We get a lot of press releases about new films and new shows, but today’s announcement about a new Arctic comedy series set and shot in Nunavut, greenlit by Netflix, CBC and APTN, really struck us. The series, which is untitled at the moment, is created and written by Inuit film and television writer and producer Stacey Aglok MacDonald (Qanurli, The Grizzlies) and Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, Angry Inuk), both gutsy trailblazers we admire.
The duo founded Red Marrow Media in 2019, which produced Nyla Innuksuk’s teen horror film Slash/Back, selected as the opening night film for the inaugural Blue Mountain Film Festival, and Red Marrow Media is also behind Twice Colonized, scheduled to open the 30th anniversary of Hot Docs.
The series draws heavily from humour that both women have found in their own lives. “A young Inuk mother wants to build a new future for herself, but it won’t be easy in her small Arctic town where everyone knows your business,” reads the logline. We can already picture the onslaught of awkward moments.
“This series is full of stories that come straight from our hearts and our funny bones,” describe MacDonald and Arnaquq-Baril. “We’ve drawn from our experiences as Inuit women living, laughing, crying and living together while Native.”
Beyond these two powerhouses, Miranda de Pencier (Anne with an E), and Susan Coyne (Slings and Arrows) have also signed on as executive producers. De Pencier, who founded Northwood Entertainment which has partnered with Red Marrow Media in the past, is thrilled to team up with MacDonald and Arnaquq-Baril again for this latest project. ”I’m excited for audiences to see this hilarious, unexpected and essential series that Stacey and Alethea have created.”
It’s exciting to see these industry leaders come together, and it’s also promising to see that the show is backed by CBC, APTN and Netflix. It’s an all-around powerful combination, and indicates huge potential for what’s to come. “As soon as we heard about this show, we knew we wanted to share it with our members around the world,” reads a statement from Danielle Woodrow and Tara Woodbury, both directors of content at Netflix, Canada.
There is no confirmation yet on when the series will start shooting, but without a doubt, it will bring a lot of buzz and jobs to the north. “A very short time ago, it would have been impossible to imagine an Indigenous comedy shot in the Arctic, with massive national and international reach,” says Adam Garnet Jones, director of TV content and special events at APTN. “We know audiences are going to fall in love with the show’s characters, and the production industry in Nunavut is going to receive a huge boost in a way it never has before.”