Skip to content

Tootoo documentary had to be authentic

Production team plans three visits to Rankin Inlet to participate in hockey, traditions and hunting
The team making Jordin Tootoo’s documentary said it was imperative to Tootoo that it be filmed partially in Rankin Inlet to truly understand the former NHL player’s story. Photo courtesy of ScoreG Productions ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒌᒃᑐᑦ ᔪᐊᑕᓐ ᑐᑑᑉ ᒥᒃᓵᓄᑦ ᑕᕐᕆᐅᓯᐅᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᑐᑐᒧᑦ ᑕᕐᕆᔭᐅᑎᓕᐅᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᓚᖓᓂᒃ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ ᑐᑭᓯᐅᒪᓪᓚᑦᑖᕈᓐᓇᖁᑉᓗᒋᑦ Hᐊᑭᖅᑎᕐᔪᐊᖑᓚᐅᖅᑑᑉ ᐅᓂᑉᑳᖅᑐᐊᖓᓂᒃ.

They loved his story, put together a proposal and met his family – but Jordin Tootoo had one caveat before Adam Scorgie and his team could get to work on filming the hockey star’s documentary: they had to truly understand where he came from.

“We’re like, man, absolutely,” said Scorgie. “We wouldn’t plan on making this film and not going to Rankin Inlet.”

The production team had planned to visit Rankin Inlet in March for the Terence Tootoo Memorial Tournament, which was named in memory of Tootoo’s older brother, who committed suicide in 2002. The 2022 tournament was cancelled Feb. 7 due to Covid concerns, though.

Tootoo himself worked through challenges during his hockey career, including checking himself into rehab for alcohol addiction in 2010. Sober since then, Tootoo is in a perfect position to genuinely reflect on everything he’s been through, said Scorgie.

“He’s not afraid to talk about anything that has caused him trauma or hurt in the past, which is vital for a documentary, that you’re going to be open and honest about every aspect of your life, not just the great parts, but the dark moments too,” he said. “That makes great television. You have to have conflict and resolution.”

The production team also plans to make two other trips to Rankin Inlet to go hunting and engage in traditional activities. Scorgie said that’s why he became a filmmaker – to experience different cultures, learn about people, put together a cinematic story and share it. He’s already prepared to eat raw beluga, or anything else Tootoo tells him he has to do.

“(I told him) I will follow whatever tradition you want, I’m game,” said Scorgie. “I was like, I don’t know how well I’m going to stomach it, but I’m down to try it.”

The group will also be shooting in Alberta, Nashville and other locations to follow Tootoo’s journey from minor leagues to the NHL.

The documentary is expected to be done in about 18 months, with initial release at film festivals and then on Super Channel. Scorgie hopes to also have a limited theatrical release.

He said his team is chomping at the bit to get to Rankin Inlet.

“We can’t wait to go on this journey with him and his family,” said Scorgie. “I truly feel blessed and honoured that Jordin chose our team to be able to tell his story.”

Jordin Tootoo and the ScoreG Productions team gather for a team photo. From left to right are producer Shane Fennessey, Jordin Tootoo, producer Adam Scorgie and director Michael Hamilton. Photo courtesy of ScoreG Productions