Tundra Cowboy

Canada’s only free-range herd of reindeer lives on the tundra near Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Henrik Seva is a Sami reindeer herder from Sweden who lives alone and looks after the herd, and he is the focus of this beautiful documentary film. Impressive scenery panoramas from the snowy tundra are paired with a visit to Henrik’s homeland in northern Sweden during the summer; the contrasting reindeer herding history and current practice in both countries is are also presented throughout the film. Filmmaker Marc Winkler presents a powerful yet gentle image of this reindeer herder. Click here for the film’s website.

Tundra Cowboy went through a major editing process, changing from 50 minutes in length to 30, then to 45, then finally settling at 21 minutes. I consulted with Marc on the music during the whole post-production process, and consequently I had written and recorded music for several parts of the film that were eventually cut. This was a hard but good lesson to learn about film scoring, and it has made clear to me the necessity for building a very trusting relationship between myself as the composer and the director.

The film has been shown at the Yellowknife International Film Festival (winner of the Best NWT Film Award), Seattle Nordic Light’s Film Festival, West Virginia Mountaineer Festival (winner of the “Best Documentary Award”), the American Documentary Film Festival , and the Dawson City International Film Festival.