Title and statement of responsibility area
Arnait Video Productions fonds
General material designation
- Moving images
- Textual record
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Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Arnait Video Productions
Physical description area
316 videos, 0.66 m of textual records and 23 sound recordings
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Arnait Video Productions (AVP) was founded in Igloolik in 1991, and incorporated around 1999. Originally named Arnait Ikajurtigiit, meaning "Women helping each other" in Inuktitut, and it was also known as the Women’s Video Workshop of Igloolik. The collective has had a loose collaborative model with members taking on various roles over the years. Members over the years have included Madeline Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, Martha Makkar, Mathilda Hanniliaq, Uyarak (Lucy Tulugarjuk) and Marie-Hélène Cousineau. Other women who have been involved in various ways include Mary Kunuk, Atuat Akittirq, Carol Kunnuk, and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
Arnait Video Productions' first works revealed the importance for the women of Igloolik to share oral traditions. Whether in the form of a series of interviews (Women/Health/Body and Itivimiut) or as short works linking songs to words and reenactment of traditional activities (Qulliq, Attagutaaluk Starvation, Piujuq and Angutautaq), the videos celebrated the specificity of the culture of women in Igloolik. Their production values reflect the cultural values of the participants: respect for community events, for Elders, for hunting and fishing seasons, for certain traditions belonging to particular families, among others. The members work as a team to write the scenes of each script, to make the costumes and accessories, and to shape the interaction and performances of the actors.
Arnait Video Productions has produced feature documentaries such as Anaana (Mother), Unakuluk (Dear Little One), and the short fiction film Ningiura (Grandmother). Before Tomorrow, based on Danish author Jorn Riel’s novel, was their first feature-length fiction film in 2008, winning the Best Canadian First Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008 and was selected for the International Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Their feature documentary, SOL, won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary in 2016.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of materials created by the various members of the group, and by the group as a whole. The records not only reflect the working process, but also the marketing and promotion involved in the projects. Almost all of their projects are represented here, with various degrees of completeness.
For works such as Adoption/Qumiktut/Unakuluk, Anaana and Uyarasuk/Ningiura (My Grandmother) there is a complete range of materials from daily scene shoots to multiple language versions of the final work. Many of the films are produced in English, French and Inuktitut. Some early works such as Atagutaluk Starvation, Qulliq, Piujuq and Angutautuq, Avingalaraaluit/Unikausiq, Aqtuqsi: the nightmare, and Travellers are only represented with sub-masters or masters with very little additional audio-visual material relating to, or revealing of, the process of production.
Other projects such as Beyond Tomorrow/Ikuma are represented through versions of the film in various languages, filmed or recorded interviews with participants and writers, and scripts in English, French and Inuktitut. There is also a fair amount of post production material such as workshops that grew out of this project.