Author: Melody McMullan

Nanuq's Baby Brother book cover with a large polar bear playing with a baby polar bear

Tuktu’s Journey

This series follows the story of Tuktu the caribou and his friends on the Tundra. In the demo, Nanuq’s Baby Brother, Nanuq the polar bear is sad she doesn’t have any siblings, but when her annana (mother) makes a big announcement, Nanuq works hard to be prepared for the new arrival.

Based on the book published by Arvaaq Books, written by Nadia Sammurtok & Rachel Rupke and illustrated by Ali Hinch.

2D animation, Inuktitut and English 

 

Credits

Written by Nadia Sammurtok & Rachel Rupke

Title image of Tundra Friends

Tundra Friends

Meet the Tundra Friends! The Tundra Friends are a delightful cast of anthropomorphic animal characters that each personify a different emotion. This series features thoughtful, engaging stories that teach children to identify and regulate their emotions in healthy ways. In teaching emotional literacy, Tundra Friends lays the groundwork for good mental health. 

2D animation, Inuktitut & English

 

Credits

Written by Thomas Anguti Johnston, Aviaq Johnston, Nadia Mike & Nadia Sammurtok

Directed by Nadia Mike, Louise Flaherty, Nadia Sammurtok & Neil Christopher

Produced by Louise Flaherty & Neil Christopher

Book cover showing Putuguq and Kublu chasing each other with their grandpa in the background and title above them

Putuguq and Kublu

There’s lots of fun to be had on the tundra—especially when Putuguq and Kublu are up to their tricks! Putuguq and Kublu love to pull pranks and one-up each other every chance they get. But when their schemes don’t go as planned, the feuding siblings find themselves on the land with their grandpa learning about their ancestors. Based on the Inhabit Media graphic novel series Putuguq and Kublu, written by Roselynn Akulukjuk and Danny Christopher, and illustrated by Astrid Arijanto

 

2D animation, Inuktitut & English

 

Credits 

Written by Roselynn Akulukjuk & Danny Christopher

Directed by Roselynn Akulukjuk & Danny Christopher

Produced by Louise Flaherty & Danny Christopher

Mia and the Monsters characters hugging in front of a tent with the title above them

Mia and the Monsters

Mia and the Monsters follows a confident young Inuk girl and her quirky group of monster friends. Presented in the classic storytelling style of Winnie the Pooh, The Wizard of Oz, and Where the Wild Things Are, this series will teach kids the value of being kind, sharing with others, and being yourself. The Mia and the Monsters world is a camp with Mia’s tent and the monsters’ homes situated in a place that resembles the natural environment of the Canadian Arctic.

This story will begin in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and then the audience will be magically transported to Mia’s make-believe tundra world. The activities, tools, and games will be familiar to Northern children, and the series will give a glimpse of Northern life to children around the world. This preschool series will be filled with age-appropriate information and will teach important Inuit values of kindness, friendship, patience, and environmental stewardship.

Note: This series is based on a preschool book series with the same name, familiar to children across Nunavut.

 

2D & live-action children’s television series
Audience: Preschool (ages 2–5)
Produced in English and Inuktitut

 

Credits

Written by Neil Christopher & Nadia Sammurtok

Directed by Neil Christopher & Nadia Mike

Produced by Louise Flaherty & Neil Christopher

Scene from the Shaman's Apprentice with FIPRESCI award laurel

Angakuksajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice wins FIPRESCI Award at Annecy Film Festival

We are so honoured to announce that Angakuksajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice has received the FIPRESCI Award at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival. We would like to congratulate everyone at Taqqut Productions, Kingulliit Productions, and the Stop Motion Department whose tireless work paid off. For a full list of this year’s festival winners, click here.

Rita-Claire holding berries with the YMA symbol in the corner of the image

Anaana’s Tent nominated for the Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence

The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is an organization that seeks to improve the quality of Canadian children and teens’ screen-based media. Each year, the YMA offers awards of excellence to the best productions aimed at English- and French-speaking Canadians. We are honoured to announce that Anaana’s Tent has been nominated for a 2021 YMA Award of Excellence! Winners will be announced at the gala on May 26th. 

Title image of Tundra Friends

Production begins on Tundra Friends

Production has started on our new show, Tundra Friends! Tundra Friends is a children’s animated series designed to help kids develop emotional literacy. It follows a group of anthropomorphic arctic animals (each representing a simple emotion/perspective) as they go to school, play games, and navigate life issues that are common among the target age range of viewers. The show is expected to air next year. 

