This short film portrays the NFB's itinerant projectionists during the ’40s and early ’50s who travelled throughout Canada, bringing films and discussions to rural communities. The film uses a mix of dramatic re-enactments with archival footage and interviews with veterans of the movie circuit to shed light on an important period in Canadian film history.
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."
As clever and sly as any good commercial, NFB 70 Years is the work of a filmmaker in full control of his medium and his message. With humour and self-deprecation – and not a whiff of complacency – Jean-François Pouliot smartly deconstructs the backward-looking perception often attributed to films from the National Film Board. Even the way the film is made pays homage to the filmmaking techniques that have earned Canada's public film producer and distributor its enviable reputation. This artful and skilfully produced mix of genres effectively borrows from direct cinema and flirts with virtuoso animation techniques. With its funny and clever direction, tight yet ingeniously wild and furious editing, brilliantly juxtaposed sequences with powerful relevance to the present, this film confirms the essential role of the NFB within the social fabric of Canada and the world.
This film is a collection of 1-minute cartoons produced by NFB animators for government sponsors. Showcasing a playful selection of animation techniques, the clips include reminders about television programs, traffic safety rules, and admonitions from the Department of Labour.
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.
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.
In this feature length documentary, filmmaker Arthur Lipsett's close friend Martin Lavut documents the influence of the eccentric Oscar-nominated film genius. The world of cinema tragically lost Lipsett in 1986 when the Montreal-born artist committed suicide 2 weeks before his 50th birthday. This feature documentary celebrates the life and legacy of one of Canada's greatest creative minds, who began his filmmaking career at the NFB.
This short documentary looks at the government relocation of the Labrador Inuit and the effects on their culture and social structures.
Please note that this is an archival film that makes use of the word “Eskimo,” an outdated and offensive term. While the origin of the word is a matter of some contention, it is no longer used in Canada. The term was formally rejected by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 1980 and has subsequently not been in use at the NFB for decades. This film is therefore a time-capsule of a bygone era, presented in its original version. The NFB apologizes for the offence caused.
In the summer of 1953, the Canadian government relocated seven Inuit families from Northern Quebec to the High Arctic. They were promised an abundance of game and fish, with the assurance that if things didn't work out, they could return home after two years. Two years later, another 35 people joined them. There they suffered from hunger, extreme cold, sickness, alcoholism and poverty. It would be thirty years before any of them saw their ancestral lands again. Interviews with survivors are combined with archival footage and documents to tell the poignant story of a people whose lives were nearly destroyed by their own government's broken promises.
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 award-winning animation-documentary, we meet two unusual artists. Ryan Larkin was once a brilliant filmmaker who ended up on the streets in Montreal. Chris Landreth is a rising star in animation beginning to experience the kind of adulation Larkin received decades earlier.
With excerpts from both men's Oscar®-nominated works, this film delves into the tale of Larkin’s descent and the fascinating relationship that developed between the two men. It is a poignant study of artists, addiction and creativity.