Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit August 08, 2014 - 7:38 am

TIFF picks Iqaluit-made short film to premiere at Toronto festival

“The film’s like one of those spicy, sweet candies that fizz hard in the middle."

THOMAS ROHNER
Johnny Issaluk and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory during the making of <i>Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes,</i> a short film that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. (PHOTO BY SHAWN INUKSUK)
Johnny Issaluk and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory during the making of Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes, a short film that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. (PHOTO BY SHAWN INUKSUK)
A crew works <i>Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes</i> at a location near Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY SHAWN INUKSUK)
A crew works Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes at a location near Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY SHAWN INUKSUK)

A short film adaptation of an Inuit legend shot outside Iqaluit will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes tells the story of a modern hunter who stumbles into an area haunted by a mischievous spirit, producer Ellen Hamilton told Nunatsiaq News.

“Any legend has many versions, depending on the region, but this is a modern interpretation.”

The film was written by Iqalummiut Nyla Innuksuk, Hamilton’s daughter, and stars Johnny Issaluk as the hunter.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory, who has called Iqaluit home for the past 10 years, plays the haunting spirit.

“I knew the film was going to be a great one from the moment I heard about it,” she said from Greenland, where she’s working on a project with the Greenlandic National Theater.

The tough conditions — filming in -40C, at night and in blizzard-like winds — meant the cast and crew had to work hard and quickly, Williamson-Bathory said.

Hamilton was tasked with keeping everybody warm and fed, cooking over a small portable stove.

“It was great for authenticity, but it was hard on equipment, it was hard on everybody,” Hamilton said.

But the end-result was well worth it, Williamson-Bathory said.

“The film’s like one of those spicy, sweet candies that fizz hard in the middle: it’s short, beautifully shot, the acting is great and honest, the music is perfect and it gives you a fizzy, freaky thrill to top it all off.”

The film will have its world premiere at TIFF, which runs Sept. 4 to Sept. 14.

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