Family offers a candid look at CBC Radio in action and the unique cast of characters who make up Canada's coast-to-coast radio family. The film brings home the enormous complexity of producing across six time zones, with the mandate to deliver quality programs, often live, throughout the country. Accomplished filmmaker Donald Brittain was able to capture critical moments of live radio in progress and documents the history and development of CBC Radio.
This short documentary joins radio satirist Max Ferguson at the microphone as he creates his weekday-morning program for the CBC. Shot inside his broadcasting booth, the film watches and records as Max ad-libs his way through zany interpretations of news events, with only the morning paper and his wit to guide him.
The NFB's 11th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film depicts how a small Canadian city, bearing the name of Stratford and by a river Avon, created its own renowned Shakespearean theatre. The film tells how the idea grew, how a famous British director, international stars and Canadian talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Shakespearean Festival finally became a triumphant reality.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This is a lively account of the many-sided contribution of engineers, planners, producers, actors, musicians and technicians to the pleasure of Canada's radio listeners. Excerpts from popular programs like Stage '47, The Happy Gang, Prairie Schooner, and The Trio Lyrique are heard. The film ends with an indication of the activities of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's International Service.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
This feature-length documentary pays tribute to CBQM, the radio station that operates out of Fort McPherson, a small town about 150 km north of the Arctic Circle in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Through storytelling and old-time country music, filmmaker and long-time listener Dennis Allen crafts a nuanced portrait of the "Moccasin Telegraph," the radio station that is a pillar of local identity and pride in this lively northern Teetl'it Gwich'in community of 800 souls.
This short documentary from 1949 looks at the state of radio in Canada. Focusing on the CBC, it illustrates the variety of radio fare available at the time by featuring snatches of favourite programs, including Trio Lyrique, Mart Kenney, the Toronto Symphony, the Happy Gang, forums, religious programs, drama and old-time music. Several key people involved in the business of broadcasting are introduced, as is the CBC International Service.
This short documentary profiles Quebec-born singing sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle. The sisters enjoy international acclaim—although outside of the mainstream—for their inimitable style, their talent as songwriters, and especially their unassuming, informal personalities. With camera and sketchbook in hand, artist and filmmaker Caroline Leaf captures the sisters’ endearing qualities. The result is an easygoing, sometimes whimsical portrait of the famous sisters on and off stage. Highlights include excerpts from the sisters’ Carnegie Hall performance and a look at their songwriting and recording processes.
This short film focuses on the legend of a lost gold mine and a river in the Northwest Territories that lured men to their doom. Albert Faille, an aging prospector, set out time and again to find hidden gold. His route took him through the wild and awesome land particularly suited to the mood of this Canadian odyssey.
This short film served as an invitation to the World's Fair that was held in Montreal in 1967. It was largely considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century with over 50 million visitors. The film presents impressions of the event and of Montreal at its liveliest and most exciting moment in history.
This 1964 documentary returns to the battlefields where over 100,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The film also visits cemeteries where servicemen are buried. Filmed from Hong Kong to Sicily, this documentary is designed to show Canadians places they have reason to know but may not be able to visit. Produced for the Canadian Department of Veteran Affairs by the renowned documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain.
This feature-length documentary follows naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of the canoe, his artwork and his own sense of the land.
Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. Features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.