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Kunuk's latest effort earns 'Best Canadian Film' in Vancouver

Director Zacharias Kunuk hasn't lost his touch.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, Kunuk's new picture, was awarded "Best Canadian Film" at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival this weekend.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk was named Best Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival this weekend.
photo courtesy of Isuma Distribution International

Isuma Distribution International describes the film's premise: "Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team, just as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives in camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change."

The film was shot in northern Baffin Island. Apayata Kotierk, Kim Bodnia and Benjamin Kunuk lead the cast while Jonathan Frantz is the project's producer.

Kunuk explains his connection to the movie: "Born at Kapuivik, I was three-years-old the day our story took place. Most of our actors are related to characters in the film. When Piugattuk was ordered off our land into the government settlement of Iglulik I was forced to move too, separated from my culture, numbered E5-1263 as my Eskimo ID Number and schooled in English to get a job.

Director Zacharias Kunuk of Iglulik.
photo courtesy of Isuma Productions

"Now there’s a multinational iron mine where we used to live and hunt. I decided to be a filmmaker to tell stories like this one, in our own language from the Inuit side, about who we were and what happened to us. This film employs elders and youth, keeps our language alive and shows a side of Canadian history that most Canadians have never heard about," Kunuk stated.

His first feature film, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, won the Camera d’or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival in France.