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Inuvik actor excited to see himself in The Grizzlies for 1st time with friends, family

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Click here to view original web page at Inuvik actor excited to see himself in The Grizzlies for 1st time with friends, family

Chris Church will see the full film for the first time when it screens in Inuvik this Wednesday. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC) The Grizzlies has been receiving rave reviews across the nation, but one person who has yet to see the full film is one of its actors, Chris Church. The […]


Chris Church will see the full film for the first time when it screens in Inuvik this Wednesday. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

The Grizzlies has been receiving rave reviews across the nation, but one person who has yet to see the full film is one of its actors, Chris Church.

The 23-year-old was just 19 when he was discovered by somebody involved with the film while playing in a basketball tournament in Inuvik, N.W.T.

"We had a girl come up from Toronto … I was like, 'Sure. Why not?" said Church, who is Gwich'in and Inuvialuit.

"After getting the callback it was kind of a blur because I didn't think I was cut out to be in a movie."

Based on a true story

The Grizzlies is based on the true story of how the sport of lacrosse positively impacted youth in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, in the early 2000s. At the time, the community was struggling with some of the highest teen suicide rates, not just in Canada, but the world.

"It hit me hard because of experiences with friends and family," said Church. "This film was basically for them and everyone else's families that had been touched in this movie."

"Being part of this was just amazing," he added.

The Grizzlies is based on a true story of how lacrosse positively impacted youth in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, in the 2000s. (soda studios)

Church said being involved in the film was emotional as more than 90 per cent of the cast and crew were Inuit.

"There were people that understood your story. Not just that, they lived your story as well," he said.

Now, about four years later, The Grizzlies has been screening across Canada, including a tour across the eastern Arctic.

Film screening in Inuvik

On Wednesday, Inuvik residents will also finally be able to watch the film. That includes Church, who says he's excited to see the final product with friends and family in his hometown.

"I've waited years," he said. "Watching my parents and watching my friends watch the film is going to be a goal to me."

The same week of the screening, the Town of Inuvik will also be holding a lacrosse coaching clinic in partnership with Lacrosse Canada and Aboriginal Sport Circle.

Church plans to take part, and said, "if there's ever an opportunity where I could coach a bunch of kids in lacrosse, I'll be the first to sign up."

The Grizzlies screens in Inuvik at the Midnight Sun Complex Wednesday beginning at 7:30 p.m. There will be a second showing at 9:30 p.m.

Actress Emerald MacDonald is set to attend and answer questions following the film. The screening will also include a performance by Inuk hip-hop artist Hyper-T.

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