Zacharias Kunuk, celebrated Nunavut filmmaker, joins Oscars academy
'I thought it was a spam email… but then it came up again and I checked it'
Nunavut filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that picks the Oscar award winners.
Kunuk learned last week that he's one of 774 new members invited to join the group.
"I thought it was a spam email," Kunuk said, "so I copied it to my old-time partner Norman Cohn, telling him, 'Look, I got a good spam,' but then it came up again and I checked it."
The email included a temporary membership card, but Kunuk said the real deal should arrive in the mail soon.
The invitation is part of an overhaul at the academy following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Kunuk has produced several feature films and television series.
His 2001 film, Atanarjuat, shot entirely in Inuktitut, was voted the No. 1 Canadian film of all time in 2015.
More recently, he's been screening his latest film, Maliglutit, or Searchers, across the country. The film, also shot in Inuktitut, is a vengeance tale based on a 1956 western of the same name.
Kunuk is also working on a seven-part, half-hour television series called Hunting with My Ancestors.