Tom Burke has been making film and video projects of varying scales and styles for over a decade. Working primarily in the documentary form, he frequently assumes a shooting director role, and will often also contribute to the editing process of his own films. Regardless of format or output medium, the goal is always the same: telling great stories to the highest narrative and visual standards, and always with respect for those in front of the lens.
Sitting atop a melting permafrost, battered by coastal erosion and aggressive summer melt waters, Newtok, Alaska is set to be the first American town lost to climate change. Newtok is not supposed to survive. Forces far stronger than the people who call it home are lining up against the town; winter storms grow more fierce each year and steal more of the coastline; summer meltwaters surge down the Ninglick river and erode the edges of the town; global warming, felt more keenly this far north, is melting the permafrost on which the town is built. This is the local story with global significance. Three hundred and seventy five American citizens call Newtok their home, for now. The plan is to abandon the town, and start again 9 miles up the river on higher, more solid ground. The community is divided between those determined to stay, and those equally determined to move. They are fighting the weather, the indifference of state agencies and now, finally, each other.