North House Folk School’s annual Winterer’s Gathering and Arctic Film Festival — which celebrates the culture and traditions of northern winters across the globe — has gone mostly virtual for 2020. The festival is already underway, but there’s still plenty to experience.
The stunning still above is from This Mountain Life, a 2018 documentary by Grant Baldwin about people obsessed with mountains. At the heart of the movie is Martina Halik and her 60-year-old mother, Tania, who are attempting to ski-trek 1,429 miles from Canada to Alaska via the treacherous Coast Mountains. The course has only been charted once, and never by two women.
The gorgeously shot film also profiles a group of nuns who live in a faraway mountain retreat, a snow artist, and a couple that has been living off the grid in the peaks of British Columbia for nearly 50 years.
This Mountain Life is available for free streaming from 12 p.m. CT on Tuesday, November 17 until 12 p.m. CT on Friday, November 20, with a free filmmaker Q&A scheduled for 12 p.m. that Friday; advance registration is required for both the screening and Lunch & Learn.
Other virtual highlights from Winterer’s Gathering include a free webinar on The Puffins of North Greenland with Dr. Jennifer Burnham, director of the Augustana Center for Polar Studies (Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.) and a free Cold Snap Poetry Slam performed via Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. Advance registration is required.
If you live near Grand Marais, you can join fellow filmgoers at the North House campus for a 90-minute outdoor Arctic Shorts Film Festival on Friday, Nov. 20. Screening times are staggered: 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. Attendance is limited to groups of up to 5 people, with a total audience capacity of 45 (plus staff) per session. Each group gets its own fire pit to keep toasty while maintaining social distance. Masks are required, as is advance registration, but the festival itself is free. Visit northhouse.org for more info.
North House Folk School
500 W. Hwy. 61, Grand Marais, MN; 218-387-9762.