Screening Programme: Isuma Collective (Nunavut)
From 1pm Tuesday-Friday
From 2pm Saturday
One Day in the Life of Noah Puggatuk
In April 1961, John Kennedy is America’s new President, the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in arctic Canada. In Kapuivik, North Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives at Piugattuk’s hunting camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change. Boss is an agent of the government, assigned to get Piugattuk to move his band to settlement housing and send his children to school so they can get jobs and make money. But Kapuivik is Piugattuk’s homeland. He takes no part in the Canadian experience; and cannot imagine what his children would do with money.
One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk opened at the Canadian Pavillion of the Biennale de Venezia 2019, as a 4K digital video installation.
My Father's Land
Mixing scenes from past and present, My Father's Land looks at the meanings between Inuit history and modern mining in North Baffin Island; how new media is used to inform and consult Inuit leading up to July 2012 Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Final Public Hearings on Baffinland's $6 billion Mary River proposal to build the world's largest iron mine on Inuit land between Igloolik and Pond Inlet. Watch complete film on iTunes; more information on Digital Indigenous Democracy and Human Rights at www.isuma.tv/DID.
In 1985, the Inuktitut-language video, From Inuk Point of View, broke the race-barrier at Canada Council for the Arts when Zacharias Kunuk became the first Inuit or Indigenous applicant ruled eligible to apply for a professional artist’s grant.
Kunuk was the video’s director; Norman Cohn was cameraman; Paul Apak was editor; and elder Pauloosie Qulitalik told the story, and by 1990, the four partners formed Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. to produce independent video art from an Inuit point of view.
Early Isuma videos featuring actors recreating Inuit life in the 1930s and 1940s were shown to Inuit at home and in museums and galleries around the world. Over the next ten years Isuma artists helped establish an Inuit media arts centre, NITV; a youth media and circus group, Artcirq; and a women's video collective, Arnait Video Productions.
In 2001, Isuma’s first feature-length drama, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, won the Camera d’or at the Cannes Film Festival; in 2002, both Atanarjuat and Nunavut (Our Land), a 13-part TV series, were shown at Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany.
Isuma’s second feature, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, opened the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, and its third feature, Before Tomorrow, written and directed by Igloolik’s Arnait Video Productions women’s collective, was screened in World Cinema Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2008, Isuma launched IsumaTV, the world’s first website for Indigenous media art, now showing over 6,000 films and videos in 84 languages. In 2012, Isuma produced Digital Indigenous Democracy, an internet network to inform and consult Inuit in low-bandwidth communities facing development of the Baffinland Iron Mine and other resource projects; and in 2014, produced My Father’s Land, a non-fiction feature about what took place during this intervention.
Recent projects include the feature drama, Maliglutit (Searchers), the TV series, Hunting With My Ancestors, and the first Haida-language feature film, Edge of the Knife. Most recently, Kunuk, Cohn and the 30-year Isuma media art project was named to represent Canada at the 2019 Venice Biennale.