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Netflix, CBC and APTN Greenlight Arctic-Set Comedy From Inuit Writing Duo

L-R: Stacey Aglok MacDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Netflix, APTN and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have commissioned a new comedy series created and written by Inuit television writer-producer Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.

The untitled project will film in Nunavut and revolves around a young Inuk mother who wants to build a new future for herself. The problem? It won’t be easy in her small Arctic town where everyone knows everybody else’s business.

MacDonald and Arnaquq-Baril also serve as executive producers on the series under their Red Marrow Media banner alongside Miranda de Pencier (“Anne With an E”) of Northwood Entertainment, Susan Coyne (“Daisy Jones & The Six”) and Garry Campbell (“The Kids in the Hall”).

This series marks the first original scripted Canadian commission from Netflix under Canadian directors of content Danielle Woodrow and Tara Woodbury since the streamer put out a pitch call to Canadian creators in Summer 2020. (Last year, Netflix Canada commissioned French stand-up special “Mathieu Dufour at Bell Centre.”)

“As soon as we heard about this show, we knew we wanted to share it with our members around the world,” Woodrow and Woodbury said in a joint statement. “Stacey and Alethea have created a very relatable and funny story that showcases the unique experience of living in Canada’s Arctic regions. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them and working with Miranda and the teams at CBC and APTN.”

In Canada, MacDonald is known for her work on the Inuit comedy “Qanurli,” an Inuktut-language series that ran for seven seasons on APTN. Previous credits also include “The Grizzlies,” “Throat Song” and “Slash/Back.”

Arnaquq-Baril directed and produced the award-winning APTN doc “Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos” and is the filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed “Angry Inuk.” Following its 2016 premiere at Hot Docs, the film won the Audience Choice Award at Hot Docs and TIFF Canada’s Top Ten, among other international awards. She is also a Meritorious Service Cross recipient and a DOC Vanguard Award winner.

“This series is full of stories that come straight from our hearts and our funny bones,” the creatives said in a co-statement. “We’ve drawn from our experiences as Inuit women living, laughing, crying and living together while Native. We are so excited to work with all our incredible partners at CBC, Netflix and APTN, and we can’t wait to start filming!”

De Pencier said: “I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Stacey and Alethea for our third project together (‘The Grizzlies,’ ‘Throat Song’) and excited for audiences to see this hilarious, unexpected and essential series that Stacey and Alethea have created.”

Adam Garnet Jones, director of TV content and special events at APTN, added: “This show is a brilliant and heartfelt gem of a comedy from two of Canada’s most exciting creators. A very short time ago, it would have been impossible to imagine an Indigenous comedy shot in the Arctic, with massive national and international reach.

“It’s a dream come true for APTN to help bring this story to audiences across Turtle Island and around the world,” he continued. “We know audiences are going to fall in love with the show’s characters, and the production industry in Nunavut is going to receive a huge boost in a way it never has before.”

Variety's Amber Dowling contributed to this post.

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