“Mesmerizing. Poetic. A fitting cinematic expansion to Tagaq’s art.”
– Radheyan Simonpillai, Globe and Mail
“So tantalizing you won’t want to look away.”
– Sarah Manvel, Critic’s Notebook
“Stunning…[connects] Tagaq’s art to her personal story, including unraveling the effects colonialism had on her family.”
– Dana Gee, Vancouver Sun
“An emotional and engaging snapshot of Tagaq’s career — one that has been so intertwined with her ancestry and spirituality.”
– Paul Dika, Exclaim!
New York, NY – May 12, 2023 – Kino Lorber announced that it has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the National Film Board of Canada documentary feature Ever Deadly, an immersive and poetic portrait of avant-garde Inuk throat singer and multi-hyphenate artist Tanya Tagaq. Co-directed by Tagaq and the award-winning documentary filmmaker Chelsea McMullan, Ever Deadly explores Tagaq’s mastery of the art of throat singing and features live performances by the singer-songwriter, novelist, and activist. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release later this year, followed by a home video release as well as a digital release on all major platforms.
Tanya Tagaq is a member of the Order of Canada, a Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, and has collaborated and recorded with Saul Williams, Kronos Quartet, Bjork, A Tribe Called Red, Buffy Sainte-Marie, F**ked Up, and many more. Ever Deadly, which made its World Premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, is her directorial debut. The film is co-directed by Canadian filmmaker Chelsea McMullan, who is best known for their acclaimed documentary films capturing artists and performers, including My Prairie Home, a portrait of transgender musician Rae Spoon, and Crystal Pite: Angels’ Atlas, profiling the ballet choreographer Crystal Pite. Ever Deadly is produced by Lea Marin, Kate Vollum, and Anita Lee for the National Film Board of Canada with cinematography by Alejandro Coronado.
Throughout her ground-breaking career, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq has always had an intimate relationship with the Nuna—the Land—a living, breathing organism present in her improvised performances. Hers is a voice that, according to the New York Times, “demands full attention, whether she’s whispering in her softest register or howling at the sky.” Ever Deadly weaves together intimate concert footage of Tagaq alongside moving personal reflections, stunning sequences filmed in Nunavut, and hand-drawn animation by Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona to seamlessly bridge history, landscapes, stories, and songs with pain, anger, and triumph—all through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
The deal for Ever Deadly was negotiated by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Oscar Rangel for the National Film Board of Canada.
“With an opening shot that features seven of the most riveting minutes I’ve ever seen in a documentary, Ever Deadly is an intimate deep dive into the life of extraordinary performer Tanya Tagaq, digging into her journey as a musical artist alongside her personal and spiritual history,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell. “Tanya’s unique artistry is celebrated throughout Canada, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce her work and her story to American audiences.”
“The National Film Board of Canada is so thrilled to have found the right partner in Kino Lorber to provide this powerful documentary its path in the U.S. market,” added Nathalie Bourdon, Director, Distribution and Market Development at the NFB.
“How exciting! We are happy to announce our partnership with Kino Lorber and our U.S. release of Ever Deadly,” said Tanya Tagaq. “Thank you so much to everyone who put time and energy into our project. It’s been a thrill watching our vision reach you. Come see our film!”
“Having the opportunity to participate in channeling Tanya’s art, voice, and life into film has been the greatest creative endeavor of my life,” said Chelsea McMullan. “Ever Deadly is meant to be an experience, to flood over you and take you on a journey guided by a live performance for the ages. I’m so excited we are partnering with Kino Lorber to bring Ever Deadly to American audiences.”
About Chelsea McMullan
Chelsea McMullan (they/them) is one of Canada’s leading filmmakers. They make documentary, experimental narrative, and hybrid films that explore the work of leading international artists. Chelsea’s latest feature, Ever Deadly, created in collaboration with Tanya Tagaq, captures Tanya’s incandescent and unforgettable artistic voice through the frame of a live concert performance shot in a single take, punctuated by documentary elements and animation by the internationally renowned Inuit artist Shuvinai Ashoona. Chelsea’s previous features, including My Prairie Home, a musical documentary about the pioneering transgender musician Rae Spoon, have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, True/False, and other leading festivals and venues internationally. They have also directed for television, including episodes of the documentary series This Is Pop (Netflix/Crave) and In the Making (CBC). Premiering on CBC and on broadcast channels internationally in 2023, their new documentary series Swan Song follows the National Ballet of Canada as it rebuilds from the COVID-19 crisis to mount one of the most ambitious productions in its history. Chelsea has also made numerous acclaimed short films about and in collaboration with major international artists such as Eileen Myles, Zhang Huan, Isabelle Marant and Ken Lum.
About Tanya Tagaq
“Tagaq doesn’t so much sing as plug herself into the Earth.” – Pitchfork
From Nunavut, Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and author. A member of the Order of Canada, a Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner and recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, Tagaq is an original disruptor, a world-changing figure at the forefront of seismic social, political and environmental change. In its many forms, Tagaq’s art challenges static ideas of genre and culture, and contends with themes of Indigenous Rights, colonialism, environmentalism, racism and violence against women and girls, in particular MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls). Tagaq’s bestselling, award-winning debut novel, Split Tooth, has been translated into German and French. A full-length feature documentary on Tanya’s life, career and art is currently in production. Split Tooth on stage, a collaboration with Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers, is scheduled to debut in Dusseldorf and BAM in 2021. Tagaq has collaborated and recorded with Saul Williams, Kronos Quartet, Bjork, A Tribe Called Red, Buffy Sainte-Marie, F**ked Up and more. She has composed pieces for the Kronos Quartet and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and created a sound installation for the National Maritime Museum in London. Tagaq has performed at many prestigious international festivals, including Dark Mofo, Bonnaroo, Big Ears, the Helsinki Festival, Aarhus and many more, and venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
From CBS’s 60 Minutes to NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Guardian and more, Tagaq’s music and writing has been covered by major publications in the USA, UK, Europe and beyond.
About Kino Lorber
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Milestone Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1300 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched pioneering “virtual cinema” releases of art house films with revenue shares that allow audiences to support almost 500 local independent theaters. Kino Lorber was honored with a Special Award from the New York Film Critics Circle for this effort. In 2021, the company launched Kino Cult, an AVOD channel specializing in new and rare, acclaimed genre films. In 2022, Kino Lorber acquired streamer MHz Choice, the leading North American destination for acclaimed international TV.
About the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.
Director, Press and Publicity | Kino Lorber
Publicist | National Film Board of Canada
French version here | Version française ici.