In this feature documentary, husband-and-wife team Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison (Being Caribou), along with their 2-year-old son and dog, retrace the literary footsteps of Canadian writer Farley Mowat. They canoe east from Calgary towards the Prairies (the geography of Farley's Born Naked and Owls in the Family) and then traverse the same paths that Mowat took more than 60 years earlier in Never Cry Wolf and People of the Deer. Their epic 5,000 km journey—trekking, sailing, portaging and paddling—ends in the Maritimes, at Mowat's Nova Scotia summer home.
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.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
Farley Mowat has sold more books than any other Canadian writer – 10 million copies in 22 languages in 50 countries. In this short film, Mowat recalls some of his experiences that have found their way into his work.
In Margaret Atwood: Once in August, filmmaker Michael Rubbo attempts to discover what shapes the celebrated writer's fiction and what motivates her characters. As one of Canada's most distinguished poets and novelists, Atwood is also one of this country's most elusive literary figures.
This feature-length Oscar®-nominated documentary focuses on Malcolm Lowry, author of one of the major novels of the 20th century, Under the Volcano. But while Lowry fought a winning battle with words, he lost his battle with alcohol. Shot on location in four countries, the film combines photographs, readings by Richard Burton from the novel and interviews with the people who loved and hated Lowry, to create a vivid portrait of the man.
This short documentary recounts a 2000-km expedition undertaken by 7 rangers (both Inuit and non-Native) and a female filmmaker to raise a flag on the northernmost tip of Canadian soil, 412 km from the North Pole. With a mesmerizing soundtrack by Nunavut-born singer Tanya Tagaq and spectacular footage of the Arctic landscape, This Land captures the epic adventure with raw immediacy.
This feature documentary is a portrait of the life and work of Canadian poet Irving Layton. Here, the artist who long masked himself in controversy, unexpectedly agrees to be unmasked in front of the camera. The 1981 Nobel nominee not only reads and explicates his own writings, but also speaks incisively about Canadian literature itself, defining it metaphorically as a "double hook" that combines "beauty and terror."
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
Join filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age. In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers. Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.
This feature-length documentary from Bill Mason imparts his affection for the big northern timber wolves and the pure-white Arctic wolves. Filmed over three years in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, the High Arctic and his home near the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, Mason sets out to dispel the myth of the bloodthirsty wolf. Going beyond the wolf's natural habitat, Mason relocated three young wolves to his own property and was able to film tribal customs, mating and birth. As a result, Cry of the Wild offers viewers access to moments in wildlife never before seen on film.
The NFB’s 8th Academy-Award winning film. This short film is an impressionistic record of a flamenco dance class given to senior students of the National Ballet School of Canada by two great teachers from Spain, Susana and Antonio Robledo. The film shows the beautiful young North American dancers—inspired by the flamenco rhythms and mesmerized by Susana's extraordinary energy—joyously merging with an ancient gypsy culture.
This feature film is a different portrait of Ottawa, as transfigured by the loving but provocative gaze of well-known Francophone writer Daniel Poliquin. In his novels, the national capital metamorphoses, like the dreaded rat that supposedly changed into the city's ubiquitous black squirrel in a bid to win our affection. Alternating reality and fiction, the film reveals another Ottawa through the dreams and desires of his novels' characters - all portrayed by Poliquin himself.
Ages 13 to 15
Study Guide - Guide 1
English Language Arts - CanLit
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Social Policies and Programs
A warm-up to reading Mowat, depicting the beauty of the North and its habitat, accompanied by ethical questions about truth in storytelling. Activities: 1) Point of view in literature: students assume the point of view of one of the adventurers (wife, child, dog) or someone encountered, and imaginatively retell a film sequence; 2) Environment: students select an environmental issue suggested by the film, research and communicate it through story, drawing, video, letters or journalistic report.