[PAST EVENT] Newtok:  A free film streaming opportunity from the Institute for Integrative Conservation

November 18, 2022 - December 31, 2022
Online streaming
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
  • Registration/RSVP
Newtok film still: Man near rising water

In collaboration with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the Institute for Integrative Conservation offers for streaming:


A Patagonia Film

Water will 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 facing a federal government that has failed to take appropriate action to combat climate change. In moving their village, they will become some of America’s first climate change refugees. This is a film of a village seeking justice in the face of climate disaster.

About the Filmmakers:

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, National Geographic, The Washington Post, TIME and Getty Images. Their work has been honored by the Pulitzer Prize (Finalist, 2016); Sundance Institute (Grantees, 2019); Photographer of the Year International (2011); American Photography (32 & 34) and PDN Photo Annual, amongst others. 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. They logged nearly 300 days in Newtok, Alaska, until production ended in 2020. In the coming years, they hope to continue supporting Newtok’s efforts to complete its move through the body of photography and reporting they completed during the creation of the film.

Marie Meade is a Yup'ik anthropologist and language professor at University of Alaska, Anchorage. Her family is originally from Kailavik, which is where the people of Newtok were located prior to the government-forced relocation to Newtok. She has been helping us conduct interviews with villagers in Yup'ik. She is considered a culture bearer throughout the Yupik communities of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.


The Institute for Integrative Conservation presents this film in collaboration with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.  Much aligned with the IIC, the WSFF is committed to presenting diverse programming and is passionate about amplifying stories from voices and perspectives that often go unheard.

As a WSFF On Tour host, the IIC offers a series of streaming and in-person film screening events to William & Mary students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the broader IIC network of conservation partners and allies. More films will be offered in 2023. Keep an eye out for more streaming and screening registration opportunities, which will be announced via the Listserv.