In this feature documentary from The Next Big Thing series, 3 Toronto comedians have made it to Los Angeles, the final leg on their journey to make it big - but only one of them succeeds.
This documentary introduces us to Mark Rowswell, a Canadian comedian virtually unknown in his own country who has an enormous following in mainland China, where he is known as Dashan.
The film provides a unique look at China through the eyes of a man who has become fully at home in Chinese culture—his appearances on national television have been known to draw up to 600 million viewers. It shows Rowswell performing, talking about his art and popularity, and discussing the West’s role in the development of the new China.
This documentary invites you to join acclaimed playwright David Fennario for a performance of his funny and touching one-man play Banana Boots.
The film recounts Fennario’s memories of Montreal’s Verdun and Point Saint-Charles districts, follows him on a journey to Belfast for the Irish premiere of his hit play Balconville, and details his move from major theatrical performances to community theatre, where he sought to "create theatre that can be used to fight back."
This feature-length documentary looks at Stephen O'Keefe, a deaf, stand-up comedian. Faced with the usual challenges that life presents - marriage, children and career - Stephen works extra hard just to be able to hear (with the aid of a cochlear implant) and communicate with those around him. While many hearing-impaired people find life isolating, Stephen embraces the spotlight and chooses to step forward and entertain people.
Backyard Theatre is a documentary about playwright Michel Tremblay and director André Brassard’s flavourful brand of Quebec theatre, which captured the earthy wit and joual (slang) of Montreal's East End working-class neighbourhood. The film features impromptu improvisation by the cast of Les belles-soeurs and Demain matin, Montréal m'attend, two genre-defining plays.
This feature documentary offers a whimsical tour through the history of Chinese magicians and performers in the Western world. Long Tack Sam was an internationally renowned Chinese acrobat and magician who overcame isolation, poverty, cultural and linguistic barriers, extreme racism and world wars to become one of the most successful acts of his time. Filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming travels the globe searching for the story of her great-grandfather, the cosmopolitan Long Tack Sam. A celebration of the spirit of Long Tack Sam's magic and art, this richly textured first-person road movie is an exhilarating testament to his legacy and a prismatic tour through the 20th Century.
This feature documentary profiles Jean-Guy Moreau, a Québécois comedian, impersonator and political satirist who rises far above the level of being merely funny. In this film he prepares to perform in English before a Toronto audience. He will impersonate Premier René Lévesque conducting a press conference. Moreau becomes so caught up with his subject that at times his personality merges with that of Lévesque, as he fends off the questions of a very engaged audience.
In this concise portrait, director and art director Brigitte Haentjens talks about what inspires her work in theatrical creation. Her artistic choices are a response to a deep, dark need to rummage through a text until light bursts forth. Known for being outspoken and for her unconventional artistic approaches, Haentjens has left an indelible mark.
This short film pays tribute to Acadian actress Viola Léger. One of the brightest stars in Canada’s artistic firmament, Léger is best known for her role as La Sagouine in the play of the same name by Acadian writer Antonine Maillet. She has performed it more than 2,500 times, winning rave reviews for her authentic and engaging portrayal. In this film, an in-depth interview combined with archival photos and videos captures the passion and vitality of a woman who, at the venerable age of 82, is ever willing to take on the roles still being offered to her.
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.
This feature-length film tells the story of the passion between Marie de l’Incarnation, a mid-seventeenth-century nun and God, her "divine spouse." Fusing documentary and acting by Marie Tifo, whom we follow as she rehearses for this demanding role, the film paints an astonishing portrait of this mystic who abandoned her son and left France to build a convent in Canada, where she became the first female writer in New France.