Filmed on Location

 

The NWT has enjoyed some notable successes in attracting investment compared to other regions of Northern Canada.  Documentaries and television-based reality shows make up the majority of filming activity in the NWT for out-of-territory productions; however in recent years we have seen interest from television drama series and feature length film productions.  These types of productions have very positive impacts including hiring and training opportunities for local film industry members.

 

The Sun At Midnight, was the first feature-length film to be shot entirely in the Northwest Territories.  Filmed in and around Yellowknife, Fort McPherson and near the Dempster Highway, the film tells the story of a teenaged girl who gets sent to live with her grandmother in Fort McPherson.  In her attempt to return to the city life, she becomes lost in the NWT wilderness before being 

discovered by a Gwich'in hunter.  

 

The film made it's premiere at a community screening in Fort McPherson, then a few days later at the 2016 Yellowknife International Film Festival.  The film has also made appearances at the imagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto and the Whistler Film Festival where it won the award for best performance in a Canadian film.

 

 

 

"We are finishing our fourth season of production of Ice Pilots NWT in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories. 

I can tell you first-hand that from day one the people of Yellowknife and its businesses have opened their doors to us without reservation.  The North is full of colourful characters, rich history and a diverse physical landscape.  Because of that the North has become a central character on the show, loved by fans all across the world."
– Michael Francis (Production Manager, Ice Pilots NWT)

Gemini Award winning Ice Pilots NWT (OmniFilm Entertainment) and one of the History Channels highest-ever rated Canadian series’ has successfully filmed 5 Seasons to-date in our skies.  It’s about Buffalo Airways, an airline based in Yellowknife which flies World War II-era propeller planes year-round in the Canadian North.

 

 

The first ever drama series to be filmed in the NWT is CBC’s newest drama series, Arctic Air (OmniFilm Entertainment). The storyline is set in Yellowknife and reference communities throughout the territory. It is about a group of renegade pilots who fly small bush planes and huge World War II prop-planes on daily missions in the North. It stars Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton and Kevin McNulty, This series won the largest audience for the premiere of a new CBC drama series in the last decade, with total viewership of 1.05 million.

 

"Although any location above the 60th parallel is not conventionally thought of as production-friendly, the Northwest Territories is the exception. With the well-connected and well-supplied hub of Yellowknife, it's possible to produce almost anything here."  – Ian Hay, (Producer, Arctic Air)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Road Truckers (Original Productions Ltd.) was the first reality television series filmed in the NWT. In 2007, on its series premiere 3.4 million viewers tuned in which made it the most-watched original telecast in the History Channel's 12-year history, The series filmed 2 successful seasons in the NWT and was aired in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, US, Australia and the Netherlands.

Discovery Channel’s Mighty Ships and License to Drill (Exploration Production Inc.) documentary series used the NWT arctic region as the location for its third series.

 

"The best part about shooting in the NWT are the local people.  The warm welcomes and open doors are something I have never experienced in 20 years of film production.  I truly believe the best Canadians are to be found in the far north of this country, where anything is possible and the sense of community is overwhelming."
- Michael Haldane (Producer, Brighter Mornings for Brighter Days Tropicana Commercial)

 

 

Other productions include the award-winning Tropicana commercial Brighter Mornings for Brighter Days campaign that was filmed in Inuvik.
 

 

Canada Over the Edge,  is an aerial documentary television series exploring Canada’s borders and coastlines that is produced by Arcadia Content based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Last summer (2014) the series filmed  near Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik, including the Inuvik-to-Tuktoyaktuk Highway route. The footage is primarily aerial  and was shot in high-definition; however, on the ground interviews with residents about special points of interest including their history and culture were captured.  The footage was made into a series of episodes which have just recently aired on the Smithsonian Channel.

The NWT Film Commission provided assistance with logistics and connected the film team with regional contacts. Anne Kokko, Tourism Development Officer with ITI Inuvik Region  was a significant contact to the team.

"So happy the series has been well-received. It's pretty nerve wracking going in as an outsider and doing what we do - but we work hard to make it stories from the folks themselves. You guys were a big part in helping us with that, and I really appreciate it!" 

                - Andrew Killawee, series creator/director, about the NWT Film Commission.

 

Ice Lake Rebels aired for two seasons on Animal Planet as it followed a small community of houseboats residing on Great Slave Lake near Yellowknife.  Residents must deal with the challenges that go along with living on a frozen lake and the subzero temperatures of the North.