75 Years A HISTORY of looking forward

NFB moment of the week

What does Jacques Cousteau find in the St. Lawrence river?

A stairway to the sea!

Did you know that legendary oceanographer and Oscar® winner Jacques Cousteau collaborated with the NFB on two feature-length documentaries in the early 1980s? One of these, St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea, is a mesmerizing tour through the depths of the St. Lawrence. Find out what mysterious encounters lie at the bottom of this iconic Canadian river.

Having won two Oscars® for his films The Silent World (1956) and World Without Sun (1964), Jacques Cousteau began work in the spring of 1980 on two 90-minute NFB documentaries. The first, Cries From the Deep, records the journey undertaken by Cousteau and his team to explore the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. An abbreviated version was released theatrically, garnering favourable reviews and showing a solid box office performance. The film then brought in 1.8 million viewers upon its TV premiere on the CBC.

The second film, St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea, is driven by Cousteau’s concern about the effects of pollution and the precarious situation of whales in the St. Lawrence ecosystem. The fim’s CBC premiere drew 1.7 million viewers. The narration, by regular Cousteau contributor Theodore Strauss, is nothing short of trance-inducing. Strauss had worked on a few National Geographic specials as well as the Cousteau Odyssey television series in the late 1970s before coming on board with this project.

If you want to know more about the production of these two stunning nature docs, visit our blog.

Don’t forget to check back here every Monday for a brand new NFB Moment of the week, in which we’ll feature one of our many iconic films from the past 75 years.

More NFB Moments

Beginning May 2, 2014, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) marks 75 years of innovation and leadership in social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, and most recently, groundbreaking interactive works. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 8 Webbys, 9 Canadian Screen Awards, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.