Atanarjuat best Canadian film ever, TIFF poll finds
“It remains a truly important and glorious film”
Fourteen years after its release, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner has stood the test of time, earning first place in an all-time top 10 list of Canadian films.
Conducted by TIFF, the group that runs the Toronto International Film Festival, the top 10 list is based on a poll conducted among international film industry types and academics.
And in the fourth edition of the poll, done in 2015, Atanarjuat unseated Claude Jutra’s French-language classic from 1971, Mon Oncle Antoine, which ranked number one in the 1984, 1993 and 2004 editions of the TIFF poll.
Directed by Zacharias Kunuk from a script written by the late Paul Apak of Igloolik, with cinematography by Norman Cohn, Atanarjuat was released May 13, 2001 at the Cannes Film Festival.
Kunuk left Cannes with the Caméra d’Or, or Golden Camera award for the best first feature film shown at Cannes that year.
He’s the first and only Canadian director to win a Caméra d’Or award.
Kunuk’s film cost only about $1.9 million to produce and took in nearly $6 million in box office receipts.
And the film owns a 90 per cent ranking on the www.rottentomatoes.com film review website.
“An award winner at Cannes, it remains a truly important and glorious film,” critic Jesse Wente said in the spring 2015 issue of Montage, a trade magazine published by the Directors Guild of Canada.
Here’s TIFF’s latest all-time top 10 list of Canadian films:
1. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, 2001, Zacharias Kunuk
2. Mon Oncle Antoine, 1971, Claude Jutra
3. The Sweet Hereafter, 1997, Atom Egoyan
4. Léolo, 1992, Jean-Claude Lauzon
5. Jésus de Montréal, 1989, Denys Arcand
6. Goin’ Down the Road, 1970, Don Shebib
7. Dead Ringers, 1988, David Cronenberg
8. C.R.A.Z.Y., 2005, Jean-Marc Vallée
9. My Winnipeg, 2007, Guy Maddin
10. Stories We Tell, 2012, Sarah Polley
10. Les Ordres, 1974, Michel Brault
(Stories We Tell and Les Ordres finished in a tie for 10th place.)