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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 17, 2001 - Issue 49


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Atanarjuat Chosen as Canada's Official Oscar Entry


 by National Post

Photo Credit: M H Cousineau©Igloolk Isuma Productions
Canada has selected Atanarjuat, an Inuit-language film that won honours at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals, as its entry in the foreign-language film category at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Director Zacharias Kunuk's historical thriller Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) had its world premiere at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival, where it won the Camera d'Or, and was named best Canadian feature at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Set in Igloolik, a community of 1,200 people on a small island in the Baffin region, Atanarjuat is based on a centuries-old story from the Igloolik area. It tells of a community torn between feuding families in a blend of murder, revenge and the supernatural.

The story stuck with director Kunuk since he first heard it as a bedtime story. He and writer Paul Apak Angilirq collected oral versions of an Inuit legend from several elders, collated them into a story, submitted the story to the elders for suggestions, and then filmed it as a collaborative expression of the group's memory.

''We're happy the outside world accepted it,'' Mr. Kunuk said of the reception accorded his movie.

Canada's Official Selection - Foreign Language Oscar !

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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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