Keep Talking joins Kartemquin

We are delighted to announce that Keep Talking is a new Kartemquin project.

Directed and produced by Karen Lynn Weinberg, Keep Talking begins in the summer of 2013 in Kodiak, Alaska. When she started filming it was estimated that there are 33 fluent native speakers of the Kodiak Alutiiq language remaining. The Elder speakers share a painful past with many indigenous communities; they were brutally punished by American schoolteachers for speaking their native tongue.

The film takes us on a journey to small towns and remote villages as we follow the participants of the first and second ever Dig Afognak Language Camp on Afognak Island. We follow the camp participants into their everyday lives to understand why they have made language their life’s mission. During this year we gain intimate access to Elder “language fishing” sessions and “new words councils” as well as other efforts on the front lines of this movement. Language preservation, at its core, is an act which connects with the basic human struggle for a sense of identity and community. We explore this world of ancient words with anthropologists, linguists, Elders, teachers, campers and village children. As one learner explains, “language IS culture.” Keep Talking takes an in-depth look at the struggle to preserve endangered languages by telling the story of a few dedicated learner/teachers who are racing the clock to save the voice of their people.

Karen and her crew - Cinematographer Nara Garber, and Sound Recordist Matt Sutton - recently returned from a shoot in Kodiak that completed their principal photography. Listen to an interview with Karen from KMXT radio while she was on location.

Please like us on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at @keeptalkingfilm for updates. Also you can check out the film’s website at to view a short teaser.

The first longer sample from the film will be unveiled at the Kartemquin Gala on September 5th, 2014. Director/Producer Karen Lynn Weinberg and Co-Producer Kari Sherod, as well as Native Village of Afognak Tribal Administrator Melissa Borton will be in attendance.