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Finally, Inuit voices are being heard in the global seal-hunt debate, in Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk


January 11, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

As a phenomenal 2016 comes to an end for Iqaluit-based filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and her film Angry Inuk, things are heating up internationally for this multi-award-winning feature documentary, produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Unikkaat Studios in association with EyeSteelFilm.

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 set to make its international premiere in January at the International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes (FIPA) in Biarritz, France. The film will debut Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. at Le Colisée, followed by a screening and Q&A with the filmmaker on Jan. 27 at Le Casino Municipal, starting at 3 p.m. There will also be a special screening of the film for students on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. (TBC).

Angry Inuk travels next to California for its U.S. premiere as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Feb. 1–11). That promises to be just the first of many opportunities for American audiences to hear from the Inuit side of the seal-hunt debate, thanks to a recently concluded U.S. distribution deal for Angry Inuk with BOND/360.

Canadian news

All the international activity for Angry Inuk doesn’t mean that things are slowing down here at home.

Thanks to its selection as one of Canada’s Top 10 films of 2016 by the Toronto International Film Festival, Angry Inuk is also being featured as part of TIFF’s 16th annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. Screenings will kick off in Toronto at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Jan. 16 and 17, followed by Top Ten tour dates in the following cities (check local listings for screenings):

  • Vancouver, The Cinematheque, Jan. 13–22, 2017
  • Calgary, Globe Cinema, Jan. 13–22, 2017
  • Montreal, Phi Centre, Jan. 14–31, 2017
  • Regina, RPL Film Theatre, Jan. 19–22, 2017
  • Edmonton, Metro Cinema, Jan. 20–29, 2017
  • Saskatoon, Paved Arts – in collaboration with the Roxy Theatre, Jan. 26, 2017
  • Winnipeg, Winnipeg Film Group Cinematheque, March 2017
  • Halifax, Atlantic Film Festival & Art Gallery of Nova Scotia – at the Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre, May 1–8, 2017
  • Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, TBC

Alethea and her film are also heading to the Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse, Canada’s largest feature film festival north of 60, where Angry Inuk is the opening night gala film on Feb. 5 at the Yukon Arts Centre.

The film then opens theatrically in Quebec on Feb. 10, at the Cinéma du Parc and Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal and the Cinéma Le Clap in Quebec City.

Previously announced 2017 screenings also include the ReFrame Peterborough International Film Festival (Jan. 27 to 29) and the World Community Film Festival in Courtenay, BC (Feb. 3 to 5), with a tour of rural BC and Vancouver Island to follow.

An Unikkaat Studios Inc. production in co-production with the NFB, in association with EyeSteelFilm, Angry Inuk is produced by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Bonnie Thompson (NFB), and executive produced by Bob Moore, Daniel Cross, and David Christensen (NFB).


Angry Inuk garnered some of the country’s top film honours this past year, including the Vimeo On Demand Audience Award at Hot Docs, the Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award at imagineNATIVE, and the DOC Vanguard Award from the Documentary Organization of Canada. To top off a distinguished year, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston also recently conferred a Meritorious Service Cross to Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, for her founding of Unikkaat Studios.


Associated Links

International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival
Cinéma du Parc
Cinémathèque québécoise
Cinéma Le Clap
ReFrame Peterborough International Film Festival
World Community Film Festival

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.