Canada has long been known as a mosaic. This selection of films highlights some of the many cultural communities that exist across the country.
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Films in This Playlist Include
Trudeau's Other Children
This documentary brings together a group of long lost classmates who used to belong to an after-school film club. Formed at the initiative of a Grade 8 teacher eager to pass along his love of cinema, the club attracted a klatch of immigrant kids eager to embrace their new country. Stimulating and creative, the club was a complete departure from anything they had known and provided a safe haven from the harsh world around them. Together, they made a tiny 8mm award-winner called Ohh Canada.
Twenty-five years later, the group looks back to marvel at their childhood dreams and the bond they share with the teacher who brought them together.
This film was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
Baggage opens the stage and turns the spotlight on newly arrived teenage immigrants studying at Paul-Gérin-Lajoie-d'Outremont High School in Montréal. Through drama workshops, theatre production and deeply personal interviews, the film gives voice to their stories of immigration and integration. Their accounts move between an "elsewhere" and a “before" to become a ”here and now". With a wisdom well beyond their years that will leave no one unmoved, these students share poignant narratives about their journeys with compelling emotion and a disarming level of authenticity.
Musicians Vineet Vyas, Mei Han and Asif Illyas are part of one of the greatest social experiments the world has seen: multiculturalism. Nearly 40 years ago, under the eye of visionary prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Canada began turning itself into the world's first truly multicultural state--a place where people from all nations could be at home. But the genesis for Trudeau's idea came decades earlier, when he was a young man travelling through the chaos of the post-war Middle East and Asia.
Vineet Vyas is a renowned tabla player who splits his time between Canada and India. An accomplished traditional musician, zheng player Mei Han is also an audacious innovator and improviser. And Asif Illyas--born in Sri Lanka, raised in England, and living in Halifax--is frontman for boundary-breaking contemporary pop band Mir.
In Trudeau's Other Children, award-winning filmmaker Rohan Fernando places the stories of Mei, Vineet and Asif in juxtaposition with archival footage and excerpts from Trudeau's journals. The result offers unique insights into the origins and practice of Canada's multicultural policy--and a film as powerful, layered and subtle as the best of their music.
If you could go back and speak to your 12-year-old self, what would you say? Through this documentary, Philippine-born filmmaker Lester Alfonso attempts to answer this question by interviewing twelve diverse subjects, each of whom moved to Canada at age 12, like himself. Produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
A stone's throw from downtown Montreal, quirky artists, blue-collar workers and unconventional families are being forced to leave their old neighbourhood as high-tech firms move in. Like in so many other cities, the tech companies arrive with the promise of a rosy future--but it's one built on demolitions, evictions and the conversion of low-rent property to high-priced condos.
This is a portrait of one building and its residents--people like Constanzo 'Fartman' Manna, an eccentric shipper and packer who's headed for Chile to marry the love of his life and bring her back to Montreal; artist Luc Bourbonnais, who is fighting desperately to hold on to the loft that inspires so much of his art; and Cuban émigré Rolando Zambrano, who ran a neighbourhood snack bar for nearly 30 years.
Shot over a period of six months and set to a pulsing Latin and rock soundtrack, 645 Wellington not only opens a window onto the lives of the building's residents but brings the building itself to life. We come to know the dark hallways, the corners and the doorways. We get to know them well. Just as they are about to change, forever.
645 Wellington was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.
This feature documentary zooms in on Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges borough, where over 75 ethnic groups live side by side in a dizzying swirl of sound and colour. One day, filmmaker Lucie Lachapelle began knocking on the doors that isolated her from her neighbours. The result is a vibrant film about freedom and uprootedness set to urban music composed by Montreal jazz artist Harold Faustin.