Canadian Inuit film and culture showcased in Cambridge, U.K., at “Arctic Film Festival: Voices from the North”

by aanationtalk on March 21, 2013650 Views

Montreal, March 20, 2013― Distinguished Inuit artists Aaju Peter and Elisapie Isaac ( If the Weather Permits) and filmmakers Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs ( Vanishing Point) will join Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada, and Susan Gregson, Deputy High Commissioner for the High Commission of Canada, for Arctic Film Festival: Voices from the North, a week-long celebration of Inuit film in Cambridge, England, from March 17–24. 

The festival is a co-presentation with Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, the Cambridge Science Festival and the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute, showcasing the achievements of Inuit filmmakers with screenings at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse as well as a panel discussion at the Museum. 

The Inuit have lived in Canada’s North for millennia and have a vibrant tradition of passing knowledge from one generation to the next using visual arts and storytelling. With the world’s greatest collection of Inuit cinema, the NFB is partnering with Inuit communities on sustainable media initiatives across Canada’s vast North.  

The NFB’s participation in the Artic Film Festival follows its release of the landmark audiovisual project Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories, which brings together 70 years of NFB films by and about the Inuit—more than 100 films, and growing. 

NFB at the Arctic Film Festival 

Festival screenings and events will be introduced by Aaju Peter, Elisapie Isaac, Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs. 

Aaju Peter is an Inuit rights activist, artist and interpreter who will be featured in the upcoming NFB documentary Angry Inuk, directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. Elisapie Isaac is a filmmaker and singer whose award-winning documentary If the Weather Permits will be among the titles featured at the festival. 

Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs are accompanying their film Vanishing Point, a new NFB feature documentary premiering at the Arctic Film Festival, which tells the story of two Inuit communities of the circumpolar north—one on Canada’s Baffin Island, the other in Greenland—facing rapid social and environmental change. Smith and Szucs will take part in a Q&A following the premiere. 

Acclaimed films at the festival also include Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (NFB/Igloolik Isuma Productions), the world’s first feature film in Inuktitut and winner of the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Canada leading the Arctic Council 

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum for Arctic governments and peoples, will be chaired for a two-year period by Canadian Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq, beginning May 2013. Ms. Aglukkaq has also been named by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister for the Arctic Council and will serve as Canada’s ambassador to the council. Canada last held the chairmanship of the council between 1996 and 1998. Aglukkaq helped inspire the NFB’s Unikkausivut project.  

Festival schedule 

From March 17 to 24, 10 NFB films will be featured in various film programs screening at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. Screenings will be preceded by short film presentations about the NFB and its Unikkausivut collection. 

Sunday, March 17 
4 p.m.–5:40 p.m.     Nanook of the North (Robert J. Flaherty, 1922, 79 min) 
Introduction/Q&A with Aaju Peter; moderated by Stephen A. Smith 

Monday, March 18 
4 p.m.–6 p.m.         Eskimo Summer (Laura Boulton, 1944, 16 min) 
                                      Martha of the North (Marquise Lepage, 2009, 83 min) 
Introduction/Q&A with Aaju Peter; moderated by Elisapie Isaac 

Tuesday, March 19 
6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.      Vanishing Point (Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs, 2012, 83 min) 
Introduction/Q&A with Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs 

Thursday, March 21 
5 p.m.–6:15 p.m.     How to Build an Igloo (Douglas Wilkinson, 1949, 10 min) 
                             If the Weather Permits (Elisapie Isaac, 2003, 28 min) 
Introduction/Q&A with Elisapie Isaac 

Friday, March 22     
10 a.m.–11:15 a.m.     The Owl and the Raven (Co Hoedeman, 1973, 7 min) 
                                 Pictures Out of My Life (Bozenna Heczko, 1973, 14 min) 
                                 I Am But a Little Woman (Gyu Oh, 2010, 44 min) 
                                 The Bear Facts (Jonathan Wright, 2010, 36 min) 
                                 Lumaajuuq (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, 2010, 74 min) 
Introduction with Tom Perlmutter; opening discussion with Aaju Peter, Elisapie Isaac, Julia Szucs and Stephen A. Smith 

6.00 p.m. –7.30 p.m.     Panel discussion at the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute 
Viewpoints on Inuit life today from Aaju Peter, Elisapie Isaac, Julia Szucs and Stephen A. Smith, and Tom Perlmutter 

Sunday, March 24 
2:30 p.m.–5:45 p.m.     Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, 2001, 172 min) 
Introduction with Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs 

About the NFB 

The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB’s award-winning content can be seen at and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada’s public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

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Jennifer Mair, NFB Publicist            
Tel.: 416-954-2045                
Cell: 514-206-1750                
E-mail: [email protected]                 
Twitter: @NFB_Jennifer 

Lily Robert, Director, Corporate Communications, NFB 
Tel.: 514-283-3838 
Cell: 514-296-8261 
E-mail: [email protected]


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