“Film Diplomacy” in Iqaluit

American film expert Claire Aguilar will visit Iqaluit from October 5 to October 7 to participate in a program of peer-to-peer engagement and cultural diplomacy through film. She will be joined by Rachel Gandin Mark, Project Director for the American Film Showcase, an initiative which highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue and debate. The visit will underscore future prospects for cooperation between U.S. and Canadian filmmakers, as well as highlight the challenges that filmmakers face in small northern communities in both Canada and the United States.

On October 6, Ms. Aguilar and Ms. Gandin Mark will meet with the Nunavut Film Commission and an Inuit-owned production company, Taqqut Productions, to discuss the reality of film production and distribution in the Canadian Arctic. Later that day, Ms. Aguilar and Ms. Gandin Mark will take part in a film festival at the Astro Theater in Iqaluit, organized by the U.S. Consulate General in Quebec City in partnership with the Nunavut Arctic College and the Nunavut Film Commission. The festival will feature both Canadian and American films, including two works by local filmmakers and a screening of U.S. film Keepers of the Game, a documentary that follows a high-school lacrosse team of Native American girls as they take on their longtime rivals in the pursuit of championship victory.

Following the screening on October 7, Ms. Aguilar and Ms. Gandin Mark will participate in a workshop at the Astro Theater with local artists to discuss marketing, distribution, broadcasting, and festivals.  During the workshop, the visitors will share their experiences and expertise with the local artists and lead a dialogue among all participants to discover common approaches to address challenges specific to the filmmaking industry in the Arctic.

For more information about the American Film Showcase, please visit: http://americanfilmshowcase.com/.

Media Contact
Alexandre Ruel-Bourassa
Political, Economic and Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Consulate Quebec City
ruelbourassaa@state.gov

Nicole Wootten
Media Assistant
U.S. Embassy Ottawa
woottennb@state.gov
613-688-5316

About Clair Aguilar
Claire Aguilar is Director of Programming and Industry Engagement for Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the leading showcases of documentary films and digital media in the world. She is the programmer for the festival and is also responsible for industry training and mentoring. Prior to Sheffield, she worked at the ITVS as a funder and co-producer for independent filmmakers and public media. She has commissioned programming from the global community of independent producers, and has been a curator for the PBS series “Independent Lens”. She has served as a programming consultant, executive advisor and jury member for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, STEPS, Firelight Media, IDFA, Visions du Réel, Eurodoc, WGBH, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and many other media organizations. A second-generation Filipina American, she has a BA in Communications Studies and MA in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She serves on the Boards of Women Make Movies, Firelight Media and EDN (European Documentary Network) (http://americanfilmshowcase.com/aguilar/).

About Rachel Gandin Mark
American Film Showcase Project Director and SCA Director of International Programs. Most recently, Rachel produced Walt Disney International Productions’ first Arabic-language feature, The United, released in 2013. For 5 years, she served as a creative consultant for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab in Jordan.  Rachel founded the Arab Film Festival in Los Angeles and has worked at 20th Century Fox and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. She received an M.A. in Arabic from Georgetown University and lived in Cairo, Egypt for more than 3 years (http://americanfilmshowcase.com/about/staff/).

About the American Film Showcase
The American Film Showcase brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent fiction films, and documentary know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers. Funded by a grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and produced by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Showcase highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue and debate. The AFS films explore diverse topics including civil rights, disabilities, social justice, sports, freedom of the press, technology and the environment. The American Film Showcase consists of two main components: A person-to-person cultural diplomacy program and a film collection with which U.S. embassies and consulates may organize screenings, Q&As, and discussions. Working with 35-40 selected US embassies and consulates per year, AFS sends American filmmakers and film experts on 7-10 day international cultural diplomacy trips made up of screenings, masterclasses, workshops and press engagements. For more information, please visit: http://americanfilmshowcase.com.