Inuit Cinema at the NFB
Celebrate Inuit cinema with the National Film Board of Canada’s new digital channel, Inuit Cinema at the NFB. Enjoy…
Land Creating Representation
In Hebron Relocation, photographer and filmmaker Holly Anderson revisits the 1959 forced relocation of Inuit from Hebron to communities such as Makkovik. In Miss Campbell: First Inuk Teacher, visual artist and curator Heather Campbell pays tribute to her grandmother Evelyn Campbell, one of the first licensed Inuk teachers in Labrador. In the award-winning Nalujuk Night, photographer Jennie Williams documents a fascinating annual event that takes place every January 6 in Nain, when masked figures move through the community. And in Evan’s Drum (now available to stream on NFB.ca), journalist and activist Ossie Michelin explores the revival of the Inuit drum, through the tender relationship of a mother and her five-year-old son.
The Labrador Documentary Project is led by Inuit through community collaboration and focusses on topics selected by the filmmakers through a process of reflection and community engagement. This initiative aims to elevate Indigenous storytelling in Newfoundland and Labrador, create film opportunities for Inuit, and proactively diversify our industry. The Labrador Documentary Project is produced by the NFB Quebec and Atlantic Studio (Associate Producers Jason Edmunds and Jayde Tynes, Producers Latonia Hartery, Kat Baulu and Rohan Fernando, and Executive Producer Annette Clarke).
Watch Inuit Filmmakers in Nunatsiavut! A Conversation on New NFB Shorts, featuring Lab Doc Project filmmakers Holly Andersen, Ossie Michelin, Heather Campbell and Jennie Williams, moderated by Inuit Futures director Heather Igloliorte.
Arctic Song, by Inuit artist, storyteller and co-director Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok), is an animated short about Inuit creation stories from the Iglulik region in Nunavut: the raven who brings daylight to the world, the giants who turn into mountains, and the animals that create shimmering constellations and northern lights.
The film makes traditional knowledge accessible to younger generations by combining some of Arnattaujuq’s existing graphic art with animation and Inuktitut narration. The stories are sung in haunting tones, lending a sense of meditative beauty to the film.
Arctic Song not only shares Inuit knowledge in Inuktitut, but highlights the rich world of Inuit art that has always flourished in the Canadian Arctic and continues to delight international audiences.
Credit: This video was originally published in the Press Kit for Arctic Song. COURTESY NFB.
Arctic Song represented a creative challenge for Germaine Arnattaujuq. Her artwork has always captured the essential aspects of Inuit traditional stories in one frozen image. For Arctic Song, Germaine worked with animators to draw layered backgrounds and hand-drawn characters in motion, frame by frame. With these art assets, digital painting, camera moves and Germaine’s constant directions and review, the world of Inuit traditional stories came to life.
Ever Deadly is an immersive, visceral music and cinema experience featuring Tanya Tagaq, avant-garde Inuit throat singer, and created in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan. This documentary explores Tagaq’s transformation of sound with an eye to colonial fallout, natural freedom and Canadian history.
We witness Tagaq’s intimate relationship with the Nuna—the Land—a living, breathing organism present in all forms of her improvised performances. Ever Deadly weaves concert footage with stunning sequences filmed on location in Nunavut, seamlessly bridging landscapes, stories and songs with pain, anger and triumph—all through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
“Many people have approached me with a proposal to engage in making a documentary,” says Tagaq. “I tend towards being camera shy (offstage), so it wasn’t until I was approached by a friend that a documentary happened. Chelsea was a friend I met through Rae Spoon.”
“So we jumped into making Ever Deadly. Chelsea pushes. I pull. We got riding the same caribou and off we went! This process has been exhilarating and interesting. Bringing the crew up to Nunavut was the highlight for me. Realizing that’s how I feel in the South, in your culture. I am always cautious, not quite knowing how to behave, not having a handle on the rules. Watching the crew learn how to drive an ATV on the tundra and take in the majesty of the land gave me a sense of peace. Thank you to Chelsea and the crew for taking the time to film.”
The production worked with the Piruvik Centre, an Iqaluit-based training centre founded by Leena Evic, to implement cultural competency training for the crew. Evic walked the production team through the colonial timeline and its resulting impact on Inuit culture, and the session was open to the entire studio and Tanya’s management team at Six Shooter Records.
On Evic’s suggestion, the production hosted a community feast in Cambridge Bay when they returned for their second shoot, hiring a local catering company to prepare a traditional meal.
Ever Deadly is co-created by Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan, director of My Prairie Home, and is currently in post-production. Featured performers include Tagaq’s bandmates Jean Martin and Jesse Zubot and Iqaluit-based artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Featured illustrations are by Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona, and the animation team was led by Inuk animator Glenn Gear. The chief sound recordist on the concert shoot was Alex Unger, working with a team from Tattersall Sound & Picture. Ever Deadly is produced by Lea Marin, associate produced by Kate Vollum and executive produced by Anita Lee at the Ontario Studio.
Films on NFB.ca are available to stream for free, depending on your location.
This story is part of the NFB Spotlight. View more content from the Spotlight here.
We, the hosts and organizers of Arctic Arts Summit 2022, recognize and respect the many languages of the circumpolar region. The core information on this site is presented in English and French, Canada’s two official languages, as well as in Inuktut, the most widely spoken Indigenous language in the North of Canada, and Southern Tutchone, one of the many First Nation languages in Yukon and the language of the nations on whose territory the in-person Summit will be hosted. The discursive and artistic content on this platform will be available in the language in which it was submitted and/or created.
We acknowledge the predominance of English on the site. This is, in part, a reflection of the use of English as a widely understood language throughout the circumpolar region today. We will, however, encourage and actively seek to include content that reflects the many languages of the North.
The hosts and organizers of Arctic Arts Summit 2022 acknowledge and affirm the Articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and recognize the inherent rights and historical territories of Indigenous peoples across the North and around the world. We recognize and respect the First peoples of the many lands of the circumpolar region.
Connection to land, territories, histories, and cultures are fundamental to our sense of who we are as peoples and societies. We honour this connection and commit to our shared journey of conciliation as we work to build an equitable, sustainable, just, and collaborative future for all.
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