As climate change brings increased international attention to the Arctic, Indigenous filmmakers across the circumpolar countries will have a new resource to help them tell their own stories.
The Arctic Indigenous Film Fund (AIFF) launched last week at the Indigenous Film Conference at the Sami University of Applied Sciences in Kautokeino, Norway.
It’s an international collaboration between the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the International Sami Film Institute, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, Greenland Film Makers and Archy, Russia.
Representatives of all six organizations were present to sign the partnership agreement, which will be preserved in a traditional Sami chest. The signing ceremony at the conference was witnessed by more than 120 representatives from the international film and television industry.
The Norwegian government will provide $1 million in seed money to help kick-start the circumpolar collaboration project that includes partners from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Eventually the fund hopes to become self-sufficient thanks to the revenues its activities will generate.
“The objective of this multi-stakeholder engagement is to support Northern Indigenous producers who will work collaboratively with partners in other Indigenous communities in the Circumpolar region,” Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of the CMF, said in a statement to Eye on the Arctic. “The intended outcome of this initiative is to further invest in a vibrant, independent Indigenous screen-based industry in the Arctic, allowing creators in that region to tell their stories, preserve their languages and take this content to the world.”
International Sámi Film Institute is hosting an Indigenous Film Conference in Kautokeino, Norway w/ intl. film professionals coming together to discuss a common goal to enhance the #Arctic #Indigenous film industry!
— imagineNATIVE (@imagineNATIVE) March 9, 2018
AIFF will also actively work to give young Indigenous people in the Arctic opportunities to work in the media and digital business in their own communities, organizers said.
The fund will also build a network between film institutions, companies, producers and Universities, thereby strengthening business and competitive advantages; organize film and TV education for young Indigenous talents; and lead common projects and programs with partners.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Angry Inuk: Canadian filmmaker takes on anti-sealing groups, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finns scoop up Nordic prizes for film, music, books and environment, Yle News
Greenland: Canadian artist explores Greenland’s past, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norwegian «slow TV» follows reindeer herd to the coast of the Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Karelian art on show in Russia, Yle News
Sweden: Film exploring racism against Sami wins big at Swedish film awards, Radio Sweden
United States: New film explores how Arctic ecosystems are affected by climate change, Alaska Public Media