Scene from Giant Bear with the Canadian Screen Awards 2020 laurel

Giant Bear wins Canadian Screen Award

 

We are excited to announce that Giant Bear has been selected as the winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short. We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at Taqqut Productions and edFilms, without whom this achievement would not have been possible. You can view all of the 2020 winners and nominees here.

Thank you speech
We are honoured to be this year’s winners of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short. We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team that brought the project to life at Taqqut Productions and edFilms. In particular, we’d like to acknowledge the work of Beatrice Deer, the film’s vocalist and part of the score team, Solomon Awa, who gave our film a voice, and Jose Angutinngurniq, who shared the traditional story the film was based on. We are incredibly proud to be recording and sharing the stories and voices of the North. Thank you!

Thank you speech in Inuktitut

 

 

CBC Short Film Face Off banner

Giant Bear to appear in CBC Short Film Face Off

We are so excited that Giant Bear will be a part of the CBC Short Film Face Off! Now in its 13th season, the CBC Short Film Face Off is a series that features short films from all across Canada, each one competing in front of a panel of judges. Tune in starting August 1st to watch Giant Bear and hear Louise Flaherty talk about it!

Scene from How Nivi Got Her Names and What's My Superpower with BCFF laurel

How Nivi Got Her Names and What’s My Superpower? to screen as part of the Bellingham Children’s Film Festival

Located in Washington’s Bellingham, the Bellingham Children’s Film Festival is a weekend of fun for all ages, with workshops, interactive activities, and screenings of some of the best children’s content. How Nivi Got Her Names and What’s My Superpower? Will be screening Saturday, March 7th at 12:00 PM. Click here to see the full festival program. 

Scenes from What's My Superpower and How Nivi Got Her Names with the Seattle Children's Film Festival laurel

How Nivi Got Her Names and What’s My Superpower? to screen at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle

We are so excited that What’s My Superpower? and How Nivi Got Her Names is included in this year’s Children’s Film Festival Seattle. The CFFS showcases films from all over the world. In focusing on diversity, racial equity, inclusivity, social justice, and global awareness, the CFFS works hard to bring some of the greatest and most impactful films to the next generation of movie-lovers. The CFFS will run from February 27th to March 8th, 2020. 

Scene from Giant Bear with GIRAF laurels

Giant Bear receives Jury’s Honourable Mention and Audience’s Award for Best Short at GIRAF Festival

We are so honoured to announce that Giant Bear has received both the Jury’s Honourable Mention and the Audience’s Award for Best Short at the GIRAF Festival of Independent Animation. The GIRAF film festival is held in Calgary and showcases underground, independent, and experimental animated films. Congratulations to all the amazing winners and nominees!

Scene from Leah's Mustache Party where Leah's Mom draws a Mustache on Leah

Taqqut’s Nadia Mike receives funding for Leah’s Mustache Party

We recently received news that Nadia Mike will be getting funding from the The Harold Greenberg Fund/Territories Shorts Program for her short film Leah’s Mustache Party. The film is based on Nadia’s book of the same name, and tells the story of a young girl who loves dressing up with a mustache so much that she holds a mustache party with her friends and family. The film will be directed and produced by Nadia Mike, and written by Thomas Anguti Johnston.

A man being lifted by a group of people at Unikkaaqtuat

Unikkaaqtuat featured in Ottawa Citizen following world premiere

Unikkaaqtuat is a live-action performance that blends music, theatre, poetry, and circus arts in a captivating rendition of traditional Inuit stories. The show is a co-production by Taqqut, The 7 Fingers, and Artcirq. Last Friday, Unikkaaqtuat premiered at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Following the premiere, Unikkaaqtuat was featured in the Ottawa Citizen, and was described as a feast for the senses, not only beautifully executed and gracefully performed, but also important.” You can read the full review here.

YMA conference poster (text reads: Children's Youth and Media conference, Toronto November 6-7-8 2019) next to Nadia Mike's headshot

Nadia Mike to speak at YMA conference

Our very own Nadia Mike will be speaking at the Youth Media Alliance’s Children, Youth & Media conference on Wednesday, November 6th. She will be a guest speaker on the “Growing up with Indigenous Stories” panel which will run from 1:15 – 2:30 PM and will speak alongside Monika Ille (APTN) and Jerry Thevenet (Indigenous Writer, Director & Producer, JerryCo Animation). For more information on the conference and where to buy tickets, please visit the Youth Media Alliance website

The characters of Tundra Friends standing together on the tundra with the show's logo in the top left

Melody McMullan and Leslie Pulsifer to pitch Tundra Friends at OIAF Pitch THIS!

