Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Barrow

We're here in Barrow again doing some more auditions during Qitik. (If you don't know what Qitik is...it's basically several days/nights of games and competitions where everyone gets together and hangs out for fun and prizes during the holidays. Some of the games are for laughs, some are very athletic and difficult like Alaska high kick, one foot high kick and two foot high kick. We don't have any video of them, but if you search any of those names on YouTube there are a bunch.)

We've had a great turnout and we're looking forward to our call-backs tonight. Then we're heading back down to Anchorage for more open-call auditions on the 2nd and 3rd at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art (4:30-8:30pm each night).

We're hoping to grab an hour or so to get out and get some more photos, but in the meantime we've taken a few here and there. This is a fairly random selection of what we've been doing the past several days...


Some impressive holiday decoration at Barrow's only Mexican restaurant Pepe's.


Kids from town who were hanging out at auditions the other night


Beautiful Iqalin on her first birthday


Looking out toward the ocean and a snow-covered van


Happy (almost) New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Barrow auditions start today! Win a $50 door prize

Just a quick reminder that our second round of Barrow auditions start today and we've added a little incentive...If you come and audition you will be entered in a raffle to win a $50 gift certificate to NAPA here in Barrow. So if you're feeling shy, let that be the extra encouragement you needed!

Here are Barrow audition details:

Ipalook Elementary School
Room 176

During Qitik!

Sunday, December 27th
8:30-10pm

Saturday, December 28th
4-8pm

Monday, December 29th

4-8pm

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Watch SIKUMI online for free!


SIKUMI is now online. It will be available for free on the YouTube Screening Room for the next 6 weeks. If you have not yet seen SIKUMI, this is your chance. If you have already seen it, we hope you will take another look and/or pass this on to friends. The more “views” the better for us!!!

(For those of you who don't know already, ON THE ICE is loosely based on this short film SIKUMI.)

Viewing the film online is easy, just be sure to click HD and full screen for the best viewing experience. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvAceiILq4A

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Upcoming Barrow & Anchorage auditions

For all those out there who still want to audition, the instructions for video auditions are up on our website. Please visit the casting page at www.ontheicethemovie.com for all the details on what to do.

Also, we are planning to hold more auditions in Barrow and Anchorage only. See below for the details we have confirmed thus far:

BARROW
Ipalook Elementary School -- Room 176
During Qitik!

Sunday, December 27th
4-8pm

Saturday, December 28th
4-8pm

Monday, December 29th

4-8pm

ANCHORAGE
International Gallery of Contemporary Art
427 D. St (by 4th Ave.)

January 2nd
4:30-8:30pm

January 3rd
4:30-8:30pm

Please spread the word to all those people who missed out the first time! We want to meet all of you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Barrow

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posts. We checked out for a few days to give ourselves the time and focus needed to chow down in full relaxation mode over the holiday.

Things in Barrow went well. It was snowy, not too cold most days, and fairly dark with lots of beautiful frost covering every angle of every surface. We have our fingers crossed that we might get some similarly cool-looking conditions during our shoot.





Couldn't get a great shot of this because the light was so even, but if you look closely you can see that people have written their names in the snow on the fence.



Here's a shot over the lagoon from the Barrow side of Barrow looking over to the Browerville side. Once it's been cold enough for long enough, you can snowmobile and walk over the lagoon, but you have to make sure it's fully frozen.



These pictures were taken at around 2pm so the brightest part of the day had gone by. Even though the sun doesn't rise at this time of year, it does get closer to the horizon and brighten the sky to a dusky or late afternoonish kind of light.

In terms of casting we managed to meet a bunch of talented great people. Thanks to all those who came out to meet us! Here's a short video of our new friend Bucky at KBRW who helped us get the word out with flare. Thanks for all the support Bucky!

video

While we did meet lots of excellent people in Barrow, we didn't go away feeling we had met everyone we'd hoped to, so we're planning to try to get back up there. If things go our way we will make it back to Anchorage and Barrow for further auditions in both places in December. I will be sure to post the details of our next trip as soon as possible. We are hoping to solidify our plans very soon.

