This selection brings together the films made by the winners of the National Film Board of Canada's Tremplin program.
Introduced in 2005 by Studio Acadie, and joined the following year by the Ontario and West Studio, this Canada-wide competition is for emerging filmmakers from Canada's French-speaking minorities looking to make their first or second documentary.
In this documentary short, summer trippers line up for the famous local fried clams and whole families dig for the white mollusc in the tangy air of the sandbars. But as the clams dwindle, so do these tableaux from Maritime culture. For commercial fishermen it's the end of a livelihood; for others, it's the death of a tradition. Can this really be the end of a resource that used to be as plentiful as the air we breathe?
This short documentary about the city of Moncton, NB, explores 2 tragic endings: the obliteration of a much-loved historic neighbourhood, and the illness and death of the filmmaker's father. What survives when buildings, trees and a loved one all vanish? This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
This short documentary examines the unlikely interactions between French-speaking fishermen and Buddhist monks and nuns in a Cape Breton village. Seemingly divided by language, culture and religion, these people share more than meets the eye. The film delicately weaves a connection between the beliefs of the 2 groups, who both regard life as a cycle. This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
In this short documentary, filmmaker Anika Lirette retraces the unusual life of her Acadian grandparents, who had 13 children. Of the 13, eight had intellectual and physical disabilities - all caused by phenylketonuria, a genetic disorder now known to be easily managed through diet. Through first-person accounts and archival photography, the film traces the history of her family as it struggled with the consequences of the disorder, at a time when the Catholic Church condemned birth control and medical services were virtually non-existent. This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
A 105-year-old Acadian agrees to be filmed one Sunday as she goes about her daily routine and ruminates on life. Filmed by her great-grandson, Aldéa Pellerin-Cormier comments wisely on politics, sex and religion. From getting ready in the morning to drinking her nightcap before bed, every moment is punctuated with a witticism or existential thought. Respectful of the old woman's privacy, Daniel Léger's first documentary looks at wisdom, serenity and enjoyment of life. In French with English subtitles.
This short documentary presents the environmental challenges in Nunavut. Beneath the immaculate layer of snow, there are mountains of trash. Iqaluit's 2 dumps are filled beyond capacity and the municipality has no plan to solve the problem. Throughout the film, we discover the problems faced by this isolated region and learn just how serious they are. But above all, we hear a call to action from the residents, who don't want to see the North they love disappear.
This short documentary is a portrait of Martine Duviella, whose parents were forced to flee Haiti during the Duvalier regime. Here, Duviella recounts the story of her activist father and through him seeks to retrieve the forgotten past of a generation that sacrificed itself trying to free Haiti.
This short fiction film takes place one afternoon in a public park. An urban fairytale unfolds in front of our eyes, featuring a girl selling lollipops, a writer, colourful passersby and a hat with extraordinary powers. The girl has difficulty making conversation, but this headgear lends her a completely new aura: now things turn weird and wonderful. In French with English subtitles.
This short documentary chronicles the participation of Edmonton’s Chorale Saint-Jean in the festivities organized for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. The film is interspersed with interviews with conductor Laurier Fagnan, lyricist-composer France Levasseur-Ouimet and other people involved with this talented choir. Poignant and charming, it shows that French outside Quebec doesn’t necessarily have a bleak future. Indeed, not only is Franco-Albertan culture surviving, but it is also enriching our country’s heritage.
This short documentary recounts the story of a man in search of a lost paradise. At times his life seems thankless, unmanageable and repetitive, even a cause for shame. Because of his debts, Richard has given up on some of his dreams, and he thinks back. He was four when his parents left their mobile home and fell on hard times. But he was still a carefree little boy, and that is the age and stage he would like to rediscover. Returning to Acadia, he sets out to track down the family’s trailer. By comparing his memories with those of his siblings, he tries to regain his strength and learn to live again. Or perhaps his goal is to break his streak of bad luck. This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
This short documentary presents an episode in the life of the owner of a general store in Pointe-Verte, New Brunswick. Nicole and Fabien, helped by their children, work 109 hours a week, never stopping. While the parents, now nearing retirement, have been holding the fort for over 30 years, their kids dream of a different future. The filmmaker, who grew up in a family grocery store, follows the daily events in this place of comings and goings, where life is all hustle and bustle. With scenes that are both funny and touching, the film pays tribute to these people who have devoted themselves to their community, providing a reassuring presence at all times. This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
This short documentary is a portrait of Sylvie Mazerolle, a young woman for whom dance is as vital and fundamental as breathing. Tracking her process, the film also takes a look at dance in her home province of New Brunswick. This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
A study in passion and creativity, Emma Carroll, a young filmmaker from Shédiac, New Brunswick, makes a short film with her iPod.
Acadians have been enamoured of their community radio station, CJSE, for 16 years now. The station is well rooted in the community and has become a unique observer of its day-to-day reality, evolution, culture and struggles, providing listeners with an image that corresponds to their ever-changing identity. This documentary was made as part of the 2012 Tremplin competition and produced with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.