|Born||Kifutikajuk Taqaq Nujatut Attafutaluk Quatuk
November 27, 1957
Kapuivik, previous Northwest Territories, Canada
|Education||Federal Day School|
|Employer||Isuma Productions, Igloolik|
|Known for||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, the first indigenous film with all indigenous cast and entirely in Inuktitut|
Zacharias Kunuk OC (born November 27, 1957) is a Canadian Inuk producer and director most notable for his film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, the first Canadian dramatic feature film produced entirely in Inuktitut. He is the president and co-founder with Paul Qulitalik, Paul Apak Angilirq, and the only non-Inuit, ex-New Yorker team member, Norman Cohn, of Igloolik Isuma Productions, Canada's first independent Inuit production company. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001), the first feature film that was entirely in Inuktitut was named as the greatest Canadian film of all time by the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival poll.
Zacharias Kunuk was born in Kapuivik on Baffin Island in Canada. In 1966 he attended school in Igloolik. There he carved and sold soapstone sculptures to afford movie admissions. As his skill improved, he was able to buy cameras and photographed Inuit hunting scenes. When he heard about video cameras in 1981, he purchased a camera and the basic equipment to be able to teach himself how to create his own movies.
His second film, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, is a co-production with Denmark in which he is a co-writer and co-director with Norman Cohn. It premiered on September 7, 2006, as the opening film at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kunuk is the co-founder of the Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change Project, along with Ian Mauro of the University of Victoria's School of Environmental Studies. The goal of the project is to collect information from Inuit elders for a film about the Inuit perspective on the impact of climate change on Inuit culture and the environment. The project submitted a video to the United Nations for the 2009 COP15 Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change which was presented at Denmark's National Gallery.
Feature films and television:
- Nunavut: Our Land (1995) Director and writer of television series
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001) Director, producer, writer and editor
- Kunuk Family Reunion (2004) Director and producer of television documentary
- Weird Sex and Snowshoes: A Trek Through Canadian Cinematic Psyche (2004) Appeared in television documentary
- The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) Director, producer and art director
- Before Tomorrow (2008) Executive Producer
- Tungijuq (2009) Executive Producer of short
- Home (2011) Director and writer of short
- National Parks Project (2011) Director of documentary
- Searchers (2016)
- Edge of the Knife (TBA) Executive producer
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
In July 2017 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, also known as simply the Academy), invited Kunuk to become a member. The Academy, which has almost 7,000 motion picture professionals as members, is known internationally for their annual Academy Awards, the Oscars. In 2017 they invited 774 new members to join.
|2001||Cannes Film Festival: Golden Camera||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2001||Edinburgh International Film Festival: New Directors Award||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Tied with L.I.E.)|
|2001||Ghent International Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize-Special Mention-Grand Prix||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2001||Hawaii International Film Festival: Special Mention Best Feature Film, Best Feature Film||Nominated||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2001||Santa Fe Film Festival: Luminaria-Best Feature||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2001||Toronto International Film Festival: Best Canadian Feature Film||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2001||Cinemanila International Film Festival: Lino Brocka Award||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Tied with What Time Is It Over There?)|
|2002||Genie Awards: Claude Jutra Award-Best Achievement in Direction, Best Achievement in Editing, Best Motion Picture||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Shared with Norman Cohn, Paul Apak Angilirq, Germain Wong)|
|2002||Newport International Film Festival: Audience Award-Best Feature||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2002||San Diego International Film Festival: Festival Award-Best Feature Film||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2002||Toronto Film Critics Association Awards: TFCA Award-Best First Feature||Win||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2003||Chicago Film Critics Association Awards: CFCA Award - Most Promising Director||Nominated||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
|2003||Independent Spirit Awards: Independent Spirit Award-Best Foreign Film||Nominated||Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner|
- Interview by Michelle Svenson, Film and Video Specialist, NMAI (April 1, 2002). "Zacharias Kunuk Interview - Native Networks". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- Angilirq, Paul Apak (2002). Atanarjuat the fast runner. Toronto: Coach House Books and Isuma Publishing. pp. 13–15,197–227. ISBN 1-55245-113-5.
- "Zacharias Kunuk." Famous, Should Be Famous, and Infamous Canadians. (retrieved 29 Jan 2011)
- "Carleton Stories" Zacharias Kunuk Shares Intimate Picture of the North. (retrieved 27 Feb 2017)
- "I've gone from the stone age to the digital age". Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. November 11, 2002. Archived from the original on November 14, 2009. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- Dunlevy, T'Cha (9 April 2011). "Reel Injun continues making waves". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- "Zacharias Kunuk". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Reviving a Lost Language of Canada Through Film
- "2017 Oscars: Who are the 6,687 voting members of the academy?". Goldderby.com. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- "Zacharias Kunuk, celebrated Nunavut filmmaker, joins Oscars academy: 'I thought it was a spam email… but then it came up again and I checked it'". CBC News. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.