If you are someone who missed your chance to audition in Barrow or Anchorage, please check this blog and/or join our Facebook group so you don't miss your second chance! Our Facebook group is called "On the Ice" and you can get to it by clicking "Join our Facebook group" on our website: www.ontheicethemovie.com


Still on the topic of radio...for those of you not from Alaska, here's a quick clip of the birthday program that happens every day on KBRW. It's a half-hour daily show where people can call in and wish their friends and loved ones a happy birthday or anniversary. This clip happened to be on Andrew's cousin Byron's 14th anniversary with his wife Doreen!

video

Finally making it to Barrow was a real treat. For Andrew obviously it was coming home, but for me too after all these years visiting Barrow and making films there, I felt a sense of relief when we got off the plane. It felt like a hard-earned reward after all our weeks on the road.

As we expected this trip was on one level about finding actors, but it was also about building our community across the state and in Canada. We met incredibly supportive, positive, artistic community members in every location and we are truly grateful to everyone who helped us along the way. In Barrow specifically, we'd like to extend our special thanks to everyone at the Heritage Center (Kathy, Patuk, Kristy, Debbie); Audrey Saganna; and Principal Jeff Theilbar at the Barrow High School, for your help throughout our Barrow auditions.

That's all for now. Check back soon for more from our trip and updates about our upcoming travel to Anchorage and Barrow for our second round of auditions in each location. If you missed your first chance to audition, don't be shy! We'd love to meet you later in December!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barrow Auditions

Auditions in Barrow start Thursday the 19th and go until Sunday the 22nd! Hope to see you there!

All auditions will be held at the Heritage Center

Thursday, November 19th -- 6-9pm
Friday, November 20th -- 6-9pm
Saturday, November 21st -- 1-4pm
Sunday, November 22nd -- 1-4pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but the sooner you can come the better. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back again on Monday or Tuesday to call-back auditions. If you come Thursday or Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet any Iñupiaq people who would like to audition, but you must be at least 16 years of age. All roles are Iñupiaq and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are looking for men and women of all ages! There are lots of parts small and large that we are hoping to find people for! Everyone should come even if you're only interested in a non-speaking role!

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Thanks Fairbanks!

What a great turn-out we had today. Thank you to the many students who braved the cold and came out to give it a shot. Thanks also to Ron Brower and everyone at the Alaska Native Language Center for helping us promote the auditions in their classrooms.

An extra special thanks to our incredibly generous and hard-working new friend Maya Salganek at UAF! Best of luck with all your great projects-- film, theatre and most of all Keet! For the record, you make very tasty salmon. Also, thank you to Cindy Schumacher and Jason Ferris at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center for your help with our downtown auditions.

More from Barrow later this week...

Monday, November 16, 2009

One more chance to audition in Fairbanks

We've added another chance for everyone in Fairbanks to audition last minute. Here are the details:

Monday, November 16th
2-4:30pm
UAF Wood Center
Conference Room A


We haven't met enough of UAF's talented Inuit students! We are sure there are more people on campus interested in trying out, so don't miss your chance. We'd love to meet you! Email me if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Point Hope

Our visit to Point Hope was excellent after a few bumps in the road. Andrew managed to get a severe case of food poisoning in Kotzebue from a Bayside chicken bacon melt the night before we were both supposed to fly to Point Hope. Sparing you the very gory details, I flew to Point Hope on my own the next morning to get things set up and Andrew holed up close to a bathroom in Kotzebue. A day too late, we found out the word around town is never order anything with bacon from Bayside. Andrew concurs.

Auditions were light the first night in Point Hope, but with the help of several kind people around town (Ramona at the high school and Art Othniel Oomittuk) we ended up meeting over 30 people all told. Although the weather wasn't the best for sight-seeing or photos, the village is very picturesque and the people couldn't have been friendlier. Thanks to everyone there for supporting us, especially Rex and Emma at the Tikigaq Corporation for letting us use their conference room.

