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The Journals of Knud Rasmussen to open Calgary Fest

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen will kick off Canada’s fourth largest film festival on Friday, September 22, 2006, as the opening film at the seventh annual Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF).

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen is written and directed by Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk, the same filmmaking team known for their critically acclaimed, multi-award winning feature film, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner). Set in and around Igloolik in 1922, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen is the story of the last great Inuit shaman, Avva, and his beautiful and headstrong daughter, Apak, who lives with one foot in her father's world and the other on the verge of the future. As Avva strives to keep his family together on their path into the twentieth century, where the rise of Christianity and commerce is putting a swift end to their culture, a team of Danish scientists arrives to make record of his way of life.

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen is a presentation of Kunuk Cohn Productions, Igloolik Isuma Productions and Barok Film. A Canada-Denmark co-production, the film is produced by Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, Vibeke Vogel, and Elise Lund Larsen. The film is distributed by Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution LP in Canada, SF Films in Scandinavia, and Isuma Distribution International worldwide. The Journals of Knud Rasmussen stars Pakak Innukshuk, Leah Angutimarik, Neeve Uttak, Samuelie Ammaq, Abraham Ulayuruluk, Natar Ungalaaq, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Sofie Danielsen, Piuaitsoq Petersen, Jakob Cedergren, Jens Jørn Spottag, and Kim Bodnia.

“The Journals of Knud Rasmussen will be a prominent feature in this year’s Canadian FilmWorks category and a keystone for our Aboriginal Spotlight,” explains Barbara Rockburn, CIFF’s Canadian FilmWorks Programmer. “CIFF is always proud to open the Festival with a Canadian film and we are thrilled to be celebrating this remarkable cinematic achievement created by these innovative storytellers.”

The Canadian FilmWorks category highlights some of Canada’s best filmmakers and CIFF is delighted to announce some selections also making their western Canadian premiere at this world-class cinema event:

Reginald Arkema’s Monkey Warfare starring Don McKellar, Tracy Wright, and Nadia Litz, in a comedy about bohemians whose livelihood is threatened by changing lifestyles.

Journalist Jim Brown and Calgary filmmaker Gary Burns’ documentary, Radiant City, which explores life in the sprawling suburbs.

Films featured in the Canadian FilmWorks Spotlight on Québec, also celebrating their western Canadian premiere include:

Familia, written and directed by Louise Archambault. An internationally-acclaimed, award-winning French-language film that deals with our attempts to separate ourselves from our parents.

Denis Chouinard’s Délivrez-Moi, starring Geneviève Bujold. A dramatic tale of a woman haunted by memories after returning home from serving 10 years in prison for killing her lover.

Barbiers: une histoire d'hommes (Barbers: A History of Men), a documentary by Claude Demers, paying homage to the ancestral trade of the barber.

La vie secrète des gens heureux (The Secret Life of Happy People), directed by Stéphane Lapointe. This romantic comedy is about a timid young man whose life is irrevocably changed forever when he falls in love.

Canadian films also to be featured in the Aboriginal Showcase include:

· Susan Cardinal’s Dream Makers, a documentary hosted by award winning actress Tantoo Cardinal, about Aboriginal triumph and celebration in the film and television industry, which will have its World Premier at CIFF.

Carl Bessai’s Unnatural & Accidental, is the film adaptation of the stage-play based on events surrounding the “unnatural and accidental” downing deaths of native women living on skid row.

A Canadian title included in CIFF’s Spotlight on Art and Architecture is Manufactured Landscapes, a documentary by Jennifer Baichwal on the photography of Edward Burtynsky during China’s massive industrial revolution.

The 2006 Calgary International Film Festival will run from September 22 – October 1, 2006. A complete list of titles will be available online at or in the CIFF 2006 Program Guide available at the CIFF Box Office (Eau Claire Market) and all Calgary Starbucks locations beginning Friday September 8, 2006.

Tickets and passes go on sale Friday September 8, 2006. For more information call 403-283-1490 or visit


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