Taqqut’s Melody McMullan and Leslie Pulsifer will be heading to Ottawa to pitch our new show Tundra Friends at the Ottawa International Animation Festival’s Pitch THIS! competition. As semi-finalists, we will be competing with ten other semi-finalists for the chance to win the grand prize. Our pitch will occur on Wednesday, September 25th, and you can visit the OIAF website for more information. 

Scene from Giant Bear and What's My Superpower side by side with 2019 OIAF laurels

What’s My Superpower? and Giant Bear to screen at Ottawa International Animation Festival

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is one of the world’s top animation festivals, and this year it will be screening films from 36 countries and nearly every continent. We are thrilled to announce that What’s My Superpower? has been nominated for the Young Audiences Preschool Award and will have its world premiere at OIAF. Giant Bear will also be screening as part of the Canadian Panorama. The festival runs from September 25th to 29th. 

Filming wraps on Anaana’s Tent!

That’s a wrap! After a month of filming the first season of Anaana’s Tent, to air on APTN this coming Fall, we wrapped filming in December.

 

Anaana’s Tent is an entertaining and educational children’s series that mixes animation, puppets, and live action. This series is designed for preschool children between 2 and 5 years old. Anaana’s Tent is loosely modelled after classic educational series such as Sesame Street, Mr. Dressup, and Dora the Explorer. Each episode of Anaana’s Tent will be built around an educational theme and provide developmentally appropriate activities with the help of our cast of recurring characters, cultural performers, musical guests, and animated sequences. Set in the Arctic, this distinctly Northern show will showcase talent from across Nunavut and introduce new cultural traditions and language to children across Canada.

 

Here’s a sneak peek! Check out the photos below for scenes from the set of Anaana’s Tent, featuring our host, Rita-Claire, and guest Celina Kalluk.

 

 

 

 

Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing (2017)

Ukaliq and Kalla Go Fishing tells the story of an ice-fishing trip taken by two unlikely friends—Ukaliq the Arctic hare and Kalla the lemming. Well-meaning but impatient, Ukaliq can’t catch a single Arctic char! Good thing Kalla is there. Embodying the calm, thoughtful nature of traditional hunters and those who live in the Arctic, Kalla shares his wisdom—and his snacks—with his unprepared friend. This fun, the educational short film shows how important it is to be patient, kind, and prepared for whatever comes.

5 minutes, 2D animation

Credits:

Written and Directed by Nadia Mike
Produced by Neil Christopher, Danny Christopher, and Louise Flaherty

 

Awards and Nominations:

Award Winner
  • 2017 Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum Native Cinema Showcase (New Mexico, USA) – Best Animated Short
Award Nominee
  • 2017 American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA, USA) – Nominated for Animated Short
  • 2017 LA Skins Film Fest (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – Nominated for Best Animation
Screening
  • 2019 Nuuk International Film Festival (Nuuk, Greenland)

 

Join us on social media:

Facebook: @ukaliqandkalla

Instagram: @ukaliqandkalla

Twitter: @ukaliqandkalla

The Owl and the Lemming (2016)

The oral history of Inuit is filled with many folktales, legends, and myths. In this traditional story, a young owl catches a lemming to eat. Inuit stories are often instructive, and with this fable, children quickly learn the value of being clever and humble, and why pride and arrogance are to be avoided.
This short puppet film utilizes composited photographs and a set made with actual Arctic plants and lichen to create an authentic retelling of this ancient Arctic fable. This short film provides a glimpse of traditional Inuit values and beliefs.

3 minutes, Puppet animation 

Credits:

Directed by Roselynn Akulukjuk
Produced by Louise Flaherty and Neil Christopher
Screenplay by Roselynn Akulukjuk and Neil Christopher

Awards and Nominations:

Award Winner
  • 2017 Short. Sweet. Film Fest (Cleveland, OH, USA) – Honourable Mention in Animation
  • 2016 American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA, USA) – Best Animation Co-Winner
Award Nominee
  • 2017 West Chester International Short Film Festival (West Chester, PA, USA) – Nominated for Best Animation Film
  • 2017 Yorkton Film Festival (Yorkton, SK, Canada) – Nominated in Children’s & Youth Category
  • 2017 Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum – Native Cinema Showcase (New Mexico, USA) – Nominated for Best Animated Short
  • 2016 LA Skins Film Fest (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – Nominated for Achievement in Animation Filmmaking
Screening
  • 2019 Nuuk International Film Festival (Nuuk, Greenland)

Little Folk of the Arctic (2015)

In the folklore of most cultures around the world there are stories of magical little folk. And the Arctic is no exception. Inuit traditional knowledge is filled with references to many different races and tribes of little folk. These beings always try to avoid human encounters, but over the years Inuit hunters and shaman have gathered stories and experiences to help us understand these small inhabitants.
This short introduces viewers to the little folk of the Arctic.