Last Tuesday we were stuck in Point Hope because of bad weather in the Kotzebue/Nome area and we woke up the next day hoping to make it out on the morning flight. Unfortunately, the storm had gotten worse south of Point Hope where all our flights originated so everything was canceled on all the airlines. Through the grapevine we did hear about a Shell Oil charter flight from Barrow that was dropping off a bunch of people late morning. After talking with the intrepid Bessie Kowunna, we managed to arrange hitching a ride on that plane. Coincidentally, the charter was leaving Point Hope to stop in Galena and then head on to Fairbanks, which worked really well for us. Our flights from Kotzebue>Nome>Anchorage>Fairbanks had all been canceled so getting us straight to Fairbanks and avoiding the heart of the storm was ideal. Bessie seemed confident the pilot could land but the winds were pretty intense so we were doubtful. Here's a little footage of Andrew driving out to the runway following Bessie and me in the pick-up in front of him.



video

We're kicking ourselves now because we didn't film the impressive landing in the white-out. The pilot explained that because it was blowing snow it was fine to land, but if it had been foggy he couldn't have. The bizarre thing was that once we got a couple hundred feet up, the visibility was pretty much clear above the wind. Here's a little footage of me unloading our bags from Bessie's pick-up just after the plane landed.


video

It's hard to get the feel of the weather without the sound of the wind, but here's our take-off.

video

So we're safe and sound now in Fairbanks. Things have been slower here than we expected, but still good. We have call-backs here tomorrow and then we head up to Barrow on Tuesday. Can't wait.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fairbanks Audition Info

The Fairbanks auditions will take place this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 13th
6-9pm
Morris Thompson Cultural Center
101 Dunkel Street
(across from the Tanana Chiefs Office Building)


Saturday, November 14th
1-4pm
UAF Fine Arts Building
Theatre Green Room

Sunday, November 15th
1-4pm
Morris Thompson Cultural Center
101 Dunkel Street
(across from the Tanana Chiefs Office Building)


You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Friday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Sunday or Monday as well. If you come Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

If you are traveling from a distance and can't make it Friday, please make an effort to come Saturday. We plan to do our call-backs on Monday evening for Fairbanks residents. If you are called back and can stay until Monday evening that is preferable, but if that is not possible because you are from out of town, we will do our best to accommodate you. We may consider adding a call-back session on Sunday evening.

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Anchorage canceled

Unfortunately, due to bad weather in the Kotzebue area, we are unable to make it to Anchorage today in time to run auditions. Our flights have all been canceled and we are still in Point Hope.

Fingers crossed, but I think we're hitching a ride with a charter flight that is coming in shortly. We'll be flying with them straight to Fairbanks so our Fairbanks auditions should move forward as scheduled, beginning this Friday.

Our apologies to everyone who was planning to come to our additional day of auditions in Anchorage. We are going to try to get back to Anchorage at some point, but we are not sure when that might happen.

Email me if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stuck in Point Hope

For those planning to come to the extra day of Anchorage auditions tomorrow, November 11th...

Our flight out of Point Hope today was canceled because of the stormy weather, so we are hoping to make it to Kotzebue tomorrow morning. Then the earliest flight available from Kotz gets us into Anchorage at 4:28 so we'll come straight over to the gallery from the airport.


Sorry for any inconvenience it may cause you. We hope to be there as close to 4:30 as possible, but it may be more like 5pm.

More Anchorage auditions

We've decided to squeeze in another night of open call auditions in Anchorage. We've received many emails from people who missed the initial audition period, so for all of you out there who still want to come and try out, this is your chance. Here are the details:

Wednesday, November 11th
International Gallery of Contemporary Art
427 D Street (by the corner of 4th Ave.)
5-6:30pm

All Inuit cast -- 17-70 years old
www.ontheicethemovie.com

Also, if you know other people who wanted to audition, please spread the word!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Point Hope Audition Info

All Point Hope auditions will take place at the Tikigaq Corporation Offices. Here are the times:

Sunday, November 8th -- 5-7pm
Monday, November 9th -- 6-9pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Sunday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Monday as well. If you come Sunday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nome to Shishmaref to Kotzebue

We left Nome last Sunday after having had a fantastic casting process there. We met a lot of very talented people. Nome showed up! Aarigaaaa Nome! Our most sincere thanks go out to everyone at the Nome Native Arts Center, especially Lisa Ellanna, Wilma Osborne and our friend Marilyn Koezuna-Irelan for all their enthusiasm and hands-on support. Your generosity and positivity are inspiring and infectious. Thank you! For those that know Marilyn here's a great picture of her and her adorable granddaughter Owaluk.



