This documentary film is an exploration of Québec’s feature film industry. The film takes a look at the people who have succeeded in this unique milieu (Geneviève Bujold is one) or failed; at its movies, which run the gamut from hard-core skinflicks to such highly acclaimed films as Mon Oncle Antoine, and at its audiences, which number in the millions.
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 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."
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.
These provocative 20-minute movies made by high school students provide an insider's look at youth culture. Made by four 17-year-old directors with help from a professional crew, Salt is a four-part filmzine: four films, four flavours, four windows into youth culture that explore alternative education, Montreal's flourishing independent music scene, the troubling practice of self-mutilation and a quest for the punk subculture.
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.
This feature-length documentary from 1974 takes viewers inside Fidel Castro's Cuba. A movie-making threesome hope that Fidel himself will star in their film. The unusual crew consists of former Newfoundland premier Joseph Smallwood, radio and TV owner Geoff Stirling and NFB film director Michael Rubbo. What happens while the crew awaits its star shows a good deal of the new Cuba, and also of the three Canadians who chose to film the island.
A feature documentary on Nigeria’s successful movie industry. The creative duo of Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal – the same team who made Discordia – profile the Lagos-based dream machine. Operating on low budgets and tight schedules, “Nollywood” specializes in a unique form of African B-movie that draws upon both traditional voodoo stories and contemporary urban themes.
Wintopia is an intimate father-daughter story and poignant search for the meaning of utopia. Following the quick and tragic death of Peter Wintonick, Canada’s “documentary ambassador to the world”, his daughter Mira Burt-Wintonick dives into her father’s obsession with untangling the contradiction that is utopia. The remains of his unfinished film and several hundred hours of raw footage shot over 15 years leads Mira to surprising places and connections with her father, compelling all of us to live life with purpose.
This short film is a tribute to award-winning director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta. A true cultural hybrid, Mehta has been described as a “transnational” artist, able to tell universally meaningful stories from a uniquely Canadian point of view. In a career spanning over 30 years she has consistently broken new ground, tackling such controversial issues as intolerance, cultural discrimination and domestic violence. As an Indian who grew up speaking English first in a British Colonial School and then learning Hindi, she finds her passion and her stories in India, and the freedom to choose how to tell those stories in Canada.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2012 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.