Soaring Highs and Brutal Lows celebrates the stories of eight female vocalists in the heavy metal genre. Through personal interviews, behind the scenes insights, and concert footage, these women describe in their own words, their choices, their lives, and the hardships and triumphs of being center stage in what is widely perceived as a male-dominated music scene.
This documentary presents two young women from Halifax who are organizing rock concerts to raise money for the group Eastcoast Against Racism. Bronwen and Yaffa believe that the universal language of music will help unite the community. At the same time, they struggle to renew their friendship with Scott, a former Ku Klux Klan member. This moving film is set against a vibrant soundtrack of punk and rap music.
This short documentary offers an intimate portrait of two women in their mid-sixties—one homosexual, the other heterosexual—whose love for one another and the music they create together transcends differences. Florence and Shirley's lifelong attachment is a heartwarming connection that defies categorization.
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.
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 short sensory film explores the internal process of Alexina Louie, whose unique sound has established her as one of Canada’s most performed and highly regarded composers.
k.d. lang shares her perspective on preferring silence and listening to making noise as one of the 2023 recipients of the GGPAA for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. A musician, 2SLGBTQI+ activist, daughter and icon, lang transcends categorization. Here, she delves into the essence and significance of musical expression, examining its emotional impact on both the performer and the audience.
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.
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.
Interweaving poetry, painting, photography, music and sculpture, this feature documentary is an innovative look at the lives and work of Canadian men and women artists of Italian origin. Broaching issues of identity and culture, the film explores the relationship between the immigrant experience and the creative process.
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.
Combining the music of Chopin with digital animation, this short film artfully defines pianist Janina Fialkowska’s imprint in the world of classical music and beyond. Particles of light choreograph themselves to reveal otherworldly beauty, channelling the pianist’s explosive performance.
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.