Alethea Aggiuq Arnaquq-Baril is an independent filmmaker based in Iqaluit, NU. Raised by a mother who was “passionate about preserving and promoting [Inuit] language and culture,” Arnaquq-Baril was influenced to work to be a voice for Inuit through her films . She researches, explores and documents Inuit cultural practices and the histories of these practices. For example, her 2010 film Tunnitt: Retracing the Lines of Traditional Tattoo looks at traditional Inuit tattooing, a custom that virtually disappeared from Inuit cultural practices within the twentieth century. The film documents her research visiting nine Inuit communities and interviewing over fifty elders and her personal process of deciding to get her own tattoos.
Arnaquq-Baril uses her films to bring attention to important issues facing Inuit. In Angry Inuk (2016) she addresses the negative publicity commercial seal hunting has received, presenting an Inuit perspective that foreground the continued importance of the seal hunt to Inuit survival. Since the film’s release, the conversation on the seal hunt has changed and public opinion has slowly shifted . With her work, she aims to “reassess what’s normal, what’s right and what [she] believes about [Inuit] culture” and to spread Inuit knowledge and Inuit perspective to the outside world .
Arnaquq-Baril graduated from Sheridan College in Ontario in illustration and art fundamentals, and received animation training at the Banff Centre . She works as a director, producer and animator and also runs a film production company called Unikkaat Studios Inc. out of Iqaluit. Her films have been screened in major Canadian and international festivals and selected for multiple awards. Angry Inuk was selected for the Audience Choice award at both Hot Docs Festival 2016 and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and won the People's Choice award at TIFF's Canada's Top Ten Film Festival 2017. In 2010 Arnaquq-Baril won the Documentary Guild of Canada’s Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary.
2011: Seven Sins: Sloth (2011) selected as 1 of 15 short films for Telefilm Canada’s Not-Short-on-Talent program at the Cannes Festival Market.
2010: Inuit High Kick screened as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
2010: Inuit High Kick was chosen for Hot Docs Official Selection.
2009: Experimental Eskimos (2009) was chosen for Hot Docs Official Selection.
Alethea Aggiuq Arnaquq-Baril
Isuaqtuq, Joannie and Perry Ikkidluak butchering bearded seal
© the artist
Angry Inuk (still) (2016)
The Grizzlies Trailer
Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos (still) (2011)
COURTESY CINEMA POLITICA © the artist
Lumaajuuq (still) (2010)
Drawing Breath, 2019
Best Documentary Award for Angry Inuk, 2018
Angry Inuk, 2016
National Museum of the American Indian