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Stories Sarah Tells

Stories Sarah Tells

| 4 min

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.

  • recipient
    Sarah Polley
  • writer
    Ann Marie Fleming
  • director
    Ann Marie Fleming
  • producer
    Anita Lee
  • animator
    Kevin Langdale
  • sound design
    Gordon Durity
  • arrangements
    Gordon Durity
  • online editor
    Andrew Mandziuk
  • re-recording
    Doug Paterson
  • music - writing
    Ann Marie Fleming
  • music - performance
    Ann Marie Fleming
  • production supervisor
    Mark Wilson
  • production manager
    Stefanie Brantner
  • technical coordinator
    Marcus Matyas
  • centre administrator
    Josiah Rothenberg
  • supervising project manager
    Rachel Punwassie
  • executive producer
    Silva Basmajian


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Ages 15 to 18

English Language Arts - CanLit
Health/Personal Development - Healthy Relationships
Media Education - Film Animation
Media Education - Film and Video Production

What connections could we make between the stylistic device of line drawing used in the film and how people create, edit and share stories? Sarah Polley’s main themes might be “love, family and stories” (3:10); in groups, brainstorm examples of films, books or television series that revolve around these themes. Why is Sarah’s statement about her father “going over that one line” repeated at the beginning and ending of the film?

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