The Indigenous Screen Office announced this week the recipients of the Netflix Apprenticeship and Cultural Mentorship program grants, among them Red Marrow Media, the production company of Inuit artists Stacey Aglok-MacDonald and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
Aglok-MacDonald and Arnaquq-Baril will use the funding to engage two arctic communities, Kugluktuk, NU, and Tuktuyaaqtuuq (Tuktoyaktok), NT, to work with Elders and community leaders in the development of a feature film. Past films from the production company include the award-winning seal hunt documentary Angry Inuk, lacrosse drama The Grizzlies and Inuktut-language comedy TV series Qanurli, among others.
Red Marrow Media was among 19 Indigenous creatives and production companies in Canada that received the funding, which is part of a $25 million commitment to the sector Netflix has made as part of a five-year deal with Canadian Heritage to develop new talent in Canada.
“We were overwhelmed with the response and the qualified applications in this round of funding,” said Jesse Wente, Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office, adding that the strength of the applications demonstrates “the need and enthusiasm for this kind capacity-building opportunity within the Indigenous screen sector.”
The money is designated to provide opportunities for Indigenous creators to engage in cultural mentorship, engagement and learning—including speaking with Elders, language speakers, knowledge keepers and/or community members to develop the project—and to create new opportunities for hands-on training and career progression. Other notable projects that will receive funding are Experimental Forest Films, by Blackfoot and Sámi filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Métis filmmaker Tyler Hagan, and a feature film project by Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Helen Haig-Brown.