Femme territoire, Yolande Simard Perrault se voit comme le fruit des bouleversements telluriques qui ont frappé la région de Charlevoix, au Québec, voilà des millions d’années. Solide comme le bouclier canadien, elle est la fille du cratère né de la chute d’une météorite, d’où sa vitalité hors du commun. Le film trace le portrait de cette femme déterminée, à l’image d’un pays qui s’est créé dans la démesure. Grand amour de Pierre Perrault, qui délaissera tout pour vivre à ses côtés, elle sera la complice du cinéaste. Le documentaire témoigne de l’influence de cette rêveuse insatiable et de sa contribution à l’édification de notre mémoire collective. Dans un flot d’images et de mots, Yolande Simard Perrault raconte les splendeurs du paysage et les êtres qui l’ont façonné. Généreuse et infinie, sa quête identitaire nourrit et prolonge encore aujourd’hui l’œuvre de celui qui aura donné un souffle nouveau à notre cinématographie.
A woman with a deep love of the land, Yolande Simard Perrault sees her life as having been shaped by a planetary upheaval in Charlevoix, Quebec, millions of years ago. As enduring as the Canadian Shield, she’s a woman of strength and spirit, a child of the crater left by the meteor’s impact. This documentary portrays a determined woman who’s the reflection of a land created on an immense scale. She was the creative and life partner of filmmaker Pierre Perrault, who gave up everything to be by her side. The film charts the influence of her unquenchable dreams and her contribution to the building of a people’s collective memory. In a stream of images and words, Simard Perrault recounts the splendours of the landscape and the people who shaped it. Generous and boundless, she embarks on a quest for identity that nurtures and perpetuates the oeuvre of the man who breathed new life into Quebec cinema.
This revealing portrait of NFB filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin was shown at a gala ceremony in 2008, where Obomsawin received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Her work has captured some of the most startling events in Canadian history, including the armed standoff between the Canadian Army and Mohawk warriors in 1993. Her films cross a spectrum of social issues, but they are always human. Obomsawin explains in the interview, "For me, a real documentary is when you're really listening to somebody; they are the ones that will tell you what the story is, not you."
This experimental short animation is inspired by the NFB's Studio D (1975-1994), a production department aimed at creating filmmaking opportunities for women in Canada. Featuring a rhythmic soundscape and paint-on-glass animation, Assembly shows a woman’s hands cutting and editing a reel of film on a flatbed editing table as fragments of women walking in chains, protesting with placards, and speaking at podiums are inter-cut. We hear bursts of words and the percussive whir and click of the Steenbeck—until a “message” is finally revealed. The film is dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Shannon, a prominent editor and one-time Executive Producer of Studio D.
With quiet intelligence and wry humour, retired documentary filmmaker Kathleen Shannon takes us through the arc of her life and career. Beginning with childhood, moving through her formative years, to her overwhelming desire to give women a chance to tell their stories, this film paints a vibrant portrait of one woman who blazed the way. It's a story of struggle, persistence, and success… and of course, of the NFB's Studio D.
A freewheeling cinematic experience, this film is the work of two filmmakers who relate their perceptions of each other through their respective animation techniques. Images and words are paired in startling associations. Each does a visual portrait of the other, based on characteristic gestures and impressions. A combination of techniques and materials produces a film of rich visual texture shaped by the hands and heads of two very different people.
This short film brings together animation workshops led by award-winning independent animator Caroline Leaf. The film, which discusses and demonstrates Leaf’s artisan's approach to narrative filmmaking, explores 3 techniques she pioneered during her 20-year tenure at the NFB: sand, paint-on-glass and scratch animation.
Alanis Obomsawin, an Indigenous woman who earns her living by singing and making films, is the mother of an adopted child. She talks about her life, her people, and her responsibilities as a single parent. Her observations shake some of our cultural assumptions.
This short film is a tribute to award-winning director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta. A true cultural hybrid, Mehta has been described as a “transnational” artist, able to tell universally meaningful stories from a uniquely Canadian point of view. In a career spanning over 30 years she has consistently broken new ground, tackling such controversial issues as intolerance, cultural discrimination and domestic violence. As an Indian who grew up speaking English first in a British Colonial School and then learning Hindi, she finds her passion and her stories in India, and the freedom to choose how to tell those stories in Canada.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2012 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
This feature-length documentary shines a much-deserved spotlight on Evelyn Lambart, who stood side-by-side with Norman McLaren for 21 years. Dubbed The First Lady of Canadian Animation, Lambart was an accomplished animator in her own right. This compilation, playfully contextualized by filmmaker Donald McWilliams, aims to prove just that.