Ce long métrage documentaire brosse le portrait vivant et plein de délicatesse d’une communauté forcée de déménager. Au cœur du récit se trouve une jeune fille noire de 12 ans, aussi perspicace que lumineuse, qui, au fil de ses bouleversantes observations sur la vie, l’âme et la puissance de l’art, se fait la porte-parole des gens que la société réduit souvent au silence. Notes d’espoir témoigne en images du besoin universel de trouver sa voix et son appartenance.
This feature documentary presents a thoughtful and vivid portrait of a community facing imposed relocation. At the centre of the story is a remarkably astute and luminous 12-year-old black girl whose poignant observations about life, the soul, and the power of art give voice to those rarely heard in society. Unarmed Verses is a cinematic rendering of our universal need for self-expression and belonging.
This feature documentary takes us to the heart of the Jane-Finch "Corridor" in the early 1980s. Covering six square blocks in Toronto's North York, the area readily evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime. By focusing on the lives of several of the residents, many of them black or members of other visible minorities, the film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future.
A collaborative work made in the spirit of cinéma-vérité, St-Henri, the 26th of August was directed by Shannon Walsh and16 fellow documentary filmmakers. Chronicling life in a former working-class Montreal neighbourhood over a 24-hour period, St-Henri, the 26th of August follows several compelling stories and characters. The film is an homage to the 1962 Hubert Aquin classic À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre.
Who is Monsieur Pug? Why, a dog with bad cholesterol and high blood pressure! And a dog who loves his pie and ice cream. Who relaxes by making origami. In other words, definitely not your ordinary pooch! For he’s also a paranoiac, convinced he’s the target in a vast conspiracy, and pretending to be a pet, the better to hide from his pursuers. Schizoid, perhaps? Hmm… but is Monsieur Pug even a real dog to begin with?
A delirious fable about a particular brand of modern madness—that brought on by the omnipresence of smartphones in our lives—Monsieur Pug is directed with verve by Janet Perlman, whose The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Animated Short in 1982.
Monsieur Pug is one strange film about the life of one strange dog!
This award-winning animation is a poignant interpretation of a short story by Montreal author Mordecai Richler. It makes a strong statement about how many families respond to their old and infirm members. In washes of watercolour and ink, filmmaker Caroline Leaf illustrates reactions to a dying grandmother, capturing family feelings and distilling them into harsh reality.
This animated film by Martine Chartrand (Black Soul) recounts the friendship between a young Félix Leclerc and Frank Randolph Macpherson, a Jamaican chemical engineer and university graduate who worked for a pulp and paper company. An inveterate jazz fan, Macpherson inspired Leclerc, who wrote a song about the log drives and entitled it “MacPherson” in honour of his friend. Paint-on-glass animation shot with a 35mm camera.
This short film retraces the life of Herman Smith Johannsen – the man who introduced the sport of cross-country skiing to Canadians. From past to present, his life story is portrayed through pictures from sports newsreels, Norwegian archives and his family album. The film catches up with him at both the Canadian Ski Marathon, where he is the honoured guest, and on a return trip to his native Norway.
This short film is a series of vignettes of life in Saint-Henri, a Montreal working-class district, on the first day of school. From dawn to midnight, we take in the neighbourhood’s pulse: a mother fussing over children, a father's enforced idleness, teenage boys clowning, young lovers dallying - the unposed quality of daily life.
In this short film from Oscar® winner Beverly Shaffer, 9-year-old prodigy Xin Ben takes lessons from Daniel Mergler, a piano teacher at the end of his career. In this remarkable story about a student and her mentor, Xin Ben and Mergler meet 26 times over the course of one year. During this time, Xin Ben illuminates Mergler's final months as an instructor with her youthful talent, and he, in return, lovingly guides her towards a life in music.
This documentary is a portrait of Point St. Charles, one of Montreal’s notoriously bleak neighbourhoods. Many of the residents are English-speaking and of Irish origin; many of them are also on welfare. Considered to be one of the toughest districts in all of Canada, Point St. Charles is poor in terms of community facilities, but still full of rich contrasts and high spirits – that is, most of the time.
Just a stone’s throw from downtown Montreal is the largest social housing complex in Quebec. Built in 1959 where the red-light district used to be, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance have retained something of the area’s seedy reputation for poverty, prostitution, drugs and violence. But who really knows the projects and the people who live there? Delving beneath the prejudices and stereotypes, director Isabelle Longtin ventured inside the buildings and met the residents. The result is The Downtown Project, a documentary that reveals a complex multi-ethnic reality made up of compelling personal stories and social movements.