Film with novice Eskimo cast opens in theaters

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- An international film festival winner with a cast of novice Inupiat actors will make its theatrical debut in cities across the country, far from the Arctic town where it was shot.

"On the Ice" opens Friday in New York and Alaska's Anchorage and Fairbanks, then expand to cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco.

The thriller is about two Eskimo teens from Barrow, Alaska, who try to cover up a tragic killing brought on by a drug-fueled fight during a seal hunt.

Director-screenwriter Andrew Okpeaha (OOK'peh-hah) MacLean says it was crucial to cast Inupiat actors. He spent part of his youth in Barrow.

It was in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and won awards at other venues, including best first feature at the Berlin film festival.