Invasion of the Beer People
What happens ...
When a giant international brewery uses a small Canadian Inuit village to stage a massive promotion for beer?
When they book some of the biggest names in contemporary rock? when they fly 500 contest winners from across North America on an all-expenses paid junket to Tuktoyaktuk for an intimate concert on the shores of the Arctic Ocean? ...
A lot of weirdness, basically.
On Labour Day Weekend 1995, hundreds of contest winners from across Canada and the United States were flown in by Molson Breweries to Tuktoyaktuk, a tiny Arctic settlement on the Beaufort Sea. Headlined as a "Polar Beach Party", it was the largest concert the North had ever seen. Bands used to playing stadiums -- Metallica, Hole, Veruca Salt and Moist-- found themselves in a clover-shaped tent playing to five hundred enthusiastic "southerners" and the lucky locals.
International media, dozens of beer executives and hundreds of party-goers rained down on Tuktoyaktuk in a bizarre cavalcade of equipment, flash and beer reminiscent of white man's first contact with the North. Tuktoyaktuk, where you can drink alcohol but can't buy it, was forced to confront the mixed blessings of publicity, tourism and alcohol.
Invasion of the Beer People, a fast paced and imaginative documentary, deals with a spectacular media event in a spectacular location. Is the Polar Beach Party indeed "rock and roll history", or merely another example of a massive marketing strategy designed simply to sell beer -- Ice beer at that?
Four Hi-8 cameras, an eclectic crew from both the North and South, an editor enticed back from Peru, and over 3 weeks spent in Tuktoyaktuk and nearby Inuvik are some of the ingrediants hat went into this fun-filled, provocative Nutaaq Media production charting Canada's ever-mysterious North.
Purchase Invasion of the Beer People at Mushkeg Media
Director: Albert Nerenberg
Camera/sound: Terry Woolf, Albert Nerenberg, George Hargrave,
Noah Papatsie, Vickie Swan
Editor: Jason Levy
Music: Ned Bouhalassa
Associate Producer: Erica Pomerance
44:30 / 48 minutes, 1995
Produced in collaboration with CBC Newsworld "Rough Cuts."
French version broadcast on SRC