Inuit film festival gets underway in Ottawa

An Inuit film festival premieres Wednesday night in Ottawa.

It’s called qaummatitsiniq nunarjuamit qaujimajakkanik which means “lighting up the world with my knowledge” in English.

The collection of six short films uses various forms of media to get its point across – from traditional and computer animated to archival and more recent video.

The films are being broadcast on the Kipnes Lantern, a glass tower outfitted with LED screens, outside the National Arts Centre for all the public to see.

Inuit artist Asinnijaq, originally from Nunavik and now based in Montreal, is the curator of the Northern Film Festival.

“As for what holds all of them together, I think that they’re films that are grounded at their most core place in love and in celebrating our culture,” she says.

Echo Henoche’s film uses hand-drawn animation to show a fierce polar bear turned to stone by a shaman.

Megan Kyak-Monteith’s “Large Feast on a Bed of Cardboard” uses both paint and computer animation.

While Asinnijaq’s own “Three Thousand” utilizes video and computer animation to look at Inuit life past, present and future.

She says one of the advantages of the festival is that it is being broadcast outside.

“I think it’s always really incredible to get to share our stories and also to get to create moments where people stumble into things. And all of a sudden you’re watching some movies on the sidewalk.”

The film festival runs March 16 to 20 in the nation’s capital.

Fraser spent the last 20 years working in both print and radio in Saskatchewan – mostly in the northern part of the province. Before joining APTN’s Ottawa bureau, he was news director for the Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation working out of their Prince Albert office. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Carleton University and a diploma of journalism from Algonquin College.

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