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On the Ice (2011)

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In Barrow, Alaska, teenagers Qalli and Aivaaq find their bond tested when a seal-hunting trip goes wrong, resulting in the death of their friend.
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Josiah Patkotak Josiah Patkotak ... Qalli
Frank Qutuq Irelan Frank Qutuq Irelan ... Aivaaq
Teddy Kyle Smith Teddy Kyle Smith ... Egasak
Adamina Kerr Adamina Kerr ... Michelle
Sierra Jade Sampson Sierra Jade Sampson ... Uvlu
John Miller John Miller ... James
Rosabelle Kunnanna Rexford Rosabelle Kunnanna Rexford ... Aaka
Veron Kanayurak Veron Kanayurak ... Roscoe
Billyjens Hopson Billyjens Hopson ... Jens
Jay Rapoza Jay Rapoza ... Max
Allison Warden Allison Warden ... Sigvaun
Denae Brower Denae Brower ... Darlene
Tara Sweeney Tara Sweeney ... Dora
Tasha Taaqpak Panigeo Tasha Taaqpak Panigeo ... Charlene
Jerica Aamodt Jerica Aamodt ... Ellie


In the isolated, frozen town of Barrow, Alaska, Iñupiaq teenagers Qalli and Aivaaq have grown up like brothers in a tight-knit community defined as much by ancient traditions as by hip-hop and snowmobiles. Early one morning, on a seal hunt with their friend James, a tussle turns violent, and James is killed. Panic stricken, terrified, and with no one to blame but themselves, Qalli and Aivaaq lie and declare the death a tragic accident. As Barrow roils with grief and his protective father becomes suspicious, Qalli stumbles through guilt-filled days, wrestling with his part in the death. For the first time in his life, he's treading alone on existential ice. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and violence

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

14 December 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Na lodzie See more »

Filming Locations:

Barrow, Alaska, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,257, 24 February 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$70,526, 29 April 2012
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Filmed and set in the city of Barrow, Alaska, most of the actors were actually civilians of the town. See more »


Mom: Our son is going to college in four months. You're search and rescue. You did your search. It's over.
Egasak: If it was our son dead, you wouldn't say that.
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User Reviews

Best Alaskan Film Ever?
12 September 2018 | by mrs-worldSee all my reviews

Born and raised in Alaska, and no film I can remember has ever captured the beauty, isolation, and quiet that Andrew does. He just nails it, effortlessly. Something that no one has done.

The scenes in the home, I was standing screaming, how is it not a documentary?! Just fantastic cinematography, capturing the feeling of a family home/kitchen.

The hand-held camerawork throughout the film was beautiful and smooth. I never felt jostled or hurried, it's filmed like a ghost was present at the scene. His angles and framing were SO TERRIFIC, capturing and relating so much emotion.

You will die when you watch this film, as it calls upon so many feelings that every kid has growing up, but here it is magnified by their life in Alaska. I'd give it a hundred stars, it's one of my favourite films, it felt like a classic while I watched it the first time.

I reccomend it for anyone who is thinking about visiting Alaska, or if you are obsessed with it in general--THIS is the untold story. This is the place that tourists don't go, never see. This is the real Alaska.

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