In 1966, Helicopter Canada was Canada’s official centennial film. Filmed in Cinemascope, a wide aspect ratio which facilitated panoramic photography of vast and varied landscapes, the film was translated into 12 languages and distributed internationally to great acclaim.
Filmmaker Eugene Boyko had a special brace built to strap both the camera and himself in to a helicopter. He shot over an 18-month period, spending more than 540 hours in the air, shooting about 24 hours of footage, and even experiencing a few near-mishaps along the way.
From mining explosions to Arctic sleigh rides, the film’s images are accompanied by lively narration relating facts and figures about Canada (did you know that “Canadians make more telephone calls than any other people in the world”?)
Helicopter Canada was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature at the 39th annual Academy Awards. It also won 2 Genie Awards and took home first prize at the Canadian Travel Film Awards.
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.
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.