The groundbreaking artist and filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and producer Norman Cohn, creators of the essential film THE FAST RUNNER, share stories behind the creation of their latest masterpiece set in 1961 during the Cold War in the Nunavut region. The two will also discuss the evolution of indigenous cinema and the innovations they’ve created to reach audiences in their remote regions. This very special conversation is hosted by SWAIA, in honor of Santa Fe Indian Market, and the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
About ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF NOAH PIUGATTU: In April 1961, John Kennedy is America’s new President, the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in arctic Canada. In Kapuivik, north Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band hunt by dog team, as his ancestors did when he was born in 1900. When the white man known as Boss arrives at Piugattuk’s hunting camp, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change. Boss, an agent of the government, is assigned to move the band to settlement housing. But Kapuivik is Piugattuk’s homeland and cannot imagine what his children would do in this new world. This latest film by the essential Zach Kunuk (THE FAST RUNNER), written, produced and filmed by Norm Cohn, takes a wry, idiosyncratic look at a crucial moment of contact between worlds. (Canada, 2019, 112m)
Zacharias Kunuk, a filmmaker, sculptor and visual artist based in Iglulik, Nunavut, Canada, has redefined filmmaking in Canada and has been at the forefront of innovative use of broadcast technology in the North. His film ATANARJUAT (THE FAST RUNNER), was the first film produced entirely in an Inuit language, won an award at the Cannes Film Festival, six Genie Awards and was ranked the No. 1 Canadian film of all time in a 2015 poll. He is the co-founder of Isuma Productions, the first independent Inuit-led film production company in Canada.
Norman Cohn is a video artist and filmmaker, and president and co-founder with Zacharias Kunuk of Kunuk Cohn Productions, Isuma Distribution International and the website IsumaTV. A Canadian citizen since 1981, Cohn lived and worked in Igloolik from 1985-2005. In 1990, with Kunuk, elder Pauloosie Qulitalik and the late Paul Apak, Cohn’s early video work helped develop Isuma’s visionary style of ‘re-lived’ cultural drama, combining the authenticity of modern activist video with the ancient art of Inuit storytelling. His films as producer, cinematographer and co-writer include THE FAST RUNNER, the OUR LAND TV series and (also as co-director) THE JOURNALS OF KNUD RASMUSSEN. His work with Kunuk was selected to represent Canada in the 2019 Venice Biennale.