TIFF presents: "Films from the North"
UNBORN BIRU - SÁPMI
A pregnant, poor widow is desperate for help. Shut out by the community, she steals silver from a dead body in order to survive and feed her daughter. But the silver comes with a curse that has consequences for all of them, including the unborn. Set in Sápmi in 1920, this short is inspired by a true story, Sámi tradition and mythology, and Japanese horror films.
Director Elin Marakatt was born and raised in a Sámi reindeer-herding family in Sweden. She is an author, journalist, and reindeer herder. Elin has a Bachelor's degree in Cultural analysis from Umeå university and studied film at Sámi university. Unborn Biru is her debut as a director and scriptwriter.
The Land of Whispering Stars - RUSSIA
The coast of the Laptev Sea, nothing but tundra and the small Evenki village of Nayba. What are they doing there? And where do they roam on reindeer?
Ayaal Adamov (b. 1991) grew up in Sakha (Yakutia), a cold place where the permanent population lives in the Oymyakonsky District, better known as the “pole of cold”. He worked on national television and in various local video studios.
Shaman`s Apprentice - CANADA
A young shaman must face her first test—a trip underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill. Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, she must trust her mentor's teachings and learn to control her fear.
Smiley - SÁPMI
A modern take on old Sámi legends about the battle between man and evil, the film is set in a post-apocalyptic and overgrown Finnmarksvidda, where murder, curses, and revenge are the norm. Smiley (Silje Krohne), a scavenger who survives by searching for artifacts from the lost world, meets the drug-addicted raider Stallo (Mikkel Gaup in great form!), and a psychological cat-and-mouse game begins.
Film director Jon Muotka Pedersen is from Gáivuotna / Kåfjord, Sápmi.