This film joins five of the world's leading whale researchers on a scientific expedition around Canada's Vancouver Island. Spectacular photography and sound recording, both above and under water, provide an imtimate look at killer, gray, and humpback whales, and the world they inhabit. Island of Whales examines the communication, habitat, food supply and behaviour of whales. What emerges is a picture of creatures more sophisticated and complex than ever before imagined. At the end of the film, we are left with one compelling question: Can these magnificent creatures survive in the face of declining food supplies and pollution?
In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament.
Produced as part of the 8th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.
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.
This documentary looks at the risks of a proposed sour gas well near Clearwater River, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Farmers and landowners all share concerns. Residents opposed to the well fear a deadly hydrogen sulphide leak. Shell Canada says it must drill to meet energy needs. When mediation talks break down, both sides anxiously await a ruling from Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.
In Abitibi, hundreds of kilometres from the city, thousands of workers go North, as did Jos Montferrand and François Paradis. Working as brush cutters, these 21st-century lumberjacks discover Quebec's boreal forest. Far from their families, they spend 5 or 6 months a year in logging camps that mirror a new Quebec, those of French-Canadian descent and neo-Quebecers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. All have come to earn a living in the forest. Filmmaker Stéphanie Lanthier invites us to spend an entire season inside this northern micro society. Using a direct cinema technique in the style of Pierre Perrault, she documents the lives of the brush cutters.
Pipelines, Power and Democracy is a striking documentary that follows the mobilization of ordinary people to thwart the ambitions of oil companies and halt, even if only temporarily, the advance of pipelines across Quebec. In the process, the film offers a sharp reminder that power can be accessible to all.
Director Mirjam Leuze’s The Whale and the Raven illuminates the many issues that have drawn whale researchers, the Gitga’at First Nation, and the Government of British Columbia into a complex conflict. As the people in the Great Bear Rainforest struggle to protect their territory against the pressure and promise of the gas industry, caught in between are the countless beings that call this place home.
In this feature documentary, Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie continue in the same provocative vein as their earlier Forest Alert, this time turning their lens on Canada's mining industry. Using striking images, rare archival footage and interviews, The Hole Story analyzes company profits and the impact of mining on the environment and workers’ health.
This short documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI's agricultural industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
The stirring words of PEI-born poet Tanya Davis are coupled with beautiful imagery and poignant stories from the island’s small but growing community of organic farmers, reminding us that we can rob the land only so much before it robs us of the nourishment we need for life. Island Green is ultimately a story of hope and healthy promise.
This short film is a portrait of Tofino, BC intertidal artist Pete Clarkson as he crafts his most ambitious and personal project to date: a memorial to the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. He, like so many of us around the world, was deeply affected by the disaster. Years later, as splintered and mangled timber and other objects started to wash ashore, the disaster hit home again for Clarkson, and the inspiration for his memorial was born. In Clarkson’s caring hands, the remnants from the Tohoku region take on a life of their own as he shapes them into a unique public sculpture. The result is an evocative memorial that is a site of remembrance and contemplation, and an emotional bridge connecting an artist, his community and a people an ocean away.
This feature documentary zooms in on a Grade 6 class in Quebec where a teacher is implementing an experimental teaching method aimed at preparing children to take up environmental challenges. Over the course of a year, Dominique Leduc’s students will learn to identify, analyze and resolve a problem that exists in their world. They also learn about the uncertainty faced by those who want change.