“The Experimental Eskimos” World Premiere at 2009 Hot Docs Festival

“I don’t regret the experience, but I have never recovered from it either.”
– Zebedee Nungak

TORONTO, March 24, 2009  – White Pine Pictures is proud to announce The Experimental Eskimos, its new feature documentary, will be have its World Premiere at the 2009 Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.

The world premiere is scheduled for 9:15pm, May 3, 2009 at the Isabel Bader Theatre. It will be attended by director Barry Greenwald, producer Peter Raymont, co-producer/intern-director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Peter Ittinuar, one of the subjects of the film. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Greenwald, Arnaquq-Baril, and Ittinuar.

The Experimental Eskimos documents an extraordinary project of social engineering. The film follows Peter Ittinuar, Zebedee Nungak and Eric Tagoona, who, as 12-year-old boys, were shipped South in the early 1960’s from their homes in the Canadian Arctic to attend public schools in  Ottawa. The federal government selected the boys to be the future leaders of their people. Peter Ittinuar went on to become Canada’s first Inuk Member of Parliament, Zebedee Nungak became president of the major economic and political organization, Makivik, and Eric Tagoona became president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada – the first Inuit political lobby organization.

Featuring a wealth of rare archival footage, family photos and government documents, the 70 minute film is the untold story of how this extraordinary experiment changed not only the boys, but a nation.

“We are thrilled to have the world premiere at home here in Canada. The experiment and the fight for aboriginal rights are an integral part of our country’s history. It’s appropriate that this story be shared with the world here first. Hot Docs is a remarkable forum for documentaries and I am honoured to be among so many talented filmmakers at this year’s festival,” said director, Barry Greenwald in response to the selection of The Experimental Eskimos for Hot Docs’ Canadian Spectrum programme, part of the festival’s official competition.

The film reunites filmmakers Peter Raymont and Barry Greenwald, who previously teamed up to make White Pine Pictures’ award-winning documentary Between Two Worlds (1990). That film chronicled the life and tragic death of Canada’s “model Eskimo”, Joseph Idlout, leader of a group of Inuit hunters previously pictured on the back of Canada’s two dollar bill.

The Experimental Eskimos is a co-production of White Pine Pictures and Paunna Productions of Nunavut. It is scheduled for broadcast this fall on APTN, followed by a broadcast on CBC Newsworld.

About White Pine Pictures

White Pine Pictures is an independent Canadian film, television, and new media production company based in Toronto, Canada. Headed by award-winning filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the company is recognized internationally as a high quality production house with a reputation for compelling visual styles and depth of content.  White Pine Pictures prides itself on its longtime relationships with Canadian talent and key industry players worldwide. White Pine has produced over 100 films, including the Emmy award-winning feature documentary Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, the Oscar-shortlisted A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, and the award-winning documentary Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma. White Pine is also producer of the hit TV drama series The Border, currently in production on its third season for the CBC. Seasons One and Two of The Border are currently airing across Europe and have recently been licensed to ION Television in the USA.

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