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ATANARJUAT at Documenta 11 Festival in Germany

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  • Lessard, George
    ... From: Isuma_News [mailto:news@isuma.ca] Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 10:58 AM Subject: ATANARJUAT at Documenta 11 Atanarjuat and Other Inuit Videos Featured
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2002
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Isuma_News [mailto:news@...]
      Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 10:58 AM
      Subject: ATANARJUAT at Documenta 11


      Atanarjuat and Other Inuit Videos Featured at Documenta 11

      For immediate release
      June 3, 2002

      Recently surpassing $1 million gross in Canadian theatres and set to open in
      the US on June 7, Canada's 2001 Inuit-language movie phenomenon Atanarjuat
      The Fast Runner - as well as the complete 13-part Nunavut (Our Land) TV
      series, produced in 1995 by the same team of video artists known as Igloolik
      Isuma Productions (Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn, the late Paul Apak Angilirq
      and Pauloosie Qulitalik) - will be featured at the Documenta 11 global
      contemporary art exhibition opening June 8 in Kassel, Germany.

      Held once every five years, Documenta is considered one of the world's most
      prestigious group shows of contemporary art, a three month exhibition
      showcasing work by about 120 outstanding artists gathered from around the
      world. Besides Igloolik Isuma Productions, only three other Canadina artists
      will be featured: Jeff Wall, Ken Lum and Stan Douglas - all based in
      Vancouver.

      Atanarjuat won the prestigious Camera d'or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival,
      Best Canadian Film Award at the Toronto Film Festival, other international
      awards and six Genies including Best Picture. Isuma's Nunavut TV series has
      been shown on APTN, Knowledge Network and SCN, at the Art Gallery of
      Ontario, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival and most recently
      at Hot Docs in Toronto. At Documenta, Nunavut will be shown continuously for
      three months on a 13 screen installation, while Atanarjuat will be screened
      once weekly for fourteen weeks in a Kassel theatre.

      "It's a great honour to have the very same work winning major prizes in the
      film industry and being selected for the Olympics of contemporary art at the
      same time," says Norman Cohn, producer-cinematographer and one of four
      co-founders of the Isuma collective in 1985. "For Atanarjuat to win at
      Cannes and then be chosen for Documenta underlines how our Inuit
      storytelling through digital filmmaking crosses conventional boundaries and
      speaks to many different kinds of audiences, both Inuit and non-Inuit around
      the world."

      "We are Inuit storytellers in a 4000 year-old oral tradition," says
      Zacharias Kunuk, producer-director and president of the Isuma collective.
      "In our time we have new technologies so it's our job to adapt digital
      filmmaking to continue our elders' tradition of passing on information to
      future Inuit from one generation to the next. It's a bonus when the rest of
      the world sees our work and appreciates our Inuit point of view."

      During their 17 years collaboration, in addition to the Camera d'or at
      Cannes and the Claude Jutra Award at this year's Genies, Zacharias Kunuk has
      been awarded the 2002 Banff Centre National Arts Award, a 2001 National
      Aboriginal Achievement Award, ten Canada Council video production grants
      and, in conjunction with Norman Cohn, the 1994 Bell Canada Award for
      Outstanding Achievement in Video Art. Since 1990 Cohn has won three Canada
      Council Senior Arts Awards and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, while
      sharing with Kunuk the Genie Award for Best Picture as co-producers of
      Atanarjuat. The late Paul Apak, screenwriter for Atanarjuat, won his Genie
      Award for Best Screenplay posthumously, having passed away from cancer in
      1998 at the age of 44 before the film was completed.

      Prior to establishing the Isuma collective in 1985, Kunuk and Apak worked
      for Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in Igloolik, while Cohn's video art was
      shown across Canada as 'Norman Cohn: Portraits,' a 1983-84 solo exhibition
      of sixteen videos at Toronto's AGO, The National Gallery and Vancouver Art
      Gallery, and the feature-length 'Quartet for deafblind,' selected for
      Documenta 7 in 1987.

      Atanarjuat the Fast Runner is a film by Igloolik Isuma Productions, Inc, in
      co-production with the National Film Board of Canada. It is distributed in
      Canada by Alliance Atlantis/Odeon Films, and by Lot 47 Films in the United
      States. The award-winning Nunavut series and other Isuma programs are
      available to the public in the recently released Isuma Classics Video
      Collection boxed set.

      For more information on Atanarjuat The Fast Runner: http://atanarjuat.com
      For details on Igloolik Isuma Productions and the Nunavut series:
      http://isuma.ca
      Documenta 11 website: http://documenta.de

      -30-

      For more information contact:
      Katarina Soukup
      Communications Director
      Igloolik Isuma Productions
      telephone +1-514-486-0707 | mobile +1-514-576-8590 | katarina@...
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