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|From an October 31, 2011
NFB press release...
From the NFB film The Netsilik Eskimo Today
Courtesy NFB; 1972
The National Film Board of Canada and Inuit Partners'
Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories
A landmark DVD and online resource featuring
the world's greatest collection of Inuit film
The National Film Board of Canada's (NFB) Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories will make its world premiere on November 2 as part of the gala event - From Eskimo to Inuit in 40 Years - commemorating the 40th anniversary of the national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The landmark Inuit audiovisual legacy project's launch will be held in Ottawa, the nation's capital at the National Gallery of Canada and feature film screenings, traditional songs and dances, and personal accounts. The Premier of Nunavut, the Honourable Eva Aariak, will be in attendance, as well as national Inuit leader Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and other dignitaries.
The Ottawa launch will be followed by a tour of Inuit communities across the Arctic where a series of screenings of Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories will take place in communities in the four Inuit regions: in Iqaluit (Nunavut) on November 7; in Kuujjuaq (Nunavik, northern Quebec) on November 8; in Nain (Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland-Labrador) on November 17; and on November 23 in Inuvik (Inuvialuit, Northwest Territories).
An advisory committee comprised of representatives from key Inuit organizations has helped to ensure that Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories reflects the interests of all Inuit regions. This committee includes Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Makivik Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Avataq Cultural Institute, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government's Torngasok Cultural Centre. Project development advisors are Martha Flaherty, Peter Irniq and Zebedee Nungak.
Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories brings together 70 years of the National Film Board of Canada's films by and about Inuit [http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/unikkausivut/collection.php] drawn from more than 110 titles - the most important collection of Inuit films in the world. It is a comprehensive new resource for understanding and preserving the history, stories and perspectives of Inuit peoples, and is available as both in DVD format and online.
On DVD, Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories is a two-volume box set of three discs each, featuring 24 new or classic NFB Inuit films. The box set provides a sweeping chronological view of the NFB Inuit collection from 1942 to 2010. Disc 1 features the NFB's classic ethnographic films from the 1940s to the 1960s, including Douglas Wilkinson's 1949 short How to Build an Igloo, one of the most watched films at NFB, and John Feeney's 1958 Oscar-nominated film about Inuit art, The Living Stone. Disc 2 chronicles the birth of truly Inuit cinema with such films as Natsik Hunting, the first live-action film shot and directed by an Inuk, as well as films that explored Inuit issues as never before, including Barry Greenwald's NFB/Investigative Productions Inc./White Pine Pictures documentary Between Two Worlds. Disc 3 offers an overview of contemporary Inuit cinema in all its richness and diversity, with works like If the Weather Permits, Elisapie Isaac's award-winning look at the challenges of preserving Inuit culture in the modern age, and Martha of the North, Marquise Lepage's exploration of a forced Inuit relocation as seen through the eyes of Martha Flaherty, produced by the Les Productions Virage in collaboration with the NFB. Films in Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories will be available in English, French and Inuktitut, versioned in the dialects of each of the four regions in which they were made: Nunavut, Nunavik, Inuvialuit and Nunatsiavut.
The set is to be distributed free to schools and other institutions in the 53 Inuit communities in the four Inuit regions of Canada – Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut, and will also be available for purchase for home and institutional use.
As of November 2, visitors to NFB's Unikkausivut website will also have access to more than 40 films online (with more titles added constantly), where they can stream films free of charge, including new titles from the NFB's Nunavut Animation Lab project and Stories from Our Land collection.
Users will also be able to access news about Inuit productions and NFB development initiatives in the North, and purchase films to download. With over 110 documentary and animated films by and about Inuit, the NFB will be adding more films online on a regular basis.
Thanks to an agreement with Taqramiut Nipingat Inc., Nunavik's network of community television stations will broadcast a selection of films from Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories and the NFB collection, with seven hours of programming each week from November 2011 to August 2012, on stations reaching 14 villages across the region.
Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories is an NFB initiative in collaboration with the Inuit Relations Secretariat of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Government of Nunavut, Department of Education with the support of Inuit organizations. The shared objective is to contribute, in a lasting way, to the promotion of Inuit culture by providing Inuit communities with increased accessibility to their own audiovisual heritage and to provide all Canadians the opportunity to discover the traditions, culture, values and points of view of Inuit, who have shaped the history of Canada and continue to shape contemporary Canadian society.
"At the Inuit Relations Secretariat of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, our goal is to bring people and ideas together to raise awareness of Inuit and address their issues. So when the NFB approached us with the concept for Unikkausivut: Sharing our Stories, we recognized the amazing opportunity to use their one-of-a-kind collection of Inuit films as a catalyst to create a better understanding among Canadians of the traditions, history and point of view of Inuit. I would like to thank the NFB and Inuit organizations, who guided the project, for the opportunity to partner with them and create this rich audiovisual legacy. Our hope is that this collection of films will give Inuit a lasting record of their vibrant culture and a strong sense of pride in their history, while providing all Canadians the opportunity to appreciate how Inuit have, and continue to shape and enrich our country," said Christopher Duschenes, Executive Director, Inuit Relations Secretariat, Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
For more information:
Lily Robert, Director of Corporate Communications, NFB