Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inuit Film Fest Kicks off Indigenous Peoples Weekend at Yale

NEW HAVEN - The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale will celebrate the lifestyles and traditions of native people in a three-day event focusing on Inuit culture beginning Oct. 10.

Events on Oct. 10 and 12 take place at the Yale Peabody Museum and those on Oct. 11 are at the Whitney Humanities Center.

All film events at the Peabody and Whitney Center are free. Amission to Monday’s celebration at the Peabody is $5-7, no charge for children younger than 3.

The schedule is:

Oct. 10, at 5:30 p.m., Yale Peabody Museum auditorium, 170 Whitney Ave., Film Screening: Songs in Stone: An Arctic Journey Home, hosted by Canadian Filmmaker and director of Songs in Stone, John Houston. Reception to follow. Free and open to all.

In 1998, Houston, Yale ’75, a Canadian filmmaker, shown at r ght, directed and co-wrote his first film, Songs in Stone: An Arctic Journey Home, which won the Best Arts/Entertainment Award at the 2000 Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival. The one-hour documentary, the jacket from whic is shown below, shot mainly on Baffin Island in the wilds of the Canadian Arctic, pays tribute to the sculptors and printmakers of Cape Dorset, and to his parents, the late James and Alma Houston, whose historic collaboration launched Inuit art onto the world stage.

Born on Baffin Island and immersed in native tradition at an early age, Houston brings to his films a unique perspective on Inuit culture, on the gap that separates it from Western cultures, and on the need for creativity to bridge that divide. Songs in Stone launched an Arctic trilogy instrumental in promoting and preserving Inuit oral tradition. The films have garnered numerous awards plus nominations for Geminis and the International Emmy.

A question and answer session with Houston will follow the screening, after which a reception will be held in his honor. The screening and reception are free and open to all. Houston’s visit is co-sponsored by the Yale Peabody Museum, the Yale Department of Anthropology, the Woodward Fund, the Yale Silliman College Master’s Office, and the Yale Film Studies Program.

On Oct. 11, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Inuit Film Day will be held at Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St. Two captivating films comprise this freefilm mini-festival: Nanook of the North, (1922, 79 min., b&w); and Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), (2001, 172 min., color)
Commentary and discussion will follow.

On Oct. 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A Celebration of Native American Cultures
At Yale Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Ave. Cost: Admission of $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-18 and college students.
This year’s celebration will focus on Inuit peoples of the Canadian Arctic. The event will feature music and dance performances and a display of Inuit sculpture. There will also be crafts, games and storytelling for children.

Photos are C. Ball, CSC/Drumsong Communications, Inc. Photo of Inuk Hunter, top, is by N. Luck, Houston North Gallery
Source: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

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