The Shaman’s Apprentice
Director: Zacharias Kunuk Country: Canada year: 2021 Running Time: 20:32 Technique: Experimental Category: Short film [10 to 45 min] Producer: Zacharias Kunuk, Jonathan Frantz, Neil Christopher, Nadia Mike Distributor: no distributor The program:
A young shaman must face her first test—a trip underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill. Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, she must trust her mentor's teachings and learn to control her fear.
Born in 1957 in a sod house on Baffin Island, Zacharias Kunuk was a carver in 1981 when he sold three sculptures in Montreal to buy a home-video camera to bring back to his home community of Igloolik NU. In 1991 he co-founded Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. with Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik and Norman Cohn. In addition to the feature Atanarjuat The Fast Runner (2001 Cannes Camera d’Or), Kunuk has directed more than 30 documentaries and feature films including The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, and Maliglutit (Searchers). His last feature, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (2019), premiered as the main artpiece of the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Biennale di Venezia, where Kunuk and the Isuma Collective were Canada’s representative artists. Angakusajaujuq is his first foray in the world of stop motion animation.
Kunuk is also the winner of three Genie Awards, a National Arts Award, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and the 2017 Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. In 2015, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2019, an Officer of the Order of Nunavut.