This short documentary showcases the work Paul Kane painted in the Canadian northwest in the mid-1800s. Travelling overland west to the Pacific in the mid-1800s, Kane immortalized the area’s great Indigenous Peoples, Chiefs, ceremonies, war parties, buffalo hunts, rapids and waterfalls. In this film, his canvases are projected with lighting that brings to life every glowing detail.
This documentary short is a portrait of Canadian photographer William Notman. Photography was still in its infancy when he opened his first studio in Montreal in the late 1850s. He rapidly turned his art, and a budding technology, into a highly successful business. Within 5 years he was appointed Photographer to the Queen. Not content with doing mere portraiture, he saw photography as a means of documenting history. With the use of props in his studio, composite photographs, and calling on his background as a trained artist, Notman immortalized the people and places of Canada.
This short documentary focuses on prairie sculptor Joe Fafard. If there's one thing Joe knows, it's cows. He knows the way they tuck in their forelegs to lie down to ruminate and the way a calf romps in the barnyard. He also knows his friends and neighbours in the farming community of Pense, Saskatchewan—and he sculpts them all in clay, as eloquent and quirky miniatures. Joe's work has been exhibited throughout Canada as well as in Paris and New York, and this film offers a glimpse into his process, his aesthetic, and the charming prairie community in which he lives.
Set against a background of her paintings and the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, landscapes they depict, this short documentary is a portrait of the life and work of one of Canada's foremost primitive painters, Maud Lewis. Emerging from her youth crippled with arthritis, Lewis escaped into her painting at the age of 30. She had never seen a work of art and had never attended an art class but her paintings captured the simple strength, beauty and happiness of the world she saw - a world without shadows.
This documentary follows Haida artist Bill Reid, from British Columbia. A jeweller and wood carver, he works on a traditional Haida totem pole. We watch the gradual transformation of a bare cedar trunk into a richly carved pole to stand on the shores of the town of Skidegate, in the Queen Charlotte Islands of B.C.
In this short film, sculptor and textile artist Kai Chan shares his artistic philosophy of economy and repetition with young artists who build extraordinary, complex 3D structures using simple materials and basic techniques. Part of the I Can Make Art ...series.
In this revealing study of Norval Morrisseau, filmed as he works among the lakes and woodlands of his ancestors, we see a remarkable Indigenous artist who emerged from a life of obscurity in the North American bush to become one of Canada's most renowned painters. Morrisseau the man is much like his paintings: vital and passionate, torn between his Ojibway heritage and the influences of the white man's world. Jack Pollock, the Toronto art gallery owner who discovered Morrisseau's paintings in the early 1960s, comments on what makes them so unique.
The NFB's 11th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film depicts how a small Canadian city, bearing the name of Stratford and by a river Avon, created its own renowned Shakespearean theatre. The film tells how the idea grew, how a famous British director, international stars and Canadian talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Shakespearean Festival finally became a triumphant reality.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
The film centres on Arthur Shilling, an Ojibwa artist from the Rama Reserve on Lake Couchiching, Ontario. Shilling's artistic evolution is traced, as is his move to Toronto and the difficulties he encountered there. Also discussed is the illness that caused Shilling to re-evaluate his artistic goals. Interviews with the artist and others interested in his paintings are juxtaposed with examples of paintings.
This short documentary looks at the work of artist Arthur Lismer, a member of the Group of Seven, emphasizing his contribution to art education and to Canadian art. At the Montreal Art Centre we see how children learn the independence of creative self-expression in art.
This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929. The fate of the 19th century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over 60 years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum where it is considered state property by the Swedish government.Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums.
This short documentary is a portrait of Frederick Varley, Canadian painter and member of the Group of Seven. In the film, Varley returns to his studio in Toronto after a sketching trip. The camera moves about the studio selecting examples of his canvases and watches him as he begins a new painting.