Catbird Productions, Inc was founded in spring 2006 by independent producer Katarina Soukup, who brings with her over ten years of experience working with award-winning, internationally acclaimed Inuit filmmakers Igloolik Isuma Productions, the creative team behind the Canadian cinema classic Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (2000), winner of the Camera d'or at Cannes 2001.
Among her award-winning producing credits is Urban Inuk (2005), directed by Nunavik writer Jobie Weetaluktuk. This documentary follows the spiritual and practical struggles of three Inuit who have left their ancestral homeland in the Arctic for the concrete jungle of Montreal. Urban Inuk aired on APTN and played in over 20 festivals across Canada, the USA and Europe. It won the GRAND PRIX - Rigoberta Menchu Community Award at the Landin-sights First People's Festival in Montreal in 2006, and toured various Maisons de la Culture in that city as part of the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal (RIDM)'s Coup de coeur programming.
Soukup's last film for Isuma as producer, Kiviaq Versus Canada (2006) is also directed by Atanarjuat director Zacharias Kunuk and co-written by Soukup and Kunuk. This documentary traces the extraordinary life story of Canada's first Inuit lawyer and examines the reasons why he is suing the Canadian government for Inuit rights. Kiviaq had its world premiere at the Edmonton International Film Festival in September 2006, and was broadcast on History Television in March 2007. It received a Special Jury Mention (Séquences Documentary Award) at the 2007 Land-in-Sights First People’s Festival. The Globe and Mail described Kiviaq as a "powerful documentary.... beautifully made and angry, it is a startling and cogent story".
Soukup founded Catbird Productions with a desire to produce exciting, socially-relevant independent documentaries which push the boundaries of the genre. As a producer, she seeks out film projects that tell powerful human stories and reveal the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. She is particularly interested in films about music, art, culture, and human rights. To that end, she recently completed the short documentary Umiaq Skin Boat by Urban Inuk director Jobie Weetaluktuk (which will have its World Premiere at Hot Docs 2008), and is currently developing projects with innovative directors such as Caroline Martel (director of the award-winning Phantom of the Operator) and Félix Lajeunesse. Soukup is also developing a documentary project she herself will direct on the life of pioneering Inuk photographer, artist and historian Peter Pitseolak. She holds an MA in Media Studies from Concordia University, Montreal.
Artist Code: 931