We felt lucky to get the chance to get back to Shishmaref. Andrew and I were there in the summer of 2008 researching a documentary on the environmental issues Shishmaref is facing (erosion, high water, and intense storms related to climate change). This time we got to see what Shishmaref is like in the fall with a real snap of Arctic cold (20 below before wind chill) and some snow on the ground. Chilly and beautiful.

We were able to visit with some old friends and meet a bunch of talented people from the community excited about On the Ice. Shishmaref is a small village of about 800 so we got the word out pretty quickly on the local scanner. For those who don't know, this is what it looks like:







We did the casting at the Shishmaref school and the IRA Friendship Center. Here's a pic of us in the middle of a casting session in the school's carving room.



There are no restaurants in Shishmaref so we did a fair amount of cooking in our very simple kitchen.



We stayed in a trailer with no running water, but we were able to pull together some tasty meals with the help of our friend Dennis. Dennis has a very creative flair when it comes to cooking, and one night he invented a new Eskimo classic we'd thought you'd get a kick out of. Here's a quick video of how to make "reindeer tartare." (Sorry about the weird squashed proportion, still figuring out how to use Compressor.)


video

Thanks to everyone at the IRA and at the Shishmaref School, in particular Fred Eningowuk and Principal Steve Sammons respectively.

We're in Kotzebue now and already feel right at home. The incredibly warm and welcoming Maija Lukin and Corina Kramer are helping us get the word out with gusto. These ladies know how to rally the troops. I'll write more soon on Kotzebue, but here's my favorite picture so far from just outside the airport.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kotzebue Casting Details

Sorry for the lapse in posts. We have been in Shishmaref with no internet access. I will post a more detailed update soon, but I wanted to get the Kotzebue casting details up here for all those in Kotzebue who are planning to come.

All Kotzebue auditions will take place at the BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. Here are the times:

Thursday, November 5th -- 6-9pm
Friday, November 6th -- 6-9pm
Saturday, November 7th -- 1-4pm


You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Thursday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Friday or Saturday as well. If you come Thursday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Casting starts today in Nome

It feels good to be back in Nome. We were here in 2005 while we were shooting Sylvester Ayek (a carver and sculptor) for the documentary When the Season is Good: Artists of Arctic Alaska. We were waiting for the weather to clear for us to follow Sylvester out to King Island to film him where he grew up. The weather didn't cooperate for a while so we got to spend a solid chunk of time here in Nome with him and other friends in town. We stopped back here in summer 2008 on our way to Shishmaref and got to see a few friends, but it's nice to be here this time for more than just a layover.

Here's a picture of the sunset on our way to Milano's for some dinner last night. Andrew took it on his phone so it doesn't do it justice, but it's the view across the street from where we're staying.



We went over this afternoon and met Laureli Kinneen at the local radio station KNOM and got a chance to chat about the film and our casting process on air for a few minutes. We also got our casting flyer on Nome Announce (Nome's version of Craigslist) and the community TV channel so we're hoping the word is out. But just to make sure, the wonderful Lisa Ellanna at the Nome Native Arts Center helped us put together this easel and we stationed it at a busy corner downtown for everyone to see who drives by. Guerilla marketing!



Auditions start tonight at 6pm at the Nome Native Arts Center which is inside the King Island Tribal Offices at 706 East 4th Street.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Casting details for Nome

Here's a cool picture from Nome in 2005 when we were making our documentary When the Season is Good: Artists of Arctic Alaska.



Our Nome auditions begin this Thursday at the Nome Native Arts Center in the King Island Tribal Offices.


For anyone interested in coming by, here are the details:

Nome Native Arts Center in the King Island Tribal Offices
706 East 4th Street


Thursday, October 29th -- 6-10pm
Friday, October 30th -- 6-10pm

Saturday, October 31st -- 1-4pm


You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Thursday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Friday or Saturday as well. If you come Thursday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone ages 17 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s. We are also casting one Aaka (grandmother) who speaks some Iñupiaq.

WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN MEETING YOUNG MEN AGES 17-25 and ADULT MEN 34-45! This is a very unique opportunity to experience acting and filmmaking with a Sundance award-winning director! Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Andrew on CBS Channel 11 Anchorage

KTVA CBS Channel 11 in Anchorage stopped by our auditions today to interview Andrew about the film. Tune in if you live in Alaska!

Two slightly different versions of the story will run on the 5pm and 10pm news. The 10pm story is a bit expanded, focusing more on our project and the new tax incentive program in Alaska.

For those of you outside of Alaska, the 10pm broadcast will be online by around 10:30pm on the KTVA website: http://www.ktva.com/ci_13644802

Also, here's a link to the text of the 10pm story: http://www.ktva.com/ci_13639433

Friday, October 23, 2009

Calling all young Inuit men!

Hello everyone,

We started our Anchorage auditions today and had a wonderful turn-out of talented women of all ages. BUT....the two lead roles in On the Ice are young Inuit men and so we want to get the word out to any young Inuit men ages 17-25.
  • If you are a young Inuit man, we'd love to meet you! Check our website for the audition times in your area: www.ontheicethemovie.com
  • If you know young Inuit men who might like to try out, please tell them about our film and encourage them to come meet us.
  • If you know of organizations, schools or individuals who know or work with young Inuit men, please forward our website and blog info to them and encourage them to spread the word.
Men are artists too! This is a fantastic opportunity for young men to experience acting and filmmaking while telling a powerful story about the lives of young people in Alaska today. Take a chance and come meet us.

SIDE NOTE....We are of course still very interested in meeting Inuit men and women of all ages. Our main roles for the film are in these groups:
  • Young men & women 17-25
  • Men & women 34-45
  • Women 58-75
However, if you are not in these age ranges we still want to meet you! We plan to make many films in Alaska and would like to meet any Inuit people who are interested in acting and filmmaking. Also, you may be one age but look another, so come meet us no matter what your age.

Thanks for reading. Email me if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Help us in Anchorage!

If you live in the Anchorage area we need your help. We want to get the word out to everyone humanly possible and it takes some leg work and some energetic word-of-mouth. If you'd like to help us you could:
  • Print out some On the Ice audition flyers and put them up anywhere you think might help. (email me at casting@ontheicethemovie.com if you're willing to do this and I will email you the flyer)
  • Forward our blog and website addresses to everyone you know and encourage friends to do the same.
  • Invite friends to come audition with you in Anchorage OCTOBER 23rd -26th!!
  • Contact me directly with suggestions of any newspapers, radio stations, colleges, high schools, or community organizations I should contact in the Anchorage area and I will happily take it from there.
Thanks so much in advance for your support!

Casting details for Anchorage

Hi everyone in Anchorage and everyone planning to be in Anchorage for AFN!!!

Our Anchorage auditions begin on Friday at the Cyrano Theater downtown close to the Alaska Federation of Natives convention.



For anyone interested in coming by, here are the details:

At the Cyrano Theater (413 D Street, by 4th ave.)
Friday, October 23rd -- 12-4pm
Saturday
, October 24th -- 12-4pm
Sunday, October 25th -- 10-12:30pm

At the International Gallery (427 D Street, by 4th ave.)
Monday, October 26th -- 12-3pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Friday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Saturday, Sunday or Monday as well. If you come Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you!

We are hoping to meet anyone age 16 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English.

We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women who are supposed to be in their early 40s. We are also casting one Aaka (grandmother) who speaks some Iñupiaq.

Please note: We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you soon! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kuujjuaq, Montreal, on to Alaska!

So our casting in Kuujjuaq is all wrapped up. Thanks to all those who came out to audition, to the wonderful Sylvia Cloutier for all her help (and delicious cooking!), and to the town of Kuujjuaq for access to the impressive Kattitavik Theatre...



And a very special thanks to First Air for helping us make our trip to Nunavik and Nunavut possible.

We're in Montreal now. We managed to squeeze in a few auditions here over the past couple hours, but for all those in Montreal and Ottawa, we are hoping to come back to meet more people. If you are from any area in Canada that we were not able to visit (including Montreal and Ottawa) and you'd like to audition, DEFINITELY CONTACT US! We want this casting process to be open to everyone who is interested and even if we can't meet you in person quite yet, we're hoping you can at least do a video audition. Send us an email at casting@ontheicethemovie.com and we can explain more about how to do it. So far we've gotten emails from people in Pond Inlet, Montreal, Rankin Inlet,
Kuujjuaraapik, Clyde River and Ottawa, and we're hoping people from all over will be able to videotape auditions.

