This feature documentary by Jean-Claude Labrecque recounts the bold and astounding enterprise of French filmmaker Julien Duvivier, who shot a film adaptation of Louis Hémon’s classic novel Maria Chapdelaine in Péribonka, a village in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, in 1934. What was the impact of the original film’s production on the life of the community? What memories remain? What town secrets lie hidden in those memories?
Tracking our identity and our relationship with the past, Labrecque and his team delve into the boundaries between the fantasy world of film and reality. Drawing on clips from Duvivier’s film, material from archives in France and Quebec, and original footage shot by Labrecque and his team in Péribonka in 2013, the documentary Remembering Maria Chapdelaine is an inquiry into the boundaries between the fantasy world of film and reality.
This feature documentary is an inspired, genre-twisting film directed by Oscar®-nominee Sarah Polley. Polley's playful investigation into the elusive truth buried within the contradictions of a family of storytellers paints a touching and intriguing portrait of a complex network of relatives, friends, and strangers.
This feature doc tells the story of the improbable friendship between acclaimed Quebec singer Félix Leclerc and the intriguing Frank Randolph Macpherson. A chemical engineer from Jamaica, Macpherson immigrated to Quebec in 1917 and was the inspiration for the popular song that Leclerc named after him. But this is also a story about memory: it was animator Martine Chartrand’s memory of this song that compelled her to create the striking animated short MacPherson, made by filming paintings on glass using 35mm film. A sympathetic look at an artist at work, Finding Macpherson takes audiences on a personal journey, exploring the imperceptible yet powerful connections that bind us to each other.
With a meticulous selection of interviews, performances and photos drawn from a vast and rich archival collection, Pauline Julien, Intimate and Political follows the iconic Quebec singer and eternally free spirit on a journey through key moments in the province’s history.
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.
This short documentary captures the savvy of great Canadian storytellers on film. Sharing their insights on inspiration, authenticity, tenacity and what compels them in their creative endeavors are Double Happiness director Mina Shum, Oscar® winner Denys Arcand, The Hockey Sweater author Roch Carrier, Emporte-moi director Léa Pool and Zacharias Kunuk, the filmmaker behind Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner).
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."
Danny Williams was the charismatic and unflinching Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 2003 to 2010. By the time he left office, he had become the most popular—and controversial—Canadian politician of his era.
Laced with humour and revealing back-room anecdotes, Danny is the story of how Williams turned a “have not” into a “have” province. Known as a fighter, Williams famously took on prime ministers and Big Oil to ensure that benefits from the province’s abundant natural resources flowed back to its people. His mantra “no more giveaways” was key to his unprecedented popularity, but pride in his province made Williams a hero to its people.
Director Mina Shum makes her foray into feature documentary by reopening the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations – the infamous Sir George Williams Riot. Over four decades after a group of Caribbean students accused their professor of racism, triggering an explosive student uprising, Shum locates the protagonists and listens as they set the record straight, trying to make peace with the past.
Critic-turned-filmmaker Katherine Monk trains her lens on DJ Rhiannon Rozier in this short film about breaking the glass ceiling in a music industry dominated by men. The Vancouver-raised, university-educated Rozier was so intent on making a career in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene that she did something she never thought she’d do: she posed for Playboy.
Musician Catherine MacLellan—the daughter of Canadian singer/songwriting legend Gene MacLellan—grew up surrounded by her father’s music. He died by suicide when she was 14. Two decades after his loss, Catherine is finally ready to confront the hurtful mystery of her absent parent and embrace his musical legacy.
The Song and the Sorrow follows Catherine as she journeys to understand her father and face her own struggles with mental illness. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with friends, family members, and musicians who knew and played with Gene—including Anne Murray, Lennie Gallant, and the late Ron Hynes—the film reveals a troubled and loving man who was never at ease with fame or money.
Catherine is determined to lift the oppressive burden of silence that accompanies the stigma of mental illness and hopes that others can take strength and solace from her story.