This short documentary presents Flash William Shewchuck, a one-man movie industry operating in the Canadian wilderness. Combining the roles of film producer, director, cameraman, actor, promoter, projectionist and ticket taker, Flash finances his company by working on road gangs in the Yukon, or in the oil fields and pulp mills between projects. In this film, he discusses his latest feature, Dawson City Joe, and reveals some aspects of his style and technique.
In this film Keaton rides across Canada on a railway scooter and, between times, rests in a specially appointed passenger coach where he and Mrs. Keaton lived during their Canadian film assignment. This film is about how Buster Keaton made a Canadian travel film, The Railrodder. In this informal study the comedian regales the film crew with anecdotes of a lifetime in show business. Excerpts from his silent slapstick films are shown.
These provocative 20-minute movies made by high school students provide an insider's look at youth culture. Made by four 17-year-old directors with help from a professional crew, Salt is a four-part filmzine: four films, four flavours, four windows into youth culture that explore alternative education, Montreal's flourishing independent music scene, the troubling practice of self-mutilation and a quest for the punk subculture.
This documentary film is an exploration of Québec’s feature film industry. The film takes a look at the people who have succeeded in this unique milieu (Geneviève Bujold is one) or failed; at its movies, which run the gamut from hard-core skinflicks to such highly acclaimed films as Mon Oncle Antoine, and at its audiences, which number in the millions.
This feature film is a portrait of John Grierson, the first Canadian Government Film Commissioner and founder of the National Film Board in 1939. Interweaving archival footage, interviews with people who knew him and footage of Grierson himself, this film is a sensitive and informative portrait of a dynamic man of vision.
Grierson believed that the filmmaker had a social responsibility, and that film could help a society realize democratic ideals. His absolute faith in the value of capturing the drama of everyday life was to influence generations of filmmakers all over the world. In fact, he coined the term "documentary film."
A feature documentary on Nigeria’s successful movie industry. The creative duo of Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal – the same team who made Discordia – profile the Lagos-based dream machine. Operating on low budgets and tight schedules, “Nollywood” specializes in a unique form of African B-movie that draws upon both traditional voodoo stories and contemporary urban themes.
In this feature-length film on the art of the documentary, director Pepita Ferrari interviews 33 leading documentarians and shows clips from over 50 films. From cinéma-vérité pioneers like Albert Maysles and Michel Brault to mavericks like Errol Morris and Nick Broomfield, it explores the challenges of capturing reality on film. Directors as diverse as Pakistani feminist Sabiha Sumar and new media guru Peter Wintonick reflect on ethical issues and the contested status of the “truth.”
Featured interviews include German iconoclast Werner Herzog; Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán; British director Kim Longinotto and Alanis Obomsawin, the First Lady of First Nations cinema. Visit Capturing Reality for additional interviews and background.
This short film pays tribute to director, screenwriter and actress Sarah Polley. Her latest film, Stories We Tell, a feature length documentary about her family history, premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, then screened to unanimous acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. It was called “a brilliant film: an enthralling, exquisitely layered masterpiece” by Maclean’s film critic Brian D. Johnson. Here, a whimsical, playful film tells the story of the kinds of stories Polley tells. Using humorous, simple line animation, the film comments on the messiness of life and art.
Produced by the NFB in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
In this short animation film, Norman McLaren presents the first 3 of the 5 categories of motion: constant, accelerated and decelerated. Various types of acceleration and deceleration are demonstrated, and examples are shown of how these types of motion may be applied in regard to gesture, gravity and perspective.
This feature-length documentary from 1974 takes viewers inside Fidel Castro's Cuba. A movie-making threesome hope that Fidel himself will star in their film. The unusual crew consists of former Newfoundland premier Joseph Smallwood, radio and TV owner Geoff Stirling and NFB film director Michael Rubbo. What happens while the crew awaits its star shows a good deal of the new Cuba, and also of the three Canadians who chose to film the island.
This feature documentary is an inspired, genre-twisting film directed by Oscar®-nominee Sarah Polley. Polley's playful investigation into the elusive truth buried within the contradictions of a family of storytellers paints a touching and intriguing portrait of a complex network of relatives, friends, and strangers.
This multi-layered Colin Low documentary offers a visual exploration of his personal collection of war etchings and woodcuts. Collected over 5 decades, these images, including extremely detailed miniatures, were nearly impossible to accurately capture on film. The images so fascinated and haunted Low that he shot them in 35 mm and developed techniques - used here for the first time - to show the fine lines of stamps and the microscopic details of tiny copperplate etchings with startling clarity. In Moving Pictures, Low traces his growing awareness of war, the perversion of art into propaganda, and the technological advances that have led to more efficient creation and dissemination of images - as well as more effective weapons of mass destruction.