Igloolik filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk has received an Order of Nunavut award. The territory’s highest honour, it is awarded each year to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to Nunavut’s cultural, social or economic well-being.
Born in 1957 in a sod house on Baffin Island, Zacharias Kunuk was a carver in 1981 when he sold three sculptures to buy a home-video camera and 27” TV to bring back to Igloolik, a settlement of 500 Inuit who had voted twice to refuse access to outside television. After working for six years for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation as producer and station manager, Kunuk co-founded Igloolik’s Isuma Productions, Canada’s first Inuit video-based production company.
In addition to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Kunuk has directed more than 30 videos.