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The National Gallery of Canada Screens The Necessities of Life, Nominated for 8 Genie Awards

OTTAWA.- On Thursday, April 2, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) invites the public to a special evening starting at 5 p.m. that is organized as part of Genie Awards Week celebrations. This event will begin with a visit to the exhibition High-definition Inuit Storytelling, currently on view at the NGC. Then, the feature film, The Necessities of Life, directed by Benoit Pilon, will be screened in the Auditorium at 7:15 p.m. This movie is the Genie Awards’ front-runner with eight nominations.

To start the evening Associate Curator of Indigenous art, Christine Lalonde, will provide commentary on the exhibition High-definition Inuit Storytelling which will take place from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Featured until spring in the NGC's Inuit Galleries, this retrospective exhibition covers twenty years of video-making by Igloolik Isuma Productions and its sister company Arnait Video Productions, based in Igloolik, Nunavut. Their videos fuse Inuit story-telling with accurate depictions of Iglulingmiut practical knowledge, traditional customs, and social values.

Through videos such as The Nunavut Series, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) and Qulliq (Oil Lamp), viewers are invited to discover Inuit culture, beliefs, stories, and experiences told from an Inuit perspective. Comprising both documentary and narrative approaches, the videos in the exhibition are tightly interconnected and offer a holistic viewpoint powerful enough to counter centuries of oversimplification and misinformation by outsiders.

The Necessities of Life
Created by director Benoit Pilon, this 102-minute fictional feature film was made in 2007 and will be screened in the NGC Auditorium at 7:15 p.m. It features Inuit and Québécois actors and is nominated in eight categories, including best film and best screen-play. Telefilm Canada's Web site provides the following summary:

"It's the beginning of the 1950s and Tivii, an Inuit hunter, is flown to a Quebec sanatorium to be treated for tuberculosis. Weak, unable to communicate or to understand others, and far from his loved ones, Tivii decides to give up and to give in to death. His nurse, Carole, however, understanding Tivii’s desolation, refuses to let him slip away and arranges for a young Inuit named Kaki, to be transferred to his sanatorium. Kaki knows white society well and helps Tivii decode his situation. Tivii’s pride and will to live are further helped by his teaching Kaki about the ways of their land and of the Inuit people."

Presented in its original French and Inuktitut version with English subtitles.

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