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Bonnie Ammaaq

Bonnie Ammaaq is an Iglulik-based writer, producer and director who works at the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. Her films are often connected to her personal experiences, including the two shorts she directed with the National Film Board of Canada: "Family Making Sleds" (2012) and "Nowhere Land" (2015). In 2017, Ammaaq created The Cache, a photo-essay for the Legacies 150 series, which is an artistic project that considers the dual concepts of legacy and inheritance one hundred and fifty years after Canadian Confederation [1].

Ammaaq’s first film, Family Making Sleds, features a father, mother and young child all working together to create sleds. It depicts the importance of continuing to work together to create sleds, and also the joy of racing [2].

Her second film, Nowhere Land, is a personal glimpse into Ammaaq’s experiences growing up in the North. Ammaaq’s family was relocated to the government-fabricated community of Iglulik, but her parents, Michelline and Samueli, moved their young family back to live on the land in 1986 when she was eight years old [3]. Ammaaq moved back to Iglulik in 1998. Her colour documentary film, Nowhere Land, featuring commentary in English and Inuktitut, highlights the sadness and homesickness that she felt when she left her life on the land and watched ore-mining companies destroy the region where she used to live. Nowhere Land explains the Mary River mining project from the perspective of a talented Inuit filmmaker who conveys and emphasizes her various emotions throughout the film to replicate personal interactions. This film highlights the direct impact of relocation and environmental degradation on Ammaaq’s life, but also resonates with other Inuit families and communities who face similar changes in the North. The film has been shown at film festivals in Canada and internationally, and went on to win Best Short Documentary at the 2015 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, ON.

Ammaaq’s work is included in the collection of the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, QC, and has been shown in 2016 at the Yorkton Film Festival in Yorkton, SK as well the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, BC, and at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, ON at the Legacies 150/Générations 150: Northern Passage festival in 2017.

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Accomplishments

2015: Won “Best Short Documentary” at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, ON



Citations/Footnotes

1. "Rosie Bonnie Ammaaq," National Film Board of Canada, 2019, accessed July 30, 2019, https://www.nfb.ca/directors/rosie-bonnie-ammaaq/
2. "Stories from Our Land 1.5: Family Making Sleds," National Film Board of Canada, 2012, accessed July 30, 2019, https://www.nfb.ca/film/family_making_sleds/
3. National Post,"There is plenty of food north of the Arctic Circle - caribou, walrus, seal, beluga, fish and polar bear," National Post, June 24, 2017, https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/there-is-plenty-of-food-north-of-the-arctic-circle-caribou-walrus-seal-beluga-fish-and-polar-bear