The producers of a movie about how sport transformed a community in Nunavut were in Iqaluit last week holding a performing arts workshop for youth.

The Grizzlies tells an inspiring true story about a lacrosse team in Kugluktuk. 

The 34 youth who participated in the Iqaluit workshop were selected through an audition process. They will also have the chance to audition for one of seven roles in the film.

The Grizzlies tells how the lacrosse program positively influenced school attendance and helped reduce the rate of teen suicide in the community.

Emerald Macdonald

Emerald Macdonald from Kugluktuk was one of the youth at the performing arts workshop in Iqaluit. (CBC)

"They [the students] did not know how they were feeling inside," said Emerald Macdonald, one of the youth at the workshop. "Basically everybody hides their emotions. They hide it behind their smile."

Miranda de Pencier, who started her career as an actress, playing Josie Pye in the Anne of Green Gables TV series, is the movie's producer and director.

"Whatever they [the youth] tap into this week, whatever performing arts sessions they get excited about, they can jump on that and take it to the limit and start building their own stories," she said.

Miranda de Pencier

Miranda de Pencier, producer and director of The Grizzlies, says she's really aware that she's doing more than just making a movie. (CBC)

"Having spent some time in the North, I'm feeling a responsibility and I'm really aware that we are doing a lot more than just making a movie and entertaining people and inspiring them through a true story of hope."

The movie will be shot this spring in the North and Toronto.

De Pencier said she hopes to have as many Nunavut youth as possible work on the production.