the largest, most highly-attended film festival in the United States, with over 155,000 attendees annually. This year’s SIFF showcased over 450 films, with 70 documentaries competing for top honors.