Opening Night Gala:
ALETHEA ARNAQUQ-BARIL | CANADA | 2016 | 85 MIN | DOCUMENTARY
Wednesday 19 October 2016 | 7:00 PM
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
In this highly anticipated film, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril sheds a powerful and hard light on anti–seal hunting campaigns and the relevance of the hunt to the lives of the Inuit. Long a vital source of food and income for the Inuit, the seal hunt has been disrupted by high profile, international campaigns fronted by celebrities and led by well-funded animal rights organizations. The ensuing bans on seal products – particularly from Europe – have caused financial devastation to northern communities, creating what the filmmaker calls the Inuit Great Depression.
The tides, however, are beginning to turn as an emerging group of Inuit activists – armed with their own sense of humour and justice – insert themselves into the international discussion. Utilizing social media, these thoughtful, grassroots warriors push back against corporate profiteering and political might to ensure their place in the global economy while also protecting the fragility and stewardship of the Arctic. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril has created a landmark work that challenges, informs and – like all great documentaries – convinces us that the world must change.
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Inuk) is an award-winning filmmaker from the Canadian Arctic, where her production company, Unikkaat Studios, is based. She is known for her award-winning works Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, Inuit High Kick, Lumaajuuq: The Blind Boy and the Loon, and the animated short Sloth. She was an executive producer on Miranda de Pencier’s award-winning Throat Song and co-produced both Arctic Defenders, a feature documentary by John Walker, and, with White Pine Pictures, the feature documentary Experimental Eskimos. Most recently, Alethea directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of imagineNATIVE’s second Embargo Collective.