The NFB greenlights 16 projects for production. New documentary, animation and interactive works from across Canada, including projects to come on COVID-19

News release

May 11, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The NFB, Canada’s public producer, has greenlit 16 new productions and co-productions—with new documentary, animation and interactive works getting underway.

Projects that have entered production through the fall, winter and spring:

  • Eight new projects in fall 2019
  • Five new projects in winter 2020
  • Three new productions in spring 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFB is making sure filmmakers and crews are able to continue working safely—taking steps to ensure that creators can work remotely and practise physical distancing—with NFB studios across Canada maintaining one-to-one contact with directors and co-producers.

For more information on these and other projects currently underway across NFB studios, please visit our NFB Production web page.

DOCUMENTARY

Lab Doc Project – short series
Directors: Heather Campbell, Jennie Williams, Holly Andersen, Ossie Michelin
Producers: Kat Baulu, Latonia Hartery | Quebec & Atlantic Studio | 100% NFB
Four short documentaries about Nunatsiavut rituals, history and culture told from Inuit perspectives in collaboration with communities. Inspired by the NFB’s Challenge for Change films, the collection examines Inuit artistic expression as cultural resilience.

Martha – short film
Director: Daniel Schubert
Producers: Shirley Vercruysse, Teri Snelgrove | BC & Yukon Studio | 100% NFB
When she was 14 years old, Martha and her family were taken by Nazis and sent to concentration camps. In Martha, she recounts her life through stories.

Out of Darkness – short film
Director: Sheona McDonald
Producer: Teri Snelgrove | BC & Yukon Studio | 100% NFB
The story of a mother’s journey through loss, acceptance, and joy as she supports her young child’s gender transition.

Rita Marley Lived on DeGrassi Street – short series
Directors: Chris Flanagan, Graeme Mathieson
Producer: Lea Marin | Ontario Studio | 100% NFB
Five short films uncovering Toronto’s buried Reggae history and some of the pivotal artists who called Toronto home during the 1970s and ’80s.

Saturday Night – short film
Director: Rosana Matecki
Producer: Kat Baulu | Quebec & Atlantic Studio | 100% NFB
Saturday Night
explores loneliness in Latin American immigrants living in Montreal and introduces a bittersweet approach to aging through the sensual lens of dance. Part of the Reimagining My Quebec series.

ANIMATION

Affairs of the Art – short film
Director: Joanna Quinn
Co-producers: Beryl Productions International (Les Mills) and NFB (Michael Fukushima) | English Animation Studio
Oscar-nominated and much-awarded UK filmmaker Joanna Quinn lets Beryl, her avatar, set the path to fulfilling her life’s dream of becoming a late-in-life artist.

Complainte de Sainte-Catherine – short film
Director: Janet Perlman
Producer: Marc Bertrand | French Animation Studio | 100% NFB
A little girl enters the Du Collège metro station during the winter, in the middle of a snowstorm. She exits at Place-des-Arts station on a sunny spring day. The McGarrigle sisters’ song of the same title accompanies this touching flight of fancy that’s ripe with meaning.

Film No. 5 – short film
Director: Cordell Barker
Producers: Jon Montes, David Christensen | North West Studio | 100% NFB
Bounding between machines that can think and fingers that can draw, renowned animator Cordell Barker turns the world of AI on its robotic head with an exposé on artificial intelligence.

Geste tendre – short film
Director: Claire Brognez
Co-producers: Les films de l’autre (Claire Brognez) and the NFB (Julie Roy) | French Animation Studio
Geste tendre
explores the invisible suffering caused by emotional loneliness, but also the universal capacity of human beings to welcome it within themselves.

The Hangman at Home – short film & VR experience
Directors: Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot
Co-producers: Late Love Productions (Lana Tankosa Nikolic), Miyu Productions (Emmanuel Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron), Floréal Films (Avi Amar, Katayoun Dibamehr) and the NFB (Marc Bertrand) | French Animation Studio
“The Hangman at Home” by American icon Carl Sandburg is a poem written almost 100 years ago, but still as relevant and poignant as ever, as the world slips into dark times.

Hide – short film
Director: Daniel Gray
Co-producers: Cub Animation (Bella Szederkényi, Balint Gelley), La Cellule (Marion Barré, Soyo Giaoui) and NFB (Maral Mohammadian) | English Animation Studio
A story about two boys playing hide and seek in their home. It starts out as an innocent game, a simple decision to win; but as the hiding stubbornly goes on, the situation takes on additional weight.

Parenthèse – animation for Instagram
Directors: Catherine Lepage, Cécile Gariépy, Francis Desharnais, Madi Piller, Louis-Pierre Cossette, Pascal Blanchet, Anaë Bilodeau, Nahid Kazemi
Producers: Julie Roy, Marc Bertrand | French Animation Studio | 100% NFB
A visual and animated diary is kept by a duo over a period of two months. Protagonists share their moods and concerns in the era of COVID-19 with a creator.

Old Dog – short film
Director: Ann Marie Fleming
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse | BC & Yukon Studio | 100% NFB
Since his partner passed away, Henry relies on his carer for companionship and help with life’s obstacles, from failing eyesight and unsteady legs to fatigue and incontinence. All dogs should be so lucky and so loved.

Zeb’s Spider – short film
Directors: Alicia Eisen, Sophie Jarvis
Producers: Shirley Vercruysse, Teri Snelgrove | BC & Yukon Studio | 100% NFB
When superstitious Zeb finds a spider in her apartment, she must do everything in her power to keep the unwanted guest’s appetite satisfied, or risk being eaten herself.

INTERACTIVE/IMMERSIVE

Far Away From Far Away Engagement – installation
Creative directors: Bruce Alcock, Jeremy Mendes
Producer: Janine Steele | English Digital Studio and Quebec & Atlantic Studio | 100% NFB
An interactive experience about the importance of place, based on one woman’s recollections of growing up on Newfoundland’s remote Fogo Island during the 1960s and ’70s.

Rêve D-Box – installation
Creative team: Philippe Lambert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit, Vincent Lambert, Caroline Robert
Producer: Louis-Richard Tremblay | French Digital Studio | 100% NFB
Rêve is an experience generator inspired by the unique mechanisms of dreams. This new installation version will use D-Box sensory technology.

WHAT ABOUT COVID-19?
We’re on it!

All 11 NFB studios are working with more than 40 creators across Canada to document the current situation and its impacts. As a result, Canadian audiences will have access to the voices of artists through many works, made in every genre (animation, documentary, interactive), offering creative and regional perspectives on the crisis. This initiative, which is slated to be officially launched in a few weeks, is an example of the NFB’s primary mandate. We’ve been documenting significant moments in Canada’s history for eight decades, and the COVID-19 crisis is no exception.

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About the NFB

Contacts

Magalie Boutin
Head of Media Relations, NFB
C.: 514-233-8646
m.boutin@nfb.ca | @NFB_Magalie

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
C.: 514-296-8261
l.robert@nfb.ca

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