At her family’s cabin on Wakaw Lake, Saskatchewan, renowned Fransaskois singer-songwriter Alexis Normand invites audiences into a series of candid exchanges about belonging and bilingualism on the Prairies. Weaving together old home movies with current conversations, French Enough illuminates the struggle and triumph of reclaiming francophone Canadian identity. As parents, children and grandchildren sing, play and celebrate, in both French and English, the act of carrying a language forward finally becomes a thing of freedom and joy.
In this short documentary, a Musqueam elder rediscovers his Native language and traditions in the city of Vancouver, near where the Musqueam people have lived for thousands of years.Writing the Land captures the ever-changing nature of a modern city - the glass and steel towers cut against the sky, grass, trees and a sudden flash of birds in flight and the enduring power of language to shape perception and create memory.
This animated short tackles the twin issues of urban planning and climate change. Set in the imaginary city of Colvert, the film highlights the fact that the way a community is shaped and organized is an important factor in determining its energy consumption, and thus the quantity of greenhouse gases it releases into the atmosphere.
Saga City is narrated by Colm Feore and directed by Luc Chamberland.
Produced with the assistance of the National Film Board of Canada's Filmmaker Assistance Program.
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.
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for artist Phil Richards, who’s been commissioned to create Canada’s official portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee. Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis follows Richards over months of painstaking preparations, as he works to capture Her Majesty’s likeness and spirit on canvas.
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.
In this documentary short, several men go through a job interview eager to get a fresh start in life. With each question that's asked, we glimpse tiny snippets of their lives along with their hopes and fears. Nicolas Lévesque's Interview with a Free Man cleverly toys with viewers through its oblique narration, constantly upending our expectations.
This film is part of the The first edition. of the 5 Shorts Project, created by the National Film Board of Canada and produced in conjunction with Spirafilm, a Quebec cooperative dedicated to independent cinema.
The second edition can be found here.
The third edition can be found here.
This short documentary serves as a quiet elegy for a way of life, which exists now only in the memories of those who experienced it. Bonnie Ammaaq and her family remember it vividly. When Bonnie was a little girl, her parents packed up their essentials, bundled her and her younger brother onto a long, fur-lined sled and left the government-manufactured community of Igloolik to live off the land, as had generations of Inuit before them.
This short film is a portrait of Tofino, BC intertidal artist Pete Clarkson as he crafts his most ambitious and personal project to date: a memorial to the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. He, like so many of us around the world, was deeply affected by the disaster. Years later, as splintered and mangled timber and other objects started to wash ashore, the disaster hit home again for Clarkson, and the inspiration for his memorial was born. In Clarkson’s caring hands, the remnants from the Tohoku region take on a life of their own as he shapes them into a unique public sculpture. The result is an evocative memorial that is a site of remembrance and contemplation, and an emotional bridge connecting an artist, his community and a people an ocean away.