The Journals Of Knud Rasmussen, Zacharias Kunuk's and Norman Cohn's follow-up to 2001 Camerad'Or-winning sensation Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, will have its world premiere at the TorontoInternational Film Festival, as its opening night gala on September 7.
Set in the Canadian Arctic in 1922 against the backdrop ofan expedition of Greenlandic-Danish ethnographer Rasmussen, the story tells ofa conflict between two aboriginal shamen, one who has accepted Christianity,the other who is holding fast to the 4,000 year-old culture that has shaped hisuniverse.
Whereas Atanarjuat wasexclusively in Inuktitut, the new film has four languages: Inuktitut, Danish,English and Greenlandic.
That the film is not premiering at Cannes is something of asurprise given the trajectory of Atanarjuat,the toast of the 2001 event.
The Toronto announcement was no surprise: the film was a lock to open the event, world premiere or not,given TIFF's tradition of selecting Canadian titles for its Opening slot. Froman international perspective Rasmussen is easily the highest-profile Canadian film of the year.
Prior to Toronto, the film will screen for Inuit communitiesin Canada and Greenland. Coming six months in advance, this is theearliest-ever announcement of a TIFF Opening Night in the event's history,suggesting there were negotiations based on a Cannes slot.
A Canada-Denmark co-production, the film is produced by Cohnand Kunuk along with Vibeke Vogel and Elise Lund Larsen of Copenhagen-basedBarok Film.
The film stars Pakak Innukshuk, Leah Angutimarik, NeeveUttak, Samuelie Ammaq, Abraham Ulayuruluk, Natar Ungalaaq, Peter-HenryArnatsiaq, Sofie Danielsen, Piuaitsoq Petersen, Jakob Cedergren, Jens JoernSpottag, and Kim Bodnia.
The film is distributed by Alliance Atlantis' Motion PictureDistribution LP in Canada and SFFilms in Scandinavia. Isuma Distribution International is handling the rest ofthe world.
The 31st TIFF runs from September 7-16, 2006.