48 minutes


From Africa to the Arctic is the story African diaspora–immigrants searching a better life in Canada’s largest, least populated and northernmost territory. Shot over a year’s time, this documentary zeroes in on the experiences of recent immigrants to the Iqaluit community in Nunavut. Noel Vagba, a poetic 39-year-old family man, leaves the Ivory Coast to begin building a new life in a part of the world he’d always imagined to be a winter wonderland. We watch as, the always optimistic, Noel adjusts to Iqaluit and tries to earn enough money to eventually relocate his family to The Great White North. Eventually we are introduced to Noel’s wife, Sabine, who is determined to make something of herself but ultimately struggles most with her new surroundings. Nicaise is another character along the way–working two jobs to bring his new bride over from Africa. Against the backdrop of Nunavut’s frigid beauty, we encounter the soft, courageous and inspiring people that manage to carve a warm place into Iqaluit’s cosmopolitan community. This deeply moving journeys sheds light on the cultural, linguistic, and climate shock that accompanies their migration from the African continent to the Arctic.