Rebirth of a Reef
Main Film Contact:
Andrew Burton (WelcomeToNewtok@gmail.com)
Directors: Michael Kirby Smith, Andrew Burton
Michael Kirby Smith and Andrew Burton are documentary filmmakers and photojournalists who have covered conflict, protest, natural disasters and presidential campaigns for outlets including The New York Times, The New Yorker and National Geographic. Their work has been honored by the Pulitzer Prize (Finalist, 2016); Sundance Institute (Grantees, 2019); Photographer of the Year International (2011) and American Photography (32 & 34). In 2016 Burton and Smith set out to make a film that showed the impact of climate change on an American community in real time.
Cast & Crew
Water threatens to erase Newtok, Alaska. Built on a delta at the edge of the Bering Sea, the tiny Yup’ik village has been dealing with melting permafrost, river erosion and decaying infrastructure for decades. To keep their culture and community intact, the 360 Yup’ik residents must relocate their entire village to stable ground upriver, while negotiating with a federal government that has failed to take action to combat climate change. In moving their village, they will become some of America’s first climate refugees in the new millennium. Newtok is a verité portrait of a village seeking justice and help in the face of climate disaster.