Mosha Michael © Rosemary Gilliat Eaton / Rosemary Gilliat Eaton fonds
Natsik Hunting, 7 min, 1975
Mosha Michael made an assured directorial debut with this seven-minute short, a relaxed, narration-free depiction of an Inuk seal hunt. Having participated in a 1974 Super 8 workshop in Frobisher Bay, Michael shot and edited the film himself. His voice can be heard on the appealing guitar-based soundtrack…. Natsik Hunting is believed to be Canada’s first Inuk-directed film. – NFB
Asivaqtiin/The Hunters, 13 min, 1977
Michael offers a first-hand account of a three-week Arctic hunting excursion, a rehabilitative trip undertaken by young offenders and their families. Dropping anchor at various points throughout Frobisher Bay, they fish for cod, hunt for seal and caribou, and renew family and community ties. Shooting on a Super 8 camera and providing his own narration, Michael crafts an engaging document of Inuk life in the 1970s. An original score features performances by Kowmageak Arngnakolak and Michael himself. – NFB
A year later, the English Program—again with the support of the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs—launched a documentary workshop in Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), simply called the Frobisher Bay Workshop. It is hard to confirm exactly how many Inuit filmmakers participated in this workshop and how many films came out of it. But we do know about three films for sure: Natsik Hunting (1975), Whale Hunting/Qilaluganiatut (1977), and Asivaqtiin/The Hunters (1977). The heritage value of these films—which were shot, edited, narrated, and directed by Mosha Michael—is priceless. They are the first documentaries by an Inuk filmmaker, making Michael the first Inuk documentarian in Canada. – Marc St-Pierre
All stills, photographs, and artwork courtesy © Mosha Michael, National Film Board of Canada and the Rosemary Gilliat Eaton / Rosemary Gilliat Eaton fonds / Library and Archives Canada. Screening co-presented with NFB.