Theodore Ushev, the auteur behind a number of renowned animated shorts, reveals his inner universe, formed by a half-century of personal experience acquired in a constantly changing world.
Heralding the “end of paper,” this experimental animated short is an abstract exploration of a number of big issues, from the ephemerality of the digital age to the practice of recycling. To create this painting in motion, Theodore Ushev took an animation film festival catalogue and set its pages alight with the broad strokes of a paintbrush.
An intimate look into the mind of Niall McNeil, an artist and performer with Down syndrome, and his unique chosen family. In Lay Down Your Heart, Niall introduces us to his many “family members,” his multiple “children,” his renowned “ex-wife” and director of the film Marie Clements, and other bonds forged through open-hearted creativity.
Ink is our primal medium. It has always been with us, inscribing the evolution of humanity. The Colour of Ink uncovers the medium’s mystery and power through the eyes of Jason Logan, a visionary Toronto inkmaker. Working with ingredients foraged in the wild—weeds, berries, bark, flowers, rocks, rust—he makes ink from just about anything. Jason sends custom-made inks to an eclectic range of artists around the world, from a New Yorker cartoonist to a Japanese calligrapher. As the inks take on a life of their own, his playful alchemy paints a story of colour that reconnects us to the earth and returns us to a childlike sense of wonder.
In community archives across British Columbia, local knowledge keepers are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it.
Luben & Elena is a modern day love story that travels across continents and cultures in pursuit of what makes a place a home. Renowned artists, Luben Boykov and Elena Popova, whose formative years were in the midst of intellectual communist Bulgaria, entered adulthood in the “new world” of Newfoundland. Their work came to intimately define the culture and landscape of the province, underscoring in a very real and visual way how the immigrant experience shapes and defines place. Twenty five years later, they embrace transformation in Sicily. A timely immigration story, Luben & Elena is an expression of the imperative of inclusion and a poignant reminder of the impermanence of everything.
TRIGGER WARNING: This film contains scenes depicting homophobia and violence, which may be disturbing to some viewers.
Someone Like Me follows the parallel journeys of Drake, a gay asylum seeker from Uganda, and a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community who are tasked with supporting his resettlement in Canada. Together, they embark on a year-long quest for personal freedom, revealing how in a world where one must constantly fight for the right to exist, survival itself becomes a victory.
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary follows the grassroots campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris, as she challenges electoral corruption and fights to protect the right to citizenship for all people.
Celebrate Black Canadian cinema with the NFB. Explore our collection of films from Black filmmakers across Canada.
Some dreamers have the power to inspire us, bring us together, and help us reconnect with our humanity. Alain Philoctète, a Haitian artist and activist who settled in Quebec, returns to the country of his birth to develop a permaculture project with local farmers. There, he has an emotional reunion with family members and his former comrades in arms, whose ideals remain unshaken despite the lingering aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and political instability. However, Alain, who is suffering from cancer, has to undergo treatment in Montreal, where his loved ones provide the same degree of affection and solidarity as he receives in Haiti. Director Will Prosper films this inspiring dreamer on his hopeful quest, chronicling the challenges of exile and illness with the personal, knowing touch of a longtime friend. With a rich score composed by Jenny Salgado, Kenbe la, Until We Win offers a cinematic journey that will move viewers to ponder the importance of embracing ideals and passing them on.
How can refugee children integrate into Quebec’s school system, given the unspeakable violence they’ve experienced? Following a psychologist specializing in conflict-related trauma, Unspoken Tears pays tribute to the admirable resilience and survival strategies of these “small adults,” whose spirit the bombs and camps have not completely crushed, at a time when it is vital to raise awareness in Western societies of migration-related issues and children’s rights.