On May 27, 2009, an exhibition of 24 photos from NFB films was launched in Ottawa celebrating our 70th anniversary. These 24 images, chosen to represent the NFB's past, present and future, will be showcased in the city where the NFB was founded by cinema pioneer John Grierson in 1939. These are some of the films associated with those images, along with a special commemorative film entitled NFB 70 Years.
For more images, view the online exhibit on our history site.
As clever and sly as any good commercial, NFB 70 Years is the work of a filmmaker in full control of his medium and his message. With humour and self-deprecation – and not a whiff of complacency – Jean-François Pouliot smartly deconstructs the backward-looking perception often attributed to films from the National Film Board. Even the way the film is made pays homage to the filmmaking techniques that have earned Canada's public film producer and distributor its enviable reputation. This artful and skilfully produced mix of genres effectively borrows from direct cinema and flirts with virtuoso animation techniques. With its funny and clever direction, tight yet ingeniously wild and furious editing, brilliantly juxtaposed sequences with powerful relevance to the present, this film confirms the essential role of the NFB within the social fabric of Canada and the world.
Martine Chartrand’s animated short dives into the heart of Black culture with an exhilarating trip though history. Watch as a young boy traces his roots through the stories his grandmother shares with him about the events that shaped their cultural heritage.
In this Oscar®-winning short film, Norman McLaren employs the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion to animate live actors. The story is a parable about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower. For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This Oscar®-winning animated short from Chris Landreth is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. Ryan is living every artist's worst nightmare - succumbing to addiction, panhandling on the streets to make ends meet. Through computer-generated characters, Landreth interviews his friend to shed light on his downward spiral. Some strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
This feature-length documentary from Bill Mason imparts his affection for the big northern timber wolves and the pure-white Arctic wolves. Filmed over three years in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, the High Arctic and his home near the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, Mason sets out to dispel the myth of the bloodthirsty wolf. Going beyond the wolf's natural habitat, Mason relocated three young wolves to his own property and was able to film tribal customs, mating and birth. As a result, Cry of the Wild offers viewers access to moments in wildlife never before seen on film.
On a July day in 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades.
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 hilarious Oscar®-nominated animation is based on the century-old folk song of the same name. Old Mr. Johnson makes increasingly manic attempts to rid himself of a little yellow cat that just won't stay away... Also won the 1989 Genie Award for best animated short film.
Featuring Jean Beliveau, this short film focuses on hockey from the inside out. Known as Canada's national pastime, this film demonstrates why hockey is such an exciting spectator sport. From east to west, the connection between fans and players is evident in the excited cries of "we've won!" From Pee-Wee to Bantam, from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to the big league pros, Here's Hockey! shows what it takes to make a great hockey player.
This short documentary by Colin Low is an invitation to a gathering of the Blood Indians of Alberta - as the Sun Dance is captured on film for the first time. The film shows how the theme of the circle reflects the bands' connection to wildlife and also addresses the predicament of the young generation, those who have relinquished their ties with their own culture but have not yet found a firm place in a changing world.