Slash/Back, an alien invasion movie set in Pangnirtung, recently had its first Nunavut screenings in the community and in Iqaluit. Bringing the movie back to where it was originally filmed.
The Pangnirtung screenings took place on May 10 and 11 while the Iqaluit screening was on May 13.
The main cast of actresses were largely from Iqaluit and were excited to be welcomed back to Pangnirtung after filming the movie in 2019, three years prior, saying it as a great experience.
“It was amazing, being able to see all the people we used to live with – they were welcoming as always and it was just amazing. I think it was just perfect,” said Chelsea Prusky, who plays Leena in the movie.
About half of Slash/Back’s crew and most of its adult actors are from Pangnirtung, making the screenings there all the more special.
“It was really such a privilege to be with them to see it first because we did film it in their community. It was honestly so amazing to see everybody recognizing their locals on screen, it was really exciting for us and for them,” added Tasiana Shirley, who plays the character of Maika.
“It was really crazy seeing all their reactions, like oh my gosh that’s my best friend, oh my gosh that’s my mom,” said Nalajoss Ellsworth, who plays the character of Uki.
For the Nunavummiut cast and crew, bringing the movie home was something they’ve “been looking forward to – almost more than anything” said Nyla Innuksuk, director and co-writer of Slash/Back, originally from Iglulik, “we’re so excited.”
The main group of actresses were also excited for the Iqaluit premiere, giving their friends and family a chance to see them on the silver screen.
Getting into character during filming was a different experience for each actress, sometimes it came naturally, other times they had to work on it a little.
“I believe my character is very relatable, she says a lot of things we would say,” said Alexis Wolfe, who plays Jesse.
“Everything about (Leena), what she says, how she acts, is just me so I didn’t really have any trouble trying to get into the character. It flowed really easily,” said Prusky.
Shirley said she had some similarities with her character of Maika, but added there were other aspects to her character she needed help on.
“Her independence and leadership I feel like I resonate a lot with, I really enjoyed that part of her. But getting into the character of being such a mean friend to Uki, I really had to get into that headspace, our acting coach, Melisa Hood, she was really amazing to have on-set,” she said.
“Same thing,” said Ellsworth, “I acted how I thought Uki would act and I would just be like that one kid from It (2017), the one who talked a lot.”
Slash/Back initially premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival, in Austin, Texas, USA, on March 13, which subsequently sold out for all three of its screenings to a positive reception, both among audiences and critics.
“I’m really glad they responded well to the movie. It was really, really nice to see that we have support in different crowds,” said Shirley.
“I was really surprised they got some of the jokes,” added Ellsworth, “some of it was definitely catered to an Inuit audience and most of the people there were basically white, but they all loved the movie, it was awesome.”
Prusky added they got recognized after the screenings and it was encouraging to get the support from a new crowd who haven’t seen the movie before.
Slash/Back is about a group of teenage friends who have to save their northern hamlet from an alien invasion using their horror movie knowledge and know-how. It is aimed at younger audiences. The Canadian distributor of Slash/Back is Mongrel Media. The film’s Nunavut producers are Stacy Aglok MacDonald and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.