3 minutes, 2D animation 

Credits:

Directed by Neil Christopher
Produced by Louise Flaherty and Neil Christopher
Screenplay by Neil Christopher

Awards and Nominations:

Best Short Animation, Seoul Guro International Kids Film Festival (2016)

Best Animation (Nominee), American Indian Film Festival (2016)

Achievement in Animation Filmmaking (Nominee), Los Angeles Skins Film Festival (2016)

Best Animation (Nominee), Yorkton Film Festival (2017)

Awards and Nominations:

Award Winner
  • 2016 American Indian Film Festival (San Francisco, CA, USA) – Best Animation Co-Winner
  • 2016 Seoul Guro International Kids Film Festival (Seoul, South Korea) – Best Short Animation Winner
Award Nominee
  • 2017 Yorkton Film Festival (Yorkton, SK, Canada) – Nominated in Animation Category
  • 2016 LA Skins Film Fest (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – Nominated for Achievement in Animation Filmmaking
Screening
  • 2019 Nuuk International Film Festival (Nuuk, Greenland)

Ogress of the Gravelbank (2015)

Inuit oral history is filled with strange beings and supernatural creatures. One of these feared land spirits is the Ogress of the Gravelbank. This cruel being was known to lure children into her lair and trap them there. All that perish in that cave remain there as spirits and animated corpses.
This short vignette introduces viewers to this malevolent spirit who is unknown to all but the people of the far north.

3 minutes, 2D animation 

Credits:

Directed by Neil Christopher
Produced by Louise Flaherty and Neil Christopher
Screenplay by Neil Christopher

Awards and Nominations: 

Achievement in Animation Filmmaking (Nominee), Los Angeles Skins Film Festival (2016)

Best Animation (Nominee), Yorkton Film Festival (2017)

Awards and Nominations:

Award Winner
  • 2016 CreActive International Open Film Festival (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – Special Mention Award for “Animation Film”
  • 2015 Yorkton Film Festival (Yorkton, SK, Canada) – Best Children’s and Youth Production Winner

Summer Jobs Program: Production Assistant Position

Student Summer Job Opportunity: Production Assistant and Grip

Employer: Taqqut Productions, Iqaluit, NU
Reports To: Production Team
Terms of Employment: Immediate – August 29, 2016 (Summer Student Position)
Compensation:  $20/hour
Contact Information: Brittany Choquer, [email protected]

Key Purpose of the Job:
To assist the production team in the smooth running of projects by ensuring all office and film work is conducted efficiently.

We are looking for a student returning to full-time post-secondary studies in the fall and is excited by the prospect of working in film, TV, and animation. The production assistant position will involve assisting with film projects and many tasks that occur on set and behind the scenes, including administrative work, problem solving, and creating content. There will be opportunities to learn different aspects of filmmaking, including camera work, cinematography, set design and editing. Please note this is a hands-on job that may include some light construction, lifting and outdoor activities, as needed.

Duties include:

  • Assisting with set design and construction
  • Scouting, photographing and arranging filming locations
  • Arranging props and sets
  • Running errands for film crew (picking up supplies and tools, prep work)
  • Contributing to creative segment ideas
  • Assisting with camera work
  • Assisting with set lighting
  • Assisting with puppeteering

Required skills:

  • Clear communicator
  • Focussed and organized
  • Adaptable to changing scenarios
  • Motivated and takes initiative
  • Calm and personable under pressure
  • Works well under tight deadlines
  • Fast learner of new workflows
  • Someone who is passionate about film, TV and animation!

Preferred but not essential:

  • A driver’s license
  • Inuktitut language skills
  • Video editing experience

About Taqqut Productions:

Taqqut Productions Inc. is an Inuit-owned film production company located in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Taqqut films have screened at festivals in eighteen countries, and have won over twenty international awards. Taqqut has established itself as an innovative leader in Northern youth and children’s productions, and aims to preserve the rich storytelling culture of the North.