At the age of 5, Hannah Taylor spotted her first homeless person in the back alleys of Winnipeg. This experience not only troubled her, but it drove her to do nothing less than change the world. The Ladybug Foundation, the charity Hannah helped establish, has raised over a million dollars to date. With her huge heart and can-do attitude, she preaches a simple message of "Share a little of what you have and always care about others." As this short documentary proves, we all have a lot to learn from Hannah's story.
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
This documentary portrays the front-line street workers who serve the needy under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. One of the world's largest social agencies, the Army is a religious institution that serves the practical needs of people first, believing that religion is of no use to anyone who is hungry, homeless and hopeless.
Join filmmaker Rosemary House as she peers into the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the street – those who help and those who need help. Shot in Toronto at Christmastime, the film chronicles the small hopes and tiny victories of life lived below the poverty line and the daily rewards for those who work to serve others.
This short documentary shows initiatives kids take to transform bare pavement into dream schoolyards. Some grow trees for shade, and vegetables for a food bank. Others build a greenhouse or a rooftop garden, while others yet construct a courtyard pond as an outdoor classroom and refuge for wildlife.
A Crack in the Pavement is a two-part video set that shows children, teachers and parents how they can work together to 'green' their school grounds and make positive changes in their communities.
This short film was an experiment in using video recordings and closed circuit television to stimulate social action in a poor Montreal neighbourhood. A citizen's committee filmed people's concerns and then played back the tapes for the community. Upon recognizing their common problems, people began to talk about joint solutions. It proved an important and effective method of promoting social change.
In 1992 a young Iranian student hanged himself on the outskirts of a small Ontario town. Having escaped the Ayatollah's regime and found a new home in Canada, he could not escape his past. In this film, Masoud Raouf documents the experiences of Iranian-Canadians - former political prisoners like himself - who were active in the Iranian democratic movement and continue to struggle with the past.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
In this personal documentary, award-winning photographer and filmmaker Nance Ackerman invites us into the lives of a determined family for a profound experience of child poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. 20 years after the House of Commons promised to eliminate poverty among Canadian children, 8-year-old Isaiah is trying hard to grow up healthy, smart and well adjusted despite the odds stacked against him. Isaiah knows he's been categorized as "less fortunate," and his short life has seen more than his share of social workers, food banks and police interventions. His parents struggle to overcome a legacy of stereotypes, abuse and dysfunction. More than anything, they want Isaiah and his siblings to have access to opportunities they never had. Ackerman spent 2 years with Isaiah and his family. As her portrait of the family unfolds with the help of Isaiah's creative input, curiosity and zest for life, so do Ackerman's own feelings about the responsibilities of Canadians to raise all children as our best investment in the nation's future.
This short documentary follows students from Toronto's Jesse Ketchum School as they take steps towards the greening of their schoolyard. Along the way they get how-to advice and inspiration from kids across the country; from Pauline Public School, where students raised $10,000, to Broadacres School, where a family of wild ducks found a home in their pond.
A Crack in the Pavement is a two-part video set that shows children, teachers and parents how they can work together to 'green' their school grounds and make positive changes in their communities
Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She's got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a black model in a world where white women represent the standard of beauty. Agencies rarely hire black models. And when they do, they want them to look “like white girls dipped in chocolate.”
The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry. Is a black model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty?
This film is part of the Work For All series, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, with the participation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Murray Siple's feature-length documentary follows a group of homeless men who have combined bottle picking with the extreme sport of racing shopping carts down the steep hills of North Vancouver. This subculture shows that street life is much more than the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media.
The film takes a deep look into the lives of the men who race carts, the adversity they face and the appeal of cart racing despite the risk. Shot in high-definition and featuring tracks from Black Mountain, Ladyhawk, Vetiver, Bison, and Alan Boyd of Little Sparta.
This documentary celebrates the vibrant culture and tenacious struggle of the Canadian Gypsy and introduces a new generation of Roma who claim their roots with pride. They call themselves by their rightful name, the Roma. Almost 80,000 call Canada home. Meet Julia Lovell, a passionate defender of Roma human rights, whose father is slowly gaining the confidence to reveal his heritage; and Karen Gray Boothroyd, a flamenco dancer just beginning to reclaim her Gypsy roots.
This feature-length film about poverty in Montreal is set against a soundtrack that includes rap, blues, rock, and country and western music. The film deals with the universal themes of hunger, hope and love and is named after an actual Montreal restaurant that's been serving those in need for over 25 years. In French with English subtitles.
Ages 6 to 12
Study Guide - Guide 1
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Family Studies/Home Economics - Housing
Family Studies/Home Economics - Relationships
Geography - Territory: Urban
Hold a fundraiser for the Ladybug Foundation. Hannah used the ladybug because it is a symbol of good luck. Have each student think of another symbol that is good luck and draw it. For grades 6 and 7, have students think of a foundation/cause they would like to support and write a paper explaining why they chose that foundation/cause. Check out the Ladybug Foundation for more information on Hannah and her cause.