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The team behind the documentary “Trapped in a Human Zoo”

Hello everyone,

Well! Today is the day when all of Canada gets to see the documentary Trapped in a Human Zoo when it airs this evening on CBC’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Since last week’s world premiere in Ottawa, and this morning’s interview with Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC’ The Current, I’ve been getting so many congratulations. Here’s one I’d like to share with you to give you a feel of the amazing feedback we are getting:

The film is magnificent. It tells a very complicated storyseveral complicated stories, in factwith great clarity. The threading of the now and then narratives, and the voices of the numerous different perspectives are woven masterfully and to powerful effect. We experience the inexpressible tragedy and, at the same time, the remarkable resilience of the Inuit. I’m sure the film will have a powerful impact and a long life.
Tom Gordon, Professor Emeritus, School of Music, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL

If the story is being told in such a masterful way; if the images are so compelling; it’s largely because of the team behind the camera! So, today, I want to introduce them to you. They all did an outstanding job and deserve to share the applause.

But, before you meet them, I thought I’d provide a quick explanation of how this adventure started. On Easter weekend 2013, film producer Roch Brunette (Pix3 Films) was having his morning coffee while reading Le Droit, Ottawa’s French-language daily newspaper. When he turned to page 4, the photo of an Inuk and the title “Abraham’s mysterious destiny” caught his attention. Labrador Inuits. Europe. Human Zoos. France Rivet, a lady from Gatineau trying to raise funds to go to Europe to investigate the mystery of the Inuit’s death! Ah! Could this be a good story to turn into a film? Roch ripped the page and put it on his desk. It took him one month to do his own research, confirm that this story was indeed true, and that there was enough substance to it. He picked up the phone and called me.

When we met in a small bistro in Aylmer, I informed him that the article didn’t provide the whole story. There was a lot more to what he had found: I had located the Inuit’s remains. But that piece of information had to be kept secret for now. Immediately, Roch saw that his intuition had led him to an amazing story, and he took on the challenge of finding funds. A year later, two television networks had committed to airing the documentary, CBC and TV5 (for the French-language version). The filming started in Nain, Nunatsiavut, when I met with the Inuit elders to inform them of the finding of their ancestors’ human remains. After three days in Nain, the film crew, Nain’s chief elder Johannes Lampe and I head for two weeks to Europe (Hamburg, Berlin and Paris) in the fall 2014. In spring 2015, seven members of Ottawa’s Inuit community were selected to play in the re-enactment scenes, which were filmed over a 4-day period in April 2015. Then came the time to edit, cut, search for images and archival videos, colourize, record the narration and voice overs, etc. Another 7 months of intensive work was required to produce the final version that you will see tonight.

So, with no further ado, here are the people who, you will not see this evening on your television screen, but whose contribution, professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm turned an idea into such a powerful film.

Thank you to all of you!
France Rivet

Roch Brunette – Film Producer and Scriptwriter

Producer Roch Brunette introduces the film "Trapped in a Human Zoo".

Producer Roch Brunette.

Guilhem Rondot – Film Director


Guilhem Rondot discussing with Roch Brunette


Guilhem Rondot and cameraman Pierre-Frédérique Chénier

Cameraman Pierre-Frédérique Chénier listens to Guilhem Rondot’s instructions.

Pierre-Frédérique Chénier – Cameraman

Cameraman Pierre-Frédérique Chénier

Cameraman Pierre-Frédérique Chénier


Pierre-Frédérique Chénier, Guilhem Rondot and Johannes Lampe during the filming in Nain

Pierre-Frédérique Chénier, Guilhem Rondot and Johannes Lampe during the filming in Nain



Pierre-Frédérique Chénier filming the scene where Abraham writes his diary.


Liam O’Rinn – Script Editor

Liam O'Rinn (white shirt) discussing with Guilhem while Pierre-Frédérique sets the camera and Marcel prepares the microphone.

Liam O’Rinn (white shirt) discussing with Guilhem while Pierre-Frédérique sets the camera and Marcel prepares the microphone.

Marcel Lalonde – Soundman (Ottawa-Gatineau Locations)


Marcel Lalonde setting up the microphone on Louis-Philippe Pariseau who played the role of the 1880 photographer in Hamburg.



Do you recognize Marcel, sitting at the top of the ladder?

Jean-Yves Münch – Soundman (Europe)


Jean-Yves Münch lors du trajet sur la rivière Elbe dans le port de Hambourg



Jean-Yves Münch recording the discussion between Johannes Lampe and Hartmut Lutz in the library of the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg.

Caroline Morneau – Production Manager


Caroline Morneau (left) discussing with set designer Colleen Williamson

Pierre-Luc Dumont,  Geneviève Guilmette, Francis Leduc,Carlos Lopez-Hevia – production assistants

Geneviève Francis Pierre-Luc_MG_5069

Francis Leduc, Geneviève Guilmette and Pierre-Luc Dumont posing for the set up of the re-enactment of the photography studio session.



Francis Leduc and Mya became such good buddies!


Carlos Lopez-Hevia taking some aerial footage during the flight heading into Nain, Labrador.

Frank Harris – Electrician

Frank and Ivan_MG_4716

Frank Harris checking the light for the filming of the re-enactment of the session at the photographer’s studio in Hamburg.


Frank Harris and his assistant Ivan setting up the green screen.

Ivan Cooke – Assistant Electrician


Ivan Cook setting up the structure to hold the green screen.



Ivan Cooke and Frank Harris setting up the lighting system for the green screen.

Colleen Williamson – Set Designer


Set designer Colleen Williamson


Colleen Williamson, Guilhem Rondot with actor Gilles Provost preparing all the instrument needed for the scene where Rudolf Virchow is taking anthropometric measurements on Paingu.

Annie Lefebvre – Make-up

Annie Lefebvre and Archibald Kadloo (Tobias)

Annie Lefebvre and Archibald Kadloo (Tobias)


Annie Lefebvre and Charles Keelan (Abraham)

Annie Lefebvre and Charles Keelan (Abraham)

Samantha Caldwell assistant make-up

Samantha Calwell with Annie Ningeok (Ulrike)

Samantha Calwell with Annie Ningeok (Ulrike)


Annie Samantha_MG_5245

Annie Lefebvre and Samantha Caldwell in the make-up room with Charles Keelan and Kristen Kownak.

The following people also contributed their talents and expertise. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of them:

Stéphane Dussault – Editor
Dimitri Gagnon-Morris – Graphics
Julian Scalzo – Colorist
Charles Fairfield – Post-audio

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