African hip hop pioneer Didier Awadi is on a quest to craft an album that pays tribute to the great black revolutionary leaders and their struggle to realize a dream: a united, independent Africa. In this epic musical and political journey, Awadi visits some 40 countries to collaborate with hip hop activist artists, including Smockey (Burkina Faso), M-1 of Dead Prez (United States) and ZuluBoy (South Africa).
Featuring a score by Ghislain Poirier, as well as Awadi’s own songs, United States of Africa draws the viewer into one artist’s profound meditation on the power of music and the impact of political engagement—both individual and collective. A hopeful and compelling portrait of a continent whose politically aware youth is refusing to accept the role of victim, the film is a call for Africans to rise up, take a stand and take control of their continent and their destiny.
Directed by John Kastner, this feature documentary about violence, mental illness, and the rights of victims tells the story of a troubled young man who stabbed a complete stranger 6 times in a crowded shopping mall while gripped by psychosis. Twelve years later, his victim, who miraculously survived, is terrified to learn that he’s out, living in the community under supervision. He’s applying for an absolute discharge, and if he succeeds, he’ll no longer be required to take the anti-psychotic drugs that control his mental illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, the victim, and the mental institution, the film looks at both sides of the debate and puts a human face on the complex ethical issues raised.
All his life, Michel Pagliaro (Pag) has been on a quest for the perfect 3:15 minute song. Following in the tradition of rockers like Eddy Cochran, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, Pagliaro's songs belie their initial simplicity. Director Eric Tessier captures Pag in all his ragged glory, from the wicked glint in his eye to his razor sharp suit.
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.
In this short animation, Oscar®-winning director Chris Landreth (Ryan, 2004) uses a common social gaffe—forgetting somebody’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious. Inspired by the classic TV game show Password, the film features a wealth of animated celebrity guests who try to prompt our beleaguered protagonist to remember his old pal's name. Finally, he realizes he must surrender to his predicament and jump head-first into his subconscious to find the answer.
Set in the northern region of Afghanistan, this feature drama tells the story of a young bride-to-be who strays from local customs after befriending an Afghan-Canadian translator. Part lament against injustice, part testament to the spirit of a people who have survived decades of war, this film is a compelling drama in which East and West, love and honour, modernity and custom clash with tragic consequences.
In this feature documentary-musical by Chelsea McMullan, indie singer Rae Spoon takes us on a playful, meditative and at times melancholic journey. Set against majestic images of the infinite expanses of the Canadian Prairies, the film features Spoon crooning about their queer and musical coming of age. Interviews, performances and music sequences reveal Spoon’s inspiring process of building a life of their own, as a trans person and as a musician.
Official selection at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
This feature-length documentary tells the story of jockey Ron Turcotte, who, along with his legendary horse Secretariat, won the prestigious American Triple Crown in 1973. Follow along as we witness Turcotte’s rise to fame, the fall in 1978 that left him a paraplegic and his emotional journey back to the people and places that marked his life. This is a road movie that delves deep into the thrilling and dangerous world of horseracing, featuring never-before-seen footage of Secretariat and appearances by Triple Crown winners Steve Cauthen and Jean Cruguet.
Join filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age. In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers. Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.
This feature documentary by renowned director and cinematographer Vic Sarin is a personal yet global investigation into the history and current state of colourism: the discrimination within one ethnicity based on differences in skin tone. Sarin travels the globe to discuss this complex cross-cultural social issue with individuals whose lives it affects, including a Filipina entrepreneur whose business has flourished within the billion-dollar skin-whitening industry. Hue leads viewers on a thoughtful and surprising journey to the heart of a painful and pervasive social issue that not only polices appearance, but also class, gender, and geography.
Walter Homburger helped bring Glenn Gould and a succession of other great musicians to the attention of the world. Using shadow puppets and silhouettes, this short documentary captures the irrepressible spirit of a great impresario, manager and orchestra administrator who has devoted his life to furthering classical music in Canada.