Also, for those who've been reading since the beginning I wasn't able to get photos of the gorgeous bright yellow-orange Kuujjuaq trees because they had already lost their leaves by the time we got back there. I am however able to tell you what they are. From a very reliable source I have been told that they are a deciduous conifer called American larch, aka tamarach or Larix larcina. Here's a picture I didn't take of them. (Sadly it doesn't come close to how impressively vibrant they were in Kuujjuaq. They seemed plugged in!)




Next stop...Anchorage, Alaska!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Casting details for Kuujjuaq

We're heading to Kuujjuaq today, had a very productive three days here in Iqaluit, met lots of talented people. Here are the Kuujjuaq details for our casting this weekend there...

Our Kuujjuaq auditions begin on Saturday at the Kattitavik Theatre. For anyone interested in coming by, here are the details:

Saturday, October 17th -- 1-4pm
Sunday
, October 18th -- 1-4pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Saturday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to stay past 4pm on Saturday or come back Sunday as well. If you come Saturday, it gives us more time to get to know you. However, if you can only come Sunday, try your best to come close to 1pm.

We are willing to meet anyone 16 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English. We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women. We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you this week! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CBC radio broadcast

We just did an interview with CBC Radio here in Iqaluit. They are going to broadcast it tomorrow (Wednesday) on the morning show. If you aren't in Canada and want to listen, you can listen live on the internet at http://www.cbc.ca/radio/



Casting details for Iqaluit

Our Iqaluit auditions begin tonight at the Iqaluit High School Library. For anyone interested in coming by, here are the details:

Tuesday, October 13th -- 6-9pm
Wednesday
, October 14th -- 6-9pm
Thursday
, October 15th -- 6-9pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Tuesday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Wednesday and/or Thursday as well. If you come Tuesday evening, it gives us more time to get to know you. However, if you can't come Tuesday, any time you can make it is fine.

We are willing to meet anyone 16 to 70. All roles are Inuit and you must be comfortable acting in English. We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women. We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you this week! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Andrew & Cara

Monday, October 12, 2009

Igloolik & language

One of the most impressive things about Igloolik is how strong the language is. Everyone there speaks fluent Inuktitut, elders, adults, and youth. Having watched our own Iñupiaq language in Barrow grow weaker over the years, as so many indigenous languages are all over the world, it’s inspiring to see a community that has been able to fight against this trend.

Iglooligmiut deservedly take a lot of pride in this. Almost every teenager we auditioned proudly told us that their first language is Inuktitut. And it wasn’t just empty boasting. When they spoke amongst themselves it was always in their native language. One 17 year-old boy told us that he almost lost his language while living for several years in Iqaluit, but was able to regain it when he moved back, though it took him a year and a half.

But the coolest thing to see was all the young mothers speaking to their children and infants in the language. This is how a language survives, not just because of dictionaries, language classes or even bilingual education, though all those things are important, but from parent to child, in the pedestrian discourse of their everyday lives.

I have to think that the strength of the language has a carry-over effect on other aspects of the community. Maybe it’s one reason why they have been able to achieve so much artistically. Amazing films like Atanarjuat, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Before Tomorrow, docs like Exile, the Nunavut series, and performance groups like ArtCirq don’t spring just from individuals like Zach Kunuk, Natar Ungalaaq, Pakak Innukshuk, Paul Angilirq, Madeline Ivalu or Guillaume Saladin. They come from a community that has never lost its voice.

Igloolik

Our visit to Igloolik went really well. We met about 30 people over the course of our 3 days of auditions and had a lot of fun. We weren't able to explore too far out of town, but we did manage to go on some walks around the vicinity and up on some nearby hills to get a better view of the whole area. Here's a few photos...

The hamlet of Igloolik from a hill on the edge of town



Center of town in Igloolik during the school day



This is an inukshuk on the hillside. An inukshuk is a Inuktitut cairn made out of stones, some look like people, some are more like sculpture. In this case it helps people see from a distance where the town is, but they can be used to mark all kinds of things--safe passage, a camp, food storage, a grave, etc,




Here's a bigger clearer photo of what they look like



If you look real close you can see the moon in the belly of the inukshuk above. Here's another photo of the half moon coming up at sunset that night.



