Grand prize for Baker Lake filmmaker

“I love nature,” narrates Daniel Tapatai, as a scene opens of the 17-year-old Baker Laker preparing his camera gear out on the land this fall.

“I love going out on the tundra, taking my camera, taking pictures, videos and showcasing some parts of Nunavut. There’s a lot of unexplored land that you can go and explore.”

That was the intro to his submission for the 2023 Take Me Outside student video contest. The narration transitions from shots of Tapatai to drone footage of eagles, muskox, fish and Baker Lake scenery.

The three-minute video took him months to compile footage for, plus a couple days of editing it together. For his efforts, Tapatai won the grand prize and first place in the Grade 7-12 category of the competition, earning him a three-day, all-expense-paid trip to Banff, Alta., with his work shown on the Take Me Outside Facebook page. He also earned a gift card from Mountain Equipment Company and had his film highlighted as part of the Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival on Nov. 4.

“Being grand prize winner feels great,” said Tapatai to Kivalliq News while he was en-route to Banff. “I still can't believe that I won. Also being the first grand prize winner from Nunavut is mind blowing, I feel very happy for myself.”

On the first day of his trip, he told Kivalliq News he was having a lot of fun, “pretty much walked the whole town” and saw deer.

Tapatai, 17, has long been pursuing a career in filmmaking and multimedia production. The Baker Laker often photographs community events and takes on video jobs. He told Kivalliq News his future goals involve potentially becoming a travelling adventure photographer and videographer.

The other top winner in the contest went to students from Nakoda Elementary in Mînî Thnî, Alberta.

Stewart Burnett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kivalliq News