Kunuk captures ‘golden camera’ at Cannes
IQALUIT — Zacharias Kunuk walked onto the world stage last weekend to collect one of the most coveted prizes in filmmaking.
Kunuk, 44, of Igloolik, won the Camera d’Or award Sunday at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.
The Camera d’Or — French for “golden camera” — is awarded each year to the director of the best first-time film at Cannes.
Kunuk was given the prize for his movie Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, which debuted to rave reviews at the festival.
The movie is the first feature-length Inuktitut-language film. It retells an Inuit legend about a hunter named Atanarjuat whose family is split apart by violence and supernatural forces.
The $2 million movie, produced by Igloolik Isuma Productions Ltd., was shot in and around Igloolik using local actors.
Atanarjuat was the only Canadian feature film picked for this year’s festival. It was one of only 46 entries selected from among nearly 1,800 candidates worldwide.
Kunuk received the prize at the festival’s closing awards banquet. He delivered his acceptance speech in Inuktitut, and then, in English, dedicated the award “to my mom and dad.”
Cannes is considered by many to be the foremost film festival in the world.