Gates of the Arctic National Park


Gates of the Arctic National Park is in the central Brooks Range in northern Alaska. The park is the wildest in the NPS system, and is about the size of Massachusetts, yet it hosts only one thousand visitors a year. As a client, the Gates management team wanted to communicate the values of this exceptional place to the American public, without increasing visitation to the park.

Gates of the Arctic is a one-hour documentary about the Brooks Range and the extraordinary people who live in this arctic landscape, including Inupiat Eskimo elders who were the last nomadic people in the United States. The film also details the important role that these hills played in the birth of America’s wilderness movement. North Shore’s team spent several weeks filming in these arctic mountains, traveling by floatplane, raft, snowmobile, and occasionally on foot. Narrated by Glenn Close, the film aired on public television nationwide.

 “There are no prima donnas at North Shore; rather talented people who take the time to understand your vision and a great willingness to work together and produce a high quality film that fit the collective vision. North Shore Productions gave us what we hoped for, a beautiful film capturing the interplay of the elemental intensity of the place and the life that succeeds in the arctic.”

— Don Pendergrast, Chief of Interpretation, Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve

Project Details: 

  • One-hour broadcast documentary that reached 86% of the U.S. public television audience.
  • Filmed over five trips to the Brooks Range of Alaska.
  • Total of seven weeks of backcountry wilderness shooting.
  • New skills added: snowmobile riding, wilderness rafting, and backcountry espresso.

Awards & Festivals:

  • Official Selection of nine film festivals worldwide including, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the American Conservation Film Festival
  • Three Telly Awards
  • NAI Media Award
  • Communicator Award of Excellence