Feature Film

Atanarjuat The Fast Runner

Inuit epic set in ancient Igloolik, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner is a life-threatening struggle of love, jealousy, murder and revenge between powerful natural and supernatural characters, Canada's first feature film written, produced, directed, and acted by Inuit. 2001 Camera d'or, Cannes Film Festival; Best Picture, 2002 Genie Awards; #1 Canadian Film of the Decade, Macleans, CTV.

A film by Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak, Norman Cohn and Pauloosie Qulitalik


Year of Production: 2001
172 minutes
Drama based on historical legend
Production Company:
Igloolik Isuma Productions
Inuktitut with English, French s-t

Country: Canada
Igloolik; Nunavut, Canadian Arctic

Director: Zacharias Kunuk

Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak Angilirq, Norman Cohn, Germaine YG Wong

Paul Apak Angilirq

Director of Photography:
Norman Cohn

Sound Recordist:
Richard Lavoie

Zacharias Kunuk, Norman Cohn, Marie-Christine Sarda

Original Music:
Chris Crilly

Michelline Ammaq, Atuat Akkitiq

Principal Cast:
Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Madeline Ivalu, Paulossie Qulitalik, Eugene Ipkarnak

Executive Producer:
Sally Bochner



“A masterpiece.... The first national cinema of the 21st century”

A.O. Scott, NY Times

“Mysterious, bawdy, emotionally intense, and replete with virtuoso throat singing, this three-hour movie is engrossing from first image to last, so devoid of stereotype and cosmic in its vision it could suggest the rebirth of cinema.”

Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

“Nothing less than a complete revelation and reinvention of cinematic form…. a definite ‘must-see’.”

Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun

"An astonishing epic film"

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Un film d'une singulière beauté”

Jean-Michel Frodon, Le Monde

“A milestone...a fascinating cultural document”

Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail


Official Selection - Un Certain Regard -Winner Camera d'or (54th Cannes International Film Festival, May 2001)

Complete listings at the Atanarjuat companion Website



Press Kit / / Film Stills
Companion website
Lesson Plans on Sila Inuit Educational
Atanarjuat on IMDB
Atanarjuat on Rotten Tomatoes
Atanarjuat on Metacritic
Atanarjuat on Amazon

View our catalogue to order Atanarjuat Products



Isuma Distribution International c/o VTape, wandav@vtape.org, +1.416.351.1317 fax-1509; info@isuma.ca, +1.514.486.0707 fax-9851.

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, 112 mins. 2005. Second feature in The Fast Runner Trilogy. 

Isuma Distribution International and Vtape, isuma [at] vtape [dot] org, info [at] isuma [dot] tv, wandav [at] vtape [dot] org.

Press Kit: requires PDF reader

Official Nuummioq trailer (2009)

3900 Picures has produced the first international feature film from Greenland. The film is titled "Nuummioq" and was shot during the summer of 2008 in Nuuk and surrounding fjords. The film premiered in Katuaq Culture Center in Nuuk the 1st of november 2009 and is selected in World competition catagory at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Before Tomorrow

Third Inuit feature (2009) in The Fast Runner Trilogy.

Screenplay by Marie-Hélène Cousineau (in collaboration with Susan Avingaq and Madeline Ivalu), based on For Morgendaggen By Jorn Riel.

Circa 1840. Some Inuit tribes still have never met any white people, although rumours circulate about what they might be, where they come from, and why.

Two isolated families meet after many years. It is summer; a happy time to celebrate their reunion. Elders tell stories, young people get married, plans are made for the future food is abundant. Despite the joyful mood, Ningiuq, an old woman of strength and wisdom, cannot stop worrying. She sees the world around her as fragile, an unease dread about something she does not understand. Is it the illness of her best friend, Kutuguk, who is preparing to die? Is her own sense of mortality haunting her? Or is it the strange foreign object that Maniq, her favourite grandson, found on the beach? Reluctant to partake in this timeless happiness, Ningiuq feels the need to reflect on her own uncertain life.

After a successful fishing, the families decide to dry the winter's catch on a remote island, safe from dogs and other animals. Ningiuq volunteers to take on this chore, seizing the occasion for some time alone. Her grandson, Maniq, follows her, as does the old Kutuguk. The destiny of these three unfolds on the island as they wait in vain for the return of the hunters as the cold of fall begins. No one comes. Where are they? Kutuguk' s last hour passes and Ningiuq and Maniq bury her. The wind shifts and a storm sweeps away their camp. When the first snow falls Ningiuq decides to return to the main camp with Maniq to see what happened to the others.

But there are no others. In an incomprehensible nightmare, everyone is dead, their bodies twisted in pain and covered with blisters. Beside their bloated corpses, Ningiuq finds objects known to belong to the white foreigners... a steel needle, a tin cup. Stunned, Ningiuq and Maniq go back to the relative safety of their island. What can they do now? If they are completely alone in this world what is the meaning of survival? Drawing on her deep spirituality and all her survival skills, Ningiuq tries desperately and cheerfully to protect Maniq from the loneliness of being the last human being on earth. One day, in the dark of the winter, she senses her own death coming. What is she to do?

More about this film.

Before Tomorrow Online Trailer

Synopsis: In 1840, two isolated Inuit families reunite in celebration after many years of separation. These tribes have never met any white people, although rumours circulate about them. When Ninioq, an old woman, her best friend, Kuutujuuk, and her grandson, Maniq leave camp to dry fish on a remote island a strange illness attacks the camp.

The Making of Before Tomorrow

This film documents the teamwork behind the feature "Before Tomorrow" produced by Igloolik Isuma Productions with Arnait Video Collective. Portraits of the art director and the co-directors of the film. Inuktitut and English sub-titles.

The Making of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen

Funny, fascinating, behind the scenes view by Greenland filmmaker Kenneth Rasmussen.

Atanarjuat trailer

Trailer of the first Inuit feature film Atanarjuat The Fast Runner, a life-threatening struggle of love, jealousy, murder and revenge between powerful natural and supernatural characters set in ancient Igloolik.

7 Fires 4 U...Kitchi Manitou

Feature Film was shown at two film festivals, and a forty minute version was shown at the 2004 convention of Society of Cinema and Media Studies Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, 2004. Screenplay by Donald Morin, additonal writing by Gunargie O'Sullivan. Due to political nature of film, never completely shoot screenplay, due to difficulty in obtaining funding.

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