Nor­thern Ins­pi­ra­tion

Le Messager Lachine & Dorval - - LOCAL NEWS - DA­VID COX da­vid.cox@tc.tc

CULTURE. Co­nor God­dard was set to star in a dog-sled­ding ad­ven­ture film by his child­hood friend Mat­thew Hood and his part­ner Fran­çois Le­beau. Af­ter wat­ching Co­nor and his son Cal­lum to­ge­ther, the film­ma­kers saw how spe­cial their re­la­tion­ship was and shif­ted the mo­vie’s sto­ry un­til it be­came an in­ti­mate piece about a fa­ther and a son na­med My Ir­nik, "my son" in Inuk­ti­tut.

Hood wan­ted to make a mo­vie about his friend who had uproo­ted from La­chine and cho­sen a life of ad­ven­ture in Nu­na­vik, but the film grew in­to so­me­thing more.

"The script star­ted with me in a clo­set with a re­cor­der. I just tal­ked about my re­la­tion­ship with my son, the land, the culture and the dogs. At some point I de­ci­ded that the script could be a let­ter to my son for him to read la­ter," ex­plai­ned God­dard, whose love of the out­doors took him to North where he mar­ried Tra­cy Par­tridge from Kuu­j­juaq and had a son.

Af­ter months of pre­pa­ra­tion, Hood and Le­beau flew to the Inuit com­mu­ni­ty in Nu­na­vik to film the self-fun­ded pro­ject. They spent al­most two weeks fil­ming, with the fi­nal cut be­co­ming a 16 mi­nute short film that has won awards at the 2017 Ed­mon­ton In­ter­na­tio­nal Film Fes­ti­val and At­lan­ta Do­cu­fest.

REUNION UP NORTH

The two friends who used to play ho­ckey in the win­ter and steal sum­mer rhu­barb in La­chine, were drawn to the pro­ject for dif­ferent rea­sons. Hood is a pho­to­gra­pher who fo­cuses on na­ture, wild­life and ex­plo­ra­tion, and do­cu­ments re­mote sub­jects through images. God­dard fell in love with the North in 2006 and wan­ted to share its beau­ty and the Inuit culture, even though it was not his own.

To­ge­ther, they pro­vide the au­dience with a vi­sual jour­ney in­to what God­dard and his fa­mi­ly have em­bra­ced so who­le­hear­ted­ly.

"It is hard to sum up, but I would have to say the ho­nes­ty and wis­dom. I have lear­ned so much here. Fa­mi­ly va­lues and my thoughts around how we have made de­ci­sions as pa­rents. Pas­sing on of know­ledge and ex­pe­riences through ad­ven­ture," God­dard says.

The friends al­so be­lieve that the mes­sage of people en­ga­ging with their kids on an ad­ven­tu­rous le­vel is so­me­thing all pa­rents can do, but they don’t need to go on a dog­sled trip in the arc­tic to ac­com­plish it.

(Pho­to: Cour­te­sy– Tra­cy Par­tridge)

Co­nor and his son Cal­lum star in the award win­ning My Ir­nik short film.

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