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'Fast Runner' keeps up steady pace as most successful Inuit movie

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New York - "Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)" has already made its mark as the most successful Inuit movie ever made, and it is still running.

Of course, Zacharias Kunuk's folk epic is also the only feature film ever made entirely in Inuktitut, but that linguistic distinction doesn't dim its remarkable performance.

Filmed with hard-won Canadian government grants of about $2 million, the movie has grossed about $3.7 million in its North American release, Vicki Loughery of Lot 47, the U.S. distributor, told Indian Country Today. Furthermore, it is still opening in smaller markets around the country, and the distributors expect another surge of interest as it appears on the year-end Top Ten lists of various movie critics.

"It's done very well for us," Loughery said. "It's a fantastic screen story."

Loughery described the film as an ideal project for independent distributors such as the New York-based Lot 47. She said it opened the viewers to a whole new world and would make them more receptive to future indigenous movies.