Monday September 24, 2012 : Nuuk, Greenland
For the second time in its history, the nation of Greenland will submit a film to compete for Best Foreign Picture at the Academy Awards. Greenland has chosen INUK, a motion picture that spotlights the fragility of their indigenous culture in the face of modernity and climate change.
Based on true stories of those who actually live on the dangerously declining sea-ice, INUK tells the emotional journey of a 16 year-old boy, sent from his troubled family in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, to a children’s home in the icy North. There he meets Ikuma, a legendary polar bear hunter who sees the environment he loves mysteriously disappearing. Taking Inuk on his dogsled for the annual hunting trip, they face much more than the unusually fragile sea-ice, when conflict and personal demons become as dangerous as the hostile wilderness.
Shot on the sea-ice in 30° below farenheit temperatures, INUK features an all-Greenlandic cast, including: the incredible performances of teenagers who actually live in the Uummannaq Children’s Home and legendary, local hunters. INUK is both an authentic story of Greenland today and a universal story about the quest for identity, self-confidence, and rebirth after the deepest of wounds.
The film caps ten years of friendship and filmmaking collaboration, including two documentaries, between producer, Ann Andreasen, director Mike Magidson, a french resident, and the film’s co-writers, Ole Jorgen Hammeken and Jean-Michel Huctin. Principal photography took place on location in Greenland, using one of the biggest crews of Inuit Greenlanders ever and over 300 sled dogs. In order to produce the film’s magnificent score, Andreasen invited classical composer, Justin Michael La Vallee, to Greenland for two months where he collaborated with local composers, Karina Moller and Robert ‘’Hivshu’’ Peary as well as dozens of local indigenous singers. The result is what many Greenlanders now herald as the first ever Greenlandic classical film score.
After winning 20 awards in film festivals across the globe, INUK began its 3 week theatrical run in Greenland in early May. The film was an instant hit with locals, selling more tickets than Men In Black, The Avengers and Hunger Games while becoming the most successful Greenlandic film ever.
Neue Visionen Filmverleih is set to release INUK in Germany in early 2013 with subsequent releases in Switzerland, Austria, and South Korea. Negotiations are now ongoing for theatrical release in other major territories including : Canada, Australia, and the United States. The film is represented in all countries by TriCoast Worldwide.
Greenlanders are extremly proud of their local filmmakers and have high hopes for INUK’s chances as Best Foreign Picture. Greenland’s Minister of Culture, Mimi Karlsen, said, “I am proud that a film made in Greenland has received so much attention in the big world. All good filmmaking begins with a great story that is both interesting and engaging for the audience. INUK is just such a story.”