ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A documentary detailing a 1925 delivery of life-saving serum by Alaska sled dog relay teams is opening the Anchorage International Film Festival on this week. The 5-day run to Nome on Alaska's western coast after a deadly diphtheria breakout is detailed in "Icebound," by filmmaker Daniel Anker. A national theatrical release is set for spring.
The film is narrated by actor Patrick Stewart and explores the 674-mile race against death, using black-and-white photos and film footage, interviews with survivors or their descendants, modern mushers and historians, and longtime Alaska journalists. The National Endowment for the Humanities provided $695,000 in funding for the film, which came in at nearly $1 million. The official medical record counted five diphtheria deaths in Nome, but many believe there were more.