Three women file documents in small cabinets. Photo taken from the documentary Portrait Canada, directed in 1959 by Hector Lemieux.

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)

The Access to Information Act  gives Canadian citizens, permanent residents, individuals present in Canada, and corporations located in Canada the right to apply for and obtain copies of federal government records. “Record” refers to any documentary material, regardless of medium or form. Anyone not falling into the category above can follow the link to Informal requests section.

The Privacy Act  protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information held by a government institution. It also provides individuals the right to access their own personal information and to request correction of their personal information.

The mandate of the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is to administer the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, and to ensure the NFB is in compliance with legislative and policy requirements.

How we can assist you in submitting your request

To more effectively target the information you wish to obtain, you can communicate with the ATIP Coordinator by e-mail at or by phone at 514-283-9338. The ATIP Coordinator will provide you with information about the NFB’s information holdings, so you can formulate sufficiently detailed requests.

Moreover, the ATIP Coordinator will assist you throughout the processing of your request, including informing you about your rights under the two Acts, making every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the requested records, and providing accurate and complete responses to your questions.

Before submitting an access to information request, we invite you to consult our completed access to information requests, where summaries of completed access to information requests are posted. If you wish to obtain a copy of the records released in response to these requests informally, you may send a written request by e-mail to or by fax at 514-841-3500.

If you are requesting personal information that is not your own, you must include a consent to release the information from the person concerned. Consent must be provided in writing, indicating the specific information the person wants to be released, the name of the person giving the consent, and the name of the person to whom consent is being given. The consent must be dated and signed by the person giving the consent.

How to present your request for information

Informal requests

Informal requests are direct lines of communication between the NFB and the public, and should be the first channel for receiving departmental documents. An informal request for NFB records does not invoke the right of access provided by the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Information subject to exemption under the Acts is not released informally. For instance, in response to an informal request, the NFB could communicate documents provided as a part of a previous official request, annual reports, free teaching materials, policies or guides, final film transcripts, etc. Unlike a formal request, the right to submit an informal request is not limited to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or individuals and corporations present in Canada. There are no application fees associated with informal requests. On the other hand, no processing timeframe is provided by the law, and there is no recourse for requesters in the event they wish to lodge a complaint.

To direct your informal information request, please contact our ATIP Coordinator using one of the following options:

Formal requests

To submit a formal request, fill out the Access to Information Request Form or Personal Information Request Form; or write a letter stating that you are making a request pursuant to the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act and describing the records you wish to access. Please be sure to give sufficient details to allow the ATIP Coordinator to find the requested information. If you need assistance to specify the scope of your request, you can contact the ATIP Coordinator, who will provide you with necessary information to clearly formulate your request. You can mail your request to:

National Film Board of Canada
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
1501, Bleury Street
Montreal QC H3A 0H3

There is a $5.00 application fee for each formal request under the Access to Information Act (a money order or cheque payable to the Receiver General of Canada should accompany your letter). There are no fees for accessing personal information under the Privacy Act.

The NFB has 30 calendar days in which to respond to a formal request. The Acts allow for legal extensions beyond the 30-day response time. You will be notified in writing of any extensions and of your right to lodge a complaint.

Submitting a request online

The Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service offers a convenient way to make:

This service:

Submit an online request for information

Annual reports on the administration of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Pursuant to section 72 of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, the NFB submits to the Parliament annual reports on the administration of those Acts. The reports submitted from the year 2016–2017 can be consulted by following the links below. Please note that personal information contained in the annual reports is protected under the Privacy Act.

Annual Reports on the administration of the Access to Information Act

Annual Reports on the administration of the Privacy Act 

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