We were lucky to get to spend a little time with Zacharias Kunuk. He is a filmmaker and community leader in Igloolik who runs a fantastic company called Isuma Productions, along with several other Igloolik artists and filmmakers.

Our special thanks go out to Carol Kunuk who helped us put together our casting sessions, and to both Carol and Zacharias for spreading the word about our film throughout the community.

For those of you who aren't aware of Isuma's films, I highly recommend you check them out. In particular I would recommend, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, and Before Tomorrow.


Isuma Productions' building



Andrew during auditions



The view from Isuma looking out to the water, some kids playing out



We stayed at our new friend Guillaume Saladin's house. He runs an organization called Artcirq. It's the one and only Inuit circus group. Here's their website: http://www.artcirq.org/

Here I am all packed up and getting ready to head to the airport this morning.



We're in Iqaluit now, preparing for our auditions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening this week. More from Iqaluit soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Casting details for Igloolik

Our Igloolik auditions begin tonight at Isuma Productions. For anyone interested in coming by, here are the details:

Friday, October 9th -- 6-9pm
Saturday, October 10th -- 1-4pm
Sunday, October 11th -- 1-4pm

You are welcome to come any time within that time, but it's better to come Friday if you can. If we are considering you for a role we might ask you to come back on Saturday and/or Sunday as well. If you come Friday, it gives us more time to get to know you. However, if you can't come Friday, don't worry. Any time you can make it is fine.

We are willing to meet anyone 16 and older. We are casting a bunch of teenage roles, as well as a few adult men and women. We want to meet anyone interested in acting and filmmaking because we hope to make many films in and about the Arctic. If you aren't right for any parts in On the Ice, it's still worth coming because you might be right for a different film we want to make in the future.

Hope to see you this weekend! Feel free to email us any time if you have any questions at casting@ontheicethemovie.com.

Cara & Andrew

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Iqaluit then Igloolik

Photos from our walk through Iqaluit yesterday...



An Iqaluit stop sign with Inuktitut and English.



Out towards the ocean.



Iqaluit High School




We flew into Igloolik this morning after a brief stop in Hall Beach. Feels good to finally be up here. Really friendly people, beautiful ocean, lots of ice. We went over and met a bunch of kids at the high school this afternoon, seems like we should have a good turn out this weekend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A night in Iqaluit

We made it to Iqaluit, so far so good. Our plane stopped off in Kuujjuaq for a bit to drop some people off so we got a quick glimpse of the town from a distance. It's gorgeous up here. Does anyone know the name of the orange-yellow trees all over around Kuujjuaq? They look like evergreens, but they're very obviously turning orange with the change of the season. Now would be a great time for a photo but we didn't grab that one yet. Anyway, the trees are really stunning. I'll try to remember to get a picture when we're back there. A short flight later we're here in Iqaluit. There was no snow in Kuujjuaq, but Iqaluit has a bit. We haven't explored much yet, but thought you'd enjoy a glimpse of their impressive submarine-like airport, which is kind of the same shade as the Kuujjuaq trees.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On our way

We flew out from Laguardia this evening, head to Iqaluit for an overnight tomorrow, then finally to Igloolik on Thursday. We are spending tonight in the very special Holiday Inn at the Montreal Airport. This picture says it all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello everyone...

Welcome to our On the Ice blog!

We are days away from heading out on our big casting trip and we're hoping we'll have the energy to share some stories and photos along the way. We leave New York Tuesday night and make it to Igloolik in Nunavut, northern Canada by Thursday morning. Neither of us have ever been to Igloolik, but we are really looking forward to it. Igloolik is the home of Isuma Productions, the company responsible for the stunning Inuktitut film Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner). Zacharias Kunuk, Norm Cohn, and Carol Kunuk, all from Isuma, have been helping us set up our auditions and so we're anxious to get up there and meet the many artists of Igloolik.

Here's a photo of Igloolik that we didn't take:



Stay tuned...Andrew & Cara