Focus Nunavut
Celebrations film to air this week

Kerry McClusky
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Oct 11/99) - Welcome to Nunavut.

That's the very essence of the message that's captured and passed on in a new film about the Nunavut celebrations.

The film -- aptly entitled Welcome to Nunavut -- beautifully captures the spark and the emotion that prevailed this spring as the dreams of thousands of Inuit and non-Inuit were realized. The 39-minute feature is set to go out over the airwaves tomorrow evening, Oct. 12, at 10 p.m. (ET) on Newsworld's Rough Cuts.

Produced by Nutaaq Media in co-operation with the National Film Board, CBC Newsworld and the Inuit Broadcasting Society, the production details the lives of six Nunavut residents during four of the days surrounding the birth of Nunavut. "We wanted to represent different parts of the community by choosing six people to follow around through the transition from the NWT to Nunavut by focusing on the events of April 1," said Joe Moulins, the director and film creator.

A resident of Iqaluit at the time the film was shot, Moulins said they got lucky with the characters they chose to star in the production.

Not only was there a mix of Inuit and non-Inuit and English and francophone, the subjects also differed in their opinions about the creation of the new territory.

"We were especially lucky when we chose Paul Okalik. He hadn't even been elected MLA yet. He was chosen because he's an interesting guy and he just grew and grew," said Moulins, adding that the film was a fabulous souvenir of his time spent in Nunavut.

Project narrator Abe Tagalik also spoke of the film's nostalgic quality. A lifelong resident of Nunavut, the former land claim negotiator moved to Ottawa earlier this year to head up the Aboriginal People's Television Network.

"I already watched it with my whole family and they all got homesick," said Tagalik.

Pleased with the final product, he said he thought it accurately portrayed how hectic things were for a few days, while paying tribute to the people responsible for the birth of Nunavut.

"It ties in the history of when the land claim started. Those are the guys we really have to thank for Nunavut."

Up and coming singer/songwriter Lucie Idlout, echoed Tagalik's praise for the work done in settling the land claim and in putting together the inaugural and gala shows.

"The amount of work in preparing for that day and the whole process, all that work that's been going on for the last 20 years, and all the blood and sweat of those people -- it's really magical and moving," said Idlout.

Not having had the opportunity to preview the film because of her busy musical career, Idlout said she'd be planted in front of a TV screen Tuesday night.

"I"m excited to see it. I didn't realize how significant it was, that they were shooting history in the making."

Francophone hairdresser Suzanne Laliberte, who will also be watching on Tuesday night, said the process was fantastic and that watching the film was like reliving it all over again.

The documentary also featured Sytukie Joamie, Paul Okalik and Bryan Pearson.

For more information or to obtain copies of the documentary, tune in tomorrow night or e-mail Nutaaq Media at