The Grizzlies (2018)

Based on a true story, The Grizzlies is a story about the realities of what life is like in Inuit communities up north, and how the sport of lacrosse gave a group of high school kids a purpose.

Shot in Nunavut, with a large Inuit production crew and cast, the film is directed by Toronto’s Miranda de Pencier and executive produced by Kugluktuk’s Stacey Aglok MacDonald and Iqaluit’s Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.

A combination of sports film, fish-out-of-water and a story of resiliency, The Grizzlies centres on high school students living in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, whose lives are dictated by the drug and alcohol use, domestic abuse, and suicide around them. Despite the dark topics, humour often finds it way in.

Slowly, things change when a new teacher arrives from the south, Russ (Ben Schnetzer), as he tries to find a way to connect with his students. Eventually, he wins the students Zach (Paul Nutarariaq), Adam (Ricky Marty-Pahtaykan), Kyle (Booboo Stewart) and Spring (Anna Lambe) over when he introduces them to lacrosse. More students, and eventually the community, come together, championing the youth to succeed in this uplifting story about Inuit resilience, and transformation.

Review by Kelly Boutsalis


Ben Schnetzer, Paul Nutarariaq, Ricky Marty-Pahtaykan

Available on:




Family, Indigenous Stories, TIFF

Canadian connection

Directed by Miranda de Pencier
Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada