Alum-Made Documentary About Mushers and Their Sled Dogs Now Streaming on PBS, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+
Columbia College Chicago Alums Laurie Little MFA ’01, Anuradha Rana MFA ’10, and B. Rich MFA ‘12 are co-producers of “Musher,” a documentary now streaming on PBS, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+. The film, co-directed by Little and Rana, follows four women mushers and their sled dogs over the course of an exhilarating year as they prepare to compete at the annual Copperdog 80/150 Race held in March in the upper peninsula of Michigan. In addition to producing duties, Rich also served as the director of photography.
The “Musher” crew included many members of the Columbia community, including the following:
- Maria Abraham MFA '13, Line Producer
- John Cavallino '07, Mastering and Credits, Postproduction Editor at Columbia
- Vikas Deo, Sound Design, Adjunct Faculty Member
- Karl Geweniger '10, Digital Acquistion Technician
- Jenn Kiensler '08, Location Sound
- Alexander Joseph Perez, BA '16, Drone Camera Director of Photography
- Jess Mattison '13, Camera
- Andrew Morgan '07, Camera
- Nick Nummerdor '07, Editor
- Erika Valenciana '05, Location Sound
- Sharon Zurek, Editor, Former Faculty Member
The idea for the film came to Little, who is also an adjunct faculty member in Cinema and Television Arts, following a chance encounter and conversation with race participant Alex LaPlante, a veterinarian who was feeding her dogs in a motel parking in Copper Harbor, Mich. The following morning Little watched mushers taking off for the final leg of the Copperdog races. Soon after, she shared her iPhone footage with her colleagues Rana and Rich.
“Anu and B, being big dog lovers, were excited to see the footage and hear my story when we were out for a birthday brunch and decided then that we had to make a documentary about those amazing little canine athletes and their humans,” Little recalls.
Little, who earned her graduate degree at Columbia, connected with Rana and Rich at Columbia.
“We all learned our craft of doc filmmaking with great teachers at Columbia,” Little says. “And later, we brought our students and friends on board to help us make this film.”
Little credits Columbia not only for its teaching but for helping make the film possible thanks to two part-time faculty development grants.