“World School” exhibit and film aims to inspire travel and education

WorldschoolPICBackpacks and a suitcase bulging with books. That’s all Alaska filmmaker, Mary Katzke and her son, Corin Katzke took when they sold everything and left Anchorage on a one-way trip to Ireland in 2010. They continued to travel across three continents with no set itinerary for what was then Corin’s entire fifth grade school year.

Photographs from the Katzkes’ year-long adventure will be shown during the “World School” exhibit at Hugi Lewis Studios beginning this Friday, Sept 6, 5 p.m. Showings will continue throughout the month. The accompanying “World school” documentary film will screen at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub, Sept. 16, 5:30 p.m.

“It’s life changing and I can’t recommend it highly enough to break away out of the box and to free yourself of that daily grind,” Mary said of the experience. “It gives you a place in the world.”

The Katzkes traveled to 29 countries sprawled across Europe, Africa and Asia. Mary homeschooled Corin throughout the year but he was able to visit six different schools in six different countries.

Corin recalled learning how to make waffles in Iceland, taking dance lessons in Thailand and playing soccer with children in Scotland.

“She (Mary Katzke) has a well-known name as a professional filmmaker. She is known to put together good quality work,” D.K. Johnston, who runs the website alaskafilmakers.com, said.

Johnston had Mary visit his Documentary Film Production class at UAA last spring because he was familiarized with the high caliber of her work while collaborating with her and other filmmakers on the documentary, “Day in Our Bay.”

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He said several people eagerly anticipate “World School.”

As the director and producer of Affinityfilms, Inc., a nonprofit educational media organization based in Anchorage, Mary has several works under her belt including, “Sea of Oil,” and “Survive and Thrive.”

Katzke said the film “World School” was written and edited by Vanessa Cochran, a frequent collaborator on Affinityfilms’ productions. Cochran has worked with heavy hitters like Diane Sawyer and Tom Brokaw. The music score was composed by Josh Sulfano, a musician from Los Angeles.


Mary and Corin will be at the exhibit and the film screening for questions and answers. A preview of the film, “World School” can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC10m0CieQ8&feature=youtube_gdata_player.

Pictures can also be found on the “World School” Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/worldschoolfilm.

The “World School” photo exhibit is free of admission. Tickets for the screening of the “World School” film at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub are currently available for purchase.

TNL will run a full article with more details and photographs in the Sept. 10 issue coming soon.