May 02, 2012

Natives and Québécois partner on film

Kuujjuaq shines during $9M Quebec movie production

Inuit, Innu, Québécois work together for first time

By Isabelle Dubois
The big-screen Quebec film Maïna moved into production in Kuujjuaq last week, bringing Inuit, Innu, and Québécois together for the first time in film history.

Set centuries ago in northern Quebec, Maïna traces the love story between and Innu woman, Maïna, and an Inuk man, Natak.

Maïna starts with the aftermath of a bloody confrontation between the clan of Maïna, called the “Nearly Wolves,” and the “Men from the Land of Ice.”

Maïna, the Innu daughter of Grand Chief Mishtenapeu, then finds herself on a mission that will change the course of her life: she wants to keep a deathbed promise made to her friend Mastii, that she will retrieve Nipki, an 11-year-old boy captured by Inuit.

But on her quest, Maïna is taken captive by an Inuk leader called Natak and forced to travel with him back to the “Land of Ice.”

Planning the film’s segments in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, on Quebec’s north shore, and in Kuujjuaq, proved to be a cross-cultural experience that everyone involved in the film embraced, says producer Yves Fortin.

“We felt it was important to establish partnerships with both the Innu and Inuit communities to produce this film,” he said.

So the two cultures not only met in the film’s storyline, but they also came together during its making.
Comment:  For more on movies and the Inuit, see Native POV in Big Miracle and No Filmmaking Flood After Atanarjuat.

Below:  "Maïna (Roseanne Supernault) and Nipki (Uapeshkuss Thernish) getting ready to leave Natak's village." (Isabelle Dubois)

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