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Press Releases & Media Kits

Notable NFB Presence at Hot Docs 2009

Press release


Canada’s leading institution in documentary filmmaking for 70 years,
the NFB is being honoured this year

Toronto, March 24, 2009 — From April 30 to May 10, 2009, the National Film Board of Canada’s excellence in documentary filmmaking will be honoured at North America’s leading documentary festival, Hot Docs. This year, the NFB will be granted a prominent place in festival programming with eight of its recent productions and co-productions.

In addition to this impressive slate, two special programs confirm the NFB’s pioneering role in the production and distribution of Canadian documentaries. The first of these, Spotlight on the NFB at 70, will celebrate the NFB’s 70th anniversary with 12 acclaimed productions from its collection. The second, Alanis Obomsawin: Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective  will acknowledge the cinematic career of one of Canada’s, and the NFB’s, most distinguished filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin. This retrospective will include nine films.

Eight new NFB films

This year, Hot Docs will be hosting four NFB world premieres. With Professor Norman Cornett: “Since when do we divorce the right answer from an honest answer?” (NFB), Alanis Obomsawin responds to McGill University’s controversial 2007 decision to dismiss Professor Norman Cornett. Invisible City (Industry Picture/Shine Films/NFB) turns Oscar-nominee Hubert Davis’ camera on two boys crossing into adulthood in Toronto’s Regent Park. With Love at the Starlite Motel (Inigo Films/NFB), filmmaker Alison Rose reveals a world of infidelity and delusion and delivers a compassionate account of love, loss and the human condition.  Waterlife by Kevin McMahon (Primitive Entertainment/NFB) explores the health of the Great Lakes, one of the world’s largest sources of fresh water.

In its North American premiere, Paris 1919 by Paul Cowan (13 Productions/NFB) recounts the historic events that took place at the Paris Peace Conference following the First World War, a film that made a powerful impression at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

Three Toronto premieres: Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action by Velcrow Ripper (Fiercelight Films/NFB) is devoted to the insightful ideas championed by some of the world’s most influential spiritual activists; The Real Place, by director and animator Cam Christiansen (NFB), is a poetic summation of Albertan playwright John Murrell’s work; and Roadsworth: Crossing The Line by Alan Kohl (Loaded Pictures/NFB), presents the portrait of a subversive artist who struggles to address difficult questions about art in urban spaces and freedom of expression.

Hot Docs celebrates 70 years of the NFB

The NFB’s relevance, vitality and its continuing contribution to Canadian documentary filmmaking will be highlighted in a special program, entitled Spotlight on the NFB at 70. Producers, directors, experts and distinguished figures have been asked to choose 12 notable NFB productions for this event. Cinema enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see: Paul Tomkowicz: Street Railway Switchman by Roman Kroitor; Corral by Colin Low; Being Different by Julia Murphy; The Back-Breaking Leaf by Terence Macartney-Filgate; Lonely Boy by Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor; Nobody Waved Goodbye by Don Owen; WOW by Claude Jutra; With Drums & Trumpets by Marcel Carrière; Sad Song of Yellow Skin by Michael Rubbo; Nails by Phillip Borsos; Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives by Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman; and Barb Cranmer’s QATUWAS - People Gathering Together.

Hot Docs pays tribute to one of the NFB’s most distinguished filmmakers

The NFB is honoured by the festival’s choice of Alanis Obomsawin as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award. For over 40 years, driven by the desire to give Aboriginal people a voice, Obomsawin has been creating bold documentaries that are world-renowned for their social relevance. As part of this honour, Hot Docs will screen a retrospective celebrating Obomsawin’s distinguished career. Among the films selected are: Christmas at Moose Factory; History of Manawan Part 2; Incident at Restigouche; Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child; Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance; Rocks at Whiskey Trench; Is the Crown at war with us?; Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises; and her new film, Professor Norman Cornett: “Since when do we divorce the right answer from an honest answer?”

The NFB’s Coffee Talks and Doc Summit

Returning this year are two noteworthy industry events presented by the NFB: Coffee Talks, where festival participants, journalists and delegates take part in informal panel discussions with filmmakers; and Doc Summit, a forum for industry stakeholders to discuss policy issues related to documentary filmmaking.

About the National Film Board of Canada

The world changes, our stories live on – that's the National Film Board of Canada's pledge to Canadians as it marks its 70th anniversary in 2009 with a new national online Screening Room and a slate of bold, innovative productions. Canada's public film producer and distributor, the NFB produces and distributes social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. In collaboration with its international partners and co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation – and more. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created more than 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To watch over 700 productions online or for more information, visit NFB.ca.

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For downloadable high-res images, go to www.nfb.ca/photogallery

Media sources:
Melissa Than
Publicist, NFB
Tel.: 416-952-8960
C.: 647-248-9854
E-mail: m.than@nfb.ca

Jennifer Mair
Publicist, NFB
Tel.: 416-954-2045
C.: 416-436-0105
E-mail: j.mair@nfb.ca