imagineNATIVE Announces Air Canada Audience Choice Award
The 17th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is over, but one award is yet to be revealed!
After the final Festival screening on October 23, audience votes were tallied for the Air Canada Audience Choice Award. imagineNATIVE is pleased to announce that Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk is the winner. Presented by Air Canada, the $1,000 CAD award was created in 2014 to give audiences a chance to vote for their favourite film from the Festival by rating them at each screening in a special balloting system. Over 10,358 votes were cast for 96 eligible films this year.
The second runner up for the Award is The Sun At Midnight starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs. The first runner up is Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice.
Eric Lauzon, Manager Multimedia Entertainment for Air Canada congratulates the winner: “We’re proud to support films by Canadian indigenous artists and the Audience Choice Award is an exciting way for Air Canada to take our partnership with imagineNATIVE and our support for Indigenous Cinema to another level. We have been developing this relationship through our Canadian in-flight entertainment programming and are thrilled to announce that the Audience Choice Award this year is going to Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s inspiring documentary Angry Inuk.”
In Angry Inuk, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril sheds a powerful light on anti–seal hunting campaigns and the relevance of the hunt to the lives of the Inuit. The feature-length documentary follows Aaju Peter, the titular 'angry Inuk,' who has spent decades fighting the negative portrayal of the sealing industry perpetuated by animal rights activists.
Angry Inuk was the Opening Night film for the 2016 imagineNATIVE Festival where it also won The Alanis Obomsawin Best Documentary Award at imagineNATIVE’s annual Awards Gala. The film previously won the Vimeo on Demand Audience Award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival where it had its World Premiere earlier this year.
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. Alethea also recently directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of imagineNATIVE’s commission project, The Embargo Collective II in which five Indigenous women filmmakers from across Canada challenged one another to make a film under a set of restrictions tailored to each filmmaker.
Speaking about her win, Alethea said: “Every year imagineNATIVE fills my heart and mind with brilliant, inspiring and excellent work. To receive the Air Canada Audience Choice Award from this film festival means so much to me. On behalf of the whole Angry Inuk team, thank you!”
Those who may have missed the sold-out Opening Night Gala screening of Angry Inuk at imagineNATIVE are in for a real treat – the film plays next as part of TIFF's Canada's Top Ten Film Festival this month.
“The Air Canada Audience Choice Award recognizes the film that captured the hearts and minds of our audiences in a meaningful way,” said Ariel Smith, imagineNATIVE’s Executive Director. “We are absolutely thrilled with the response we’ve received for the Award from our audiences and congratulate Arnaquq-Baril and the entire Angry Inuk film team for winning this year’s Award.”
The top 3 audience favourites for imagineNATIVE 2016 as determined by audience vote are:
1. Angry Inuk - Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
2. We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice - Alanis Obomsawin
3. The Sun At Midnight - Kirsten Carthew