February 11, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is pleased to announce that on the eve of its Berlinale premiere the NFB doc Angry Inuk (NFB/Unikkaat Studios, in association with EyeSteelFilm), by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, has won the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Social Justice Award for Documentary Film.
“Thanks so much to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for daring to program a film that challenges beliefs that are deeply ingrained in the United States. Winning this social justice documentary prize will surely help to get this film seen more widely in the United States, which is especially important because powerful American organizations and celebrities have devastated native Inuit communities. Fixing the damage is so very doable, and the support of SBIFF is an important step in getting the message out that Inuit hunters are the guardians of the Arctic and its animals. On behalf of the entire Angry Inuk team, nakurmiik,” said Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
Angry Inuk screens at the Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday, February 12, at 10 p.m. at the CineStar IMAX (E), with repeat screenings on Tuesday, February 14, at 1 p.m. at Cubix 8, Thursday, February 16, at 5:30 p.m. at CinemaxX 4 (market screening), and Friday, February 17, at 9:00 p.m. at EISZEIT Kino (Berlinale Goes Kiez series). Alethea Arnaquq-Baril is one of two Inuit women filmmakers featured in NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema, dedicated this year to Indigenous films from the Arctic Circle.
About the film
Angry Inuk introduces audiences to a new generation of Inuit who are challenging anti-sealing groups and bringing their voices into the conversation. Arnaquq-Baril and her cameras travel through the Canadian Arctic to hear from the people the animal activists rarely bother to meet—the hunters, the craftspeople, the families for whom the seal hunt is a critical part of their livelihood and survival—and follow a group of students to Europe, where they plead the Inuit case before a European Union panel.
Seal meat is a staple food for Inuit, with many of the pelts sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy—but in opposition stands an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities. Angry Inuk interweaves the reality of Inuit life with their challenge to the anti-sealing industry and to nations that mine resources on Inuit lands while simultaneously destroying the main sustainable economy available there.
Angry Inuk is an Unikkaat Studios Inc. production, in co-production with the NFB, and in association with EyeSteelFilm. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Bonnie Thompson (NFB) are the producers. Executive producers are Bob Moore, Daniel Cross and David Christensen (NFB).
Angry Inuk garnered some of Canada’s top film honours over the past year, including the Audience Award at Hot Docs, the Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award at imagineNATIVE, a selection to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) list of the top 10 Canadian films of 2016, and the People’s Choice Award at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. In addition, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, recently awarded a Meritorious Service Cross to Arnaquq-Baril for her founding of Unikkaat Studios. The film is currently touring the festival circuit outside Canada, in the United States and Europe.
NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema