The Grizzlies – movie screening and panel discussion on mental health in the Arctic


Wednesday 29 January, 2020



Wednesday 29 January, 2020


Hjalmar Johansens gate 14, 9007 Tromsø, Norway


The Arctic Council, its Sustainable Development Working Group and Global Affairs Canada are pleased to invite you to a screening of the movie THE GRIZZLIES, which was shown as part of this year’s Tromsø International Film Festival. The drama is based on a true story and depicts a youth lacrosse team that was set up to engage and motivate young people in the community of Kugluktuk, Nunavut – a community suffering under an epidemic of youth suicides.

The movie tackles a sensitive topic that is important for Northern communities across the Arctic – and has been an important focus area of the Arctic Council for several years under the leadership of its Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). In cooperation with SWDG and Global Affairs Canada, the Arctic Council thus has decided to raise awareness about elevated suicide rates in the Arctic – especially amongst young people –during Arctic Frontiers.

In addition to the screening of THE GRIZZLIES, SDWG will host a panel discussion on suicide prevention and mental health in the Arctic after the movie –  to give a voice to youth that has been involved in the Working Group’s suicide prevention project CREATeS (, and to introduce important follow up work.
The screening takes place in the FRAM center auditorium and is free of charge. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.


THE GRIZZLIES is based on the inspiring true story of a group of Inuit students in a small Arctic town suffering from one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world.  The classmates are initially resistant when the naive and culturally ignorant white teacher from the south introduces them to lacrosse—but gradually, as they begin to connect with each other as teammates, the students find inspiration to make profound shifts in their lives. Together as “The Grizzlies”, the players learn to lead each other, gain the support of a deeply divided town, and look to compete in the National Lacrosse Championships.  The students ultimately discover that success doesn’t lie in the outcome of a lacrosse game, but instead in their awakened spirits and the awareness that even in the toughest of circumstances there is always the possibility of transformation and hope.

THE GRIZZLIES is more than an inspiring sports drama as it is set in one of the most unique places on earth, featuring fresh, young actors in starring roles. Unlike many sports/coach/inspiring teacher films, THE GRIZZLIES is not just a story about a teacher who affected his student’s lives – it is a true story about a group of Inuit students who changed their teacher and eventually their whole community for the better.

Director: Miranda de Pencier
Screenplay: Moira Walley-Beckett, Graham Yost
Photography: Jim Denault
Run time: 1 hour 46 min
Year: 2018
Country: Canada
Dialogue: English, Inuktitut
Producer: Stacey Aglok-MacDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Zanne Devine, Damon D’Oliveira, Miranda de Pencier
Age rating: 15


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