• Own Voice

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Director Zacharias Kunuk (Inuk)
Year 2001
Run Time 172min
Genre Drama
Based on an ancient Inuit legend, Atanarjuat is an epic tale of love, betrayal and revenge. The beautiful Atuat (Ivalu) has been promised to the short-fused Oki (Arnatsiaq), the son of the tribe’s leader. However, she loves the good-natured Atanarjuat (Ungalaaq), a fast runner and excellent hunter. When Atanarjuat is forced to battle the jealous Oki for Atuat’s hand, the events that follow determine not only his fate, but that of his people. Atanarjuat won 20 awards, including eight Genies and the Caméra d’Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

“I am not surprised that The Fast Runner has been a box office hit in its opening engagements. It is unlike anything most audiences will have ever seen, and yet it tells a universal story.”
— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


Zacharias Kunuk (Inuk)

In 2015, Atanarjuat was selected as TIFF’s number one Canadian film of all time. Kunuk has directed shorts such as Exile and Home and features such as Maliglutit, which was nominated for two CSAs. He recently directed the series Hunting With My Ancestors and executive produced SGaawaay K'uuna (Edge of the Knife). His latest feature, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, premiered at TIFF 2019. Most recently, he directed the short The Shaman’s Apprentice, which won the CSA for Best Animated Short among other awards at festivals worldwide.


Paul Apak Angilirq (Inuk)


Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq (Inuk), Lucy Tulugarjuk (Inuk), Natar Ungalaaq (Inuk), Sylvia Ivalu (Inuk)


Paul Apak Angilirq (Inuk), Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk (Inuk), Germaine Ying Gee Wong




BIPOC Stories, Classics, Family Relationships, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language


Language Versions

EN Subtitles, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor