Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things

As a small group in Nunavut, Canada prepare for a seminal LGBTQ Pride celebration in the Arctic, the film explores how colonization and religion have shamed and erased traditional Inuit beliefs about sexuality and family structure and how, 60 years later, a new generation of Inuit are actively 'unshaming' their past.

  • Mark Kenneth Woods
    Director
    Take Up The Torch, This Is Drag, Coffee Frenemies (Starbucks LGBTQ commercial), The Face of Furry Creek, The House of Venus Show.
  • Michael Yerxa
    Director
    Take Up The Torch
  • Mark Kenneth Woods
    Writer
  • Michael Yerxa
    Writer
  • Mark Kenneth Woods
    Producer
  • Michael Yerxa
    Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    LGBTQ, Indigenous, Native American, Inuit, First Nations, history, Canada, Arctic, north, aboriginal, people, culture, women, pride, lgbt, queer, gay, lesbian, documentary, colonial, youth, native
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 11 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 26, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    English, Inuktitut
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Cinhomo: Muestra Internacional Cine y Diversidad Sexual
    Valladolid
    Spain
    March 29, 2017
    Spain Premiere
    Winner - Best Documentary - Long Form
  • Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival
    Fargo
    United States
    September 16, 2016
    Winner- Best Documentary
  • Durango Independent Film Festival
    Durango
    United States
    March 3, 2017
    2 screenings
    Winner - Best Native Cinema Film
  • Queer North Film Festival
    Sudbury
    Canada
    June 26, 2016
    Winner - Audience Award - Best Two-Spirit/Indigenous Film
  • Rainbow Visions Film Festival
    Edmonton
    Canada
    November 5, 2016
    Runner Up - Audience Choice - Best Film
  • Inside Out Film Festival
    Toronto, ON
    Canada
    June 3, 2016
    World Premiere
    Sold Out
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival
    Santa Cruz, CA
    United States
    June 5, 2016
    Sneak Peak
  • Human District Festival
    Belgrade
    Serbia
    June 23, 2016
    Sneak Peak
  • Frameline40
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    June 25, 2016
    International Premiere
  • Alianait Arts Festival
    Iqaluit, Nunavut
    Canada
    July 1, 2016
    Arctic Premiere
  • Reel Desires: Chennai Queer Film Festival
    Chennai
    India
    July 31, 2016
    Asian Premiere
  • MicGénero - Mexico City
    Mexico City (4 screenings)
    Mexico
    August 5, 2016
    Latin American Premiere
  • Mississauga Art Gallery
    Mississauga
    Canada
    August 18, 2016
  • Capital Pride / Centretown Movies in the Park
    Ottawa, ON
    Canada
    August 19, 2016
    Ottawa
  • Vancouver Queer Film festival
    Vancouver, BC
    Canada
    August 20, 2016
    Western Canadian
  • Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Durban
    South Africa
    August 21, 2016
    African
  • MicGénero - Veracruz
    Veracruz
    Mexico
    September 3, 2016
  • Voiceless Film festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    April 10, 2017
    Opening Film
  • Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    United States
    September 10, 2016
    Texas
  • Screening Under Stars
    Kingston
    Canada
    April 14, 2017
  • MicGénero - Chiapas
    San Cristóbal de las Casas
    Mexico
    September 17, 2016
  • Screening Rights Film Festival
    Birmingham
    United Kingdom
    September 18, 2016
    UK Premiere / Closing Film
  • TD Bank LGBT Film Series
    Allentown, PA
    United States
    September 20, 2016
    Pennsylvania
  • Fresno Reel Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival
    Fresno
    United States
    September 22, 2016
  • Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival
    Palm Springs
    United States
    September 25, 2016
  • MicGénero - Baja California
    Tijuana
    Mexico
    September 29, 2016
  • YK International Festival
    Yellowknife
    Canada
    September 30, 2016
    Northwest Territories Premiere
  • Lift Lesbian identities Festival
    Budapest
    Hungary
    October 7, 2016
    Hungary Premiere / Opening Film
  • Reel Pride Film Festival
    Winnipeg
    Canada
    October 13, 2016
    Manitoba Premiere
  • Liverpool Radical Film Festival
    Liverpool
    United Kingdom
    October 14, 2016
    Liverpool Premiere
  • Native Spirit Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    October 14, 2016
    London Premiere
  • Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival
    Seattle
    United States
    October 19, 2016
    Washington Premiere
  • MicGénero - Morelos
    Cuernavaca
    Mexico
    October 20, 2016
  • Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival
    Harstad
    Norway
    October 28, 2016
    Scandinavian Premiere
  • Silverwave Film Festival
    Fredericton
    Canada
    November 6, 2016
    New Brunswick Premiere
  • Asterisco Festival Internacional De Cine LGBTIQ
    Buenos Aires
    Argentina
    November 6, 2016
    South American Premiere
  • Queersicht: Bern LGBTI Film Festival
    Bern
    Switzerland
    November 7, 2016
    Switzerland
  • QCinema: Fort Worth's Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival
    Fort Worth
    United States
    November 10, 2017
  • HotDocs Showcase
    Sudbury
    Canada
    November 13, 2017
  • ReFrame Film Festival
    Peterborough
    Canada
    January 27, 2017
  • Reel Out Kingston Queer Film festival
    Kingston
    Canada
    January 29, 2017
  • LGBTQ2 Film Series at Never Apart Gallery
    Montreal
    Canada
    March 4, 2017
    Quebec Premiere
  • New Brunswick Museum
    Saint John
    Canada
    March 16, 2017
  • BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    March 21, 2017
    2 screenings - Sold Out
  • GLITCH Film Festival
    Glasgow
    United Kingdom
    March 29, 2017
    Scotland Premiere
  • Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival
    Boston
    United States
    April 1, 2017
    Massachusetts Premiere
  • Out North Queer Film Festival
    Whitehorse
    Canada
    April 9, 2017
    Yukon Premiere / Closing Film
Director Biography - Mark Kenneth Woods, Michael Yerxa

Mark Kenneth Woods
Woods is a writer, producer, director, actor and tv host whose films and videos have been broadcast on television in over a dozen countries and have been screened in over 300 festivals and galleries around the world from Tokyo to Sao Paolo to Paris' famous Centre Pompidou.

A familiar face on Canada's OUTtv Network, Mark is best known as the creator and star of the hilarious TV sitcom and web project "The Face of Furry Creek" (OUTtv, Bell Media Fund) and 3 seasons of the world's first all-LGBTQ sketch comedy show "The House of Venus Show" (OUTtv, here! Network, Pink TV). He has most recently gained notoriety for his documentary work ("Take Up The Torch", "This is Drag") and hugely successful commercial work including Starbuck's first LGBTQ-themed commercial "Coffee Frenemies" starring Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano.

Michael Yerxa
Known for his outspokenness as an original cast member on Logo TV and MTV Canada's "1 Girl 5 Gays", Michael Yerxa has worked behind the scenes as a producer on some of Canada’s most successful factual television shows including "The Amazing Race Canada", "Canada’s Smartest Person" and "Still Standing".

He has recently begun to branch out as a documentary filmmaker and producer. In 2015, he collaborated with filmmaker Mark Kenneth Woods on the television documentary "Take Up The Torch", an inspiring look at past and present LGBT sport trailblazers in Canada actively making the sports landscape more LGBT-inclusive post-Sochi Olympics.

He is a proud member of the LGBT community and lives in Toronto with his husband Zack.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

We were intrigued from the moment we first read an article about a small pride celebration happening in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Despite being experienced world-travellers, our very own country’s most northern reaches seemed like an alternate universe, completely cut off and inaccessible to us as “Southerners”. No roads lead to Nunavut. Each of the 28 communities in Canada’s Eastern Arctic is fly in and out only. And it’s expensive. Very expensive. But as passionate LGBTQ artists, we knew we had to explore this seminal event, even if it meant spending our own money to do so.

In Nunavut’s capital of Iqaluit, we found a community so rich and complex in its history and culture, yet so foreign to many Canadians and the rest of the world. But while immersed in that rich culture, we immediately noticed the tension arising around this type of pride event. In fact, our very presence added to that tension. What started as a film about a community’s LGBTQ pride celebration, quickly developed into a layered discussion of government colonial programs, Christian missions, Inuit culture, language and the loss of cultural identity.

Inuit have lost a lot. Much of that loss has been replaced with shame. The South taught Inuit that the way they lived and the way they thought were barbaric and blasphemous. An entire culture’s way of life, their family structures, their spirituality and their sexual practices, were effectively silenced and erased in a single generation. That loss of cultural identity and that shame persist today and that’s why a seemingly simple pride event is anything but simple in a community like Iqaluit. Activists, politicians and artists are now reclaiming their cultural and sexual identities and work is being done to “un-shame” this past.

It was a fascinating journey from start to finish. Attending this pride celebration, a culmination of the years of tireless work of a few brave individuals striving to make Nunavut more LGBTQ-inclusive, was a gift. Nunavut is known for its cold temperatures but its people are the warmest we’ve ever met. These incredible Nunavummiut are the heart and soul of the film and we could not have made it without them. “Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things” is their story, in their own words and we can’t wait to share it with you.

- Mark & Michael (March, 2016)