‘Atanarjuat’ named top Canadian film of all time

A scene from 'Atanarjuat.'. Handout

TORONTO — A film completely in Inuktitut has been named the top Canadian film of all time in an international poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival.

International film industry insiders and academics ranked 2001’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner No. 1. Directed by Zacharias Kunuk and written by Paul Apak Angilirq, the movie is set in Igloolik.

“With more than a decade since our last survey, much has changed in Canadian cinema, and the results are in the survey,” explained Steve Gravestock, TIFF senior programmer, in a release.

Atanarjuat bumped Claude Jutra’s Mon Oncle Antoine from the top spot to No. 2.

Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter was ranked No. 3, followed by Denys Arcand’s Jésus de Montréal and Jean-Claude Lauzon’s Leolo.

Lauzon is new to the list, as are Guy Maddin, Sarah Polley and Jean-Marc Vallée.

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“It’s an exciting group of films indicative of our rich cinematic tradition,” said Gravestock.

The All-Time Top 10 List of Canadian Films includes Don Shebib’s Goin’ Down the Road at No. 6, followed by David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. and Maddin’s My Winnipeg.

Polley’s Stories We Tell tied with Michel Brault’s Les Ordres at No. 10.

The films on the list — the fourth since 1984 — will be screened for free at TIFF Bell Lightbox in July and August.

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