Roselynn Akulukjuk



Roselynn Akulukjuk is a writer and filmmaker who was born in Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU. Akulukjuk considered being a teacher, but decided to pursue her passion for film, and moved to Toronto to attend the Toronto Film School [1]. She was later hired by Taqqut Productions in Iqaluit, NU, where she lives and creates today. Akulukjuk works both behind and in front of the camera to create Inuktitut-language programming, using live-action, animation, and puppetry to bring her vision to life.

Akulukjuk took part in the Inuusivut (Our Way of Life) training projects held during the summers in Sannirut (near Panniqtuuq) by Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Qajaaq Ellsworth [2]. During the workshops, she partnered with Rita Claire Mike-Murphy to create the short film I’m All That (2009), about jealousy and friendship. According to Ellsworth, Akulukjuk got into film from a “perspective of exploration, and overcame any barriers in front of her to turn her interests and skills into something she can share with others” [3].

The short film The Owl and the Lemming (2016) was written and directed by Akulukjuk, who also acted as puppeteer onset and editor after the fact. The three-minute film took an estimated seven months to create, and is based on an Inuit legend. Akulukjuk has said that she loves interviewing elders and listening to their traditional stories [4], taking her exploratory forays and from them producing Inuktitut-language content for others, particularly her family. Her young sister is a particular focus for Akulukjuk, who wants to make content to ensure that her sibling’s Inuktitut-language facility remains strong [5].

The Owl and the Lemmning (2016) won Best Animation at the 2016 American Indian Film Festival, and was nominated for various awards in four other international festivals, including the Los Angeles Skins Festival [6]. Akulukjuk translated her original screenplay into a children’s book of the same name, which was published in both English and Inuktitut and was a finalist for the Blue Spruce Award and the Shining Willow Award [7]. Her second book, Putuguq and Kublu and the Qalupalik! (2018) followed quickly after. Her many film credits include working as director, writer, editor, actress and production manager on projects like TV series Anaana’s Tent (2018) and animated short How Nivi Got Her Names (2019). The forthcoming series Ukaliq and Kalla (post-production) features episodes written, directed, and edited by Akulukjuk [8].



Citations/Footnotes

1     LeTourneau, Michele. “Akulukjuk Devoted to Making Inuktitut Media,” accessed October 15, 2019, from https://nunavutnews.com/nunavut-news/akulukjuk-devoted-making-inuktitut-media/
2     Ibid.
3     Ibid.
4     Inhabit Media. “Roselynn Akulukjuk,” accessed Octover 15, 2019, from https://inhabitmedia.com/2016/10/09/roselynn-akulukjuk/
5     LeTourneau, Michele. “Akulukjuk Devoted to Making Inuktitut Media,” accessed October 15, 2019, from https://nunavutnews.com/nunavut-news/akulukjuk-devoted-making-inuktitut-media/
6     Ibid.
7     Inhabit Media. “Roselynn Akulukjuk,” accessed Octover 15, 2019, from https://inhabitmedia.com/2016/10/09/roselynn-akulukjuk/
8     IMBD. “Roselynn Akulukjuk,” accessed October 15, 2019, from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7161709/