In this joyful portrait, filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming animates the formative days and musical career of Calgary-born identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin. Their remarkable journey over the past 20 years has often intersected with notions of identity—as artists, as individuals, as sisters, as queer women, and as leading activists in the LGBTQ community. Their musical progression parallels and amplifies their commitment to bringing the marginal to the mainstream.
This short film explores the passions of acclaimed musician and songwriter Sarah McLachlan, using her own words and drawings to guide us through her rich creative world, the founding of the groundbreaking Lilith Fair, and her philanthropic work at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.
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 2015 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
Folk music icon Buffy Sainte-Marie became internationally renowned with her protest song "Universal Soldier." In this short documentary, she candidly discusses her hopes, creative vision and songwriting skills, as well as her role as an Aboriginal activist. Still a vibrant artist fifty years into her career, she keeps her eyes set on the future.
This short documentary profiles Quebec-born singing sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle. The sisters enjoy international acclaim—although outside of the mainstream—for their inimitable style, their talent as songwriters, and especially their unassuming, informal personalities. With camera and sketchbook in hand, artist and filmmaker Caroline Leaf captures the sisters’ endearing qualities. The result is an easygoing, sometimes whimsical portrait of the famous sisters on and off stage. Highlights include excerpts from the sisters’ Carnegie Hall performance and a look at their songwriting and recording processes.
In this evocative short documentary, Inuk singer-songwriter and humanitarian Susan Aglukark weaves together stories of artistry, family, and belonging as she explores the complex cultural shifts of the last 50 years of Inuit life. Turning her lens on the turbulence of colonial transition, director Nyla Innuksuk examines the forces that shaped Aglukark's voice and how that voice is now being translated for a new generation of Inuit artists.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 2016 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
In this short documentary about The Tragically Hip, director David Battistella uses a split-screen and acid-etched colours to distil the iconic Canadian band’s essence. After decades together, through hotels, highways, gigs and recording sessions, The Hip’s members have forged a powerful brotherhood. "These guys are my life partners, musically" says bass guitarist Gord Sinclair. The Hip's brand of straight-ahead rock and roll has catapulted the band to international stardom, and ensured them a place in Canadian musical history, but at heart, they remain a bunch of guys from Kingston, Ontario, making music together just for fun.
This film was produced for the 2008 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.
This short documentary features Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester as she sings at the Festival Casals, a musical event founded by the great Spanish cellist and conductor Pablo Casals and sponsored annually by the Puerto Rican government. Part concert film, part tourism film, Festival in Puerto Rico offers viewers candid glimpses of mid-20th century Puerto Rico intercut with performance footage of Forrester and her husband, violinist-conductor Eugene Kash.
Bryan Adams is one of world’s most enduringly popular singer/songwriters. He is most at home in his Vancouver studio, surrounded by his collection of vintage microphones and guitars. Adams calls it “a very analog space in a very digital world.” In this short documentary, we witness an intimate rendition of his song “One World, One Flame” and hear him speak of his audience-centred approach to performance: “I want it to be fun, I want it to be real.”
In this animated short from Diane Obomsawin, four women reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves, sharing funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression. For them, discovering that they're attracted to other women comes hand-in-hand with a deeper understanding of their personal identity and a joyful new self-awareness.
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This short film pays tribute to director, screenwriter and actress Sarah Polley. Her latest film, Stories We Tell, a feature length documentary about her family history, premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, then screened to unanimous acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. It was called “a brilliant film: an enthralling, exquisitely layered masterpiece” by Maclean’s film critic Brian D. Johnson. Here, a whimsical, playful film tells the story of the kinds of stories Polley tells. Using humorous, simple line animation, the film comments on the messiness of life and art.
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 documentary offers a glimpse of contemporary Cuba’s rich musical culture through the experiences of renowned Canadian soprano sax player and flautist Jane Bunnett. Jane and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer, are surrounded by the charm of Old Havana as they connect with some of the city's finest musicians—like singers Bobby Carcasses and Amado Dedeu —for a recording session. Bunnett and Cramer then venture to small towns like Cienfuegos and Camaguey, where they hook up with local musicians and visit music schools. Global music fans will be captivated by the performances of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, a celebrated Afro-Cuban rumba group, and Desandann, a 10-member a cappella choir that sings in Haitian Creole.
After losing his best friend, an elderly pug named Henry must depend on his owner for help and companionship. Writer/director Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses) makes visible the tender work of caretaking in her new animated short, Old Dog. All dogs (and people) should be so lucky and so loved.
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