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Young filmmakers explore Inuit myths

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009

IQALUIT - Young filmmakers in Iqaluit put new twists on old legends earlier this month during a multimedia camp offered by Actua, a non-profit organization that delivers science and technology workshops to youth across Canada.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Fourteen-year-old Olivia Tugak works on her film project in Arctic College's Nunatta campus in Iqaluit on Aug. 7 as part of the Actua multimedia camp. - Kassina Ryder/NNSL photo

Instructor Amanda Machado said youth participating in Iqaluit's workshop chose to modernize Inuit legends for their main moviemaking projects.

"What we did this year is they decided to retell some of the Inuit myths as modern scary stories," Machado said.

"The whole premise is a bunch of kids sitting around a campfire telling scary stories."

Fourteen-year-old Olivia Tugak said the group chose two well-known legendary characters for their movies including Mahaha, a being that tickles its victims to death.

"The scary movies that we did were the Mahaha one and the shapeshifter," she said. "We used video recorders, computers, a boom microphone and some lights."

The kids also made a "mockumentary" video about the Oreo Cookie Challenge.

Eleven-year-old Brandon Ashley was an avid participant in the video making.

"I got killed in one and in the shapeshifter, I killed the shapeshifter, and in the Oreo challenge, I was the person who won the challenge," Ashley said.

Machado said the camp has been running in Iqaluit for about three years, but this is the first time it has been offered as a two-week workshop.

"In the past it's been a week long, so this is kind of piloting the two-week camp and I think it's working out well," she said. "It gives them more time to get into it."

Machado said the workshops also allowed kids to try out different media, such as claymation. Youth also had to plan their projects in detail and delegate jobs for each other.

"They're learning about storyboarding, scripting, planning things out and assigning tasks," Machado said. She said the group also made visits to the CBC and the Inuit Broadcasting Corp. to learn about video equipment and interviewing skills.

"We've been to CBC and IBC and used their equipment, taken footage of their equipment and talked to some of the people and asked them for tips," she said. "It's neat to see how our interviews changed as the weeks went on, which is really cool."

Instructor Marc Higgins said the kids definitely enjoyed the camp, which took place in Arctic College's Nunatta campus.

"The camp went great. There has been a lot of quiet excitement going on around the room," he said. "Every once in a while you'll see smiles popping up here and there as they're working on their own projects."