Molly of Denali
PBS KIDS to Launch MOLLY OF DENALI, First Nationally Distributed Children's Series to Feature Alaska Native Lead Character
Joe ‘Waats’asdiyei Apayuk Yates is Haida currently living in Anchorage and got to attend an intensive script-writing fellowship. He and the five other Alaska Native writers spent a week working closely with producers and animators at Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver.
Intro: Molly of Denali
Premiered on July 15, 2019 on PBS KIDS, MOLLY OF DENALI, a co-production of WGBH, Atomic Cartoons and CBC, is the first nationally distributed children’s series featuring an Alaska Native lead character. The animated action-adventure comedy aimed at children ages 4-to-8 features the adventures of Molly Mabray and her friends, who live in the fictional interior Alaska village of Qyah. This trailblazing series transforms the way Alaska Native, Native American and First Nations people are portrayed on screen by including these voices in all aspects of production.
Listen to 'Wáats'asdiyei's Interview With KUAC.
‘Molly of Denali’ writer visits Cordova, Ak
"Yates served as head writer on an episode of “Molly of Denali” focusing on Native Youth Olympics games. For Yates, writing an episode that was both funny and informative posed a challenge. According to the terms of one of the grants funding the series, each 11-minute episode must include two minutes of information on particular relevant topics." - Cordova Times
Wáats’asdíyei (Joe) Yates of Molly of Denali here in Sacramento.
"He has been active in the production of the Molly of Denali PBS program. Joe Yates is one of several writers for the new PBS show Molly of Denali. He was one of the main writers for the Native Youth Olympics episode and writing in other episodes that are still in animation production." - San Fransisco Tlingit & Haida Central Council
University of Alaska - Clarity Magazine
“I just started learning about flm two years ago,” said Yates, a fellowship writer on the project, and media employee and third-year flm student at UAF. “I just wrote my frst script two years ago, so to be one of the fellowship script writers is very humbling.” - 'Wáats'asdiyie (Joe) Yates
MOLLY OF DENALI Scriptwriting Fellowship recipients:
Aaluk Edwardson (Iñupiaq): an artist, playwright, educator, and actor from Utqiagvik who works at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.
Anna Hoover (Unaangax): an award-winning filmmaker and project coordinator for the First Light Alaska project. She grew up in Egekik and now lives in Naknek.
Frank Henry Kaash Katasse (Tlingit): an actor, playwright, and director living in Juneau.
June Thiele (Athabascan and Yup’ik): an actor and playwright, who is originally from Alaska and now lives in Chicago.
X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell (Tlingit): a playwright, multimedia artist and associate professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Alaska Southeast.
Joe ‘Waats’asdiyei Apayuk Yates (Haida): an award-winning documentary filmmaker and University of Alaska Fairbanks student.