A drawing of a young boy with an oversized head, a character from BLA BLA, an interactive website produced by Vincent Morisset in 2011.

Press Releases & Media Kits

The NFB points up the 20th anniversary of the First Peoples' Festival with 10 new films, including two world premieres

Press release


Montreal, June 1, 2010 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) marks the 20th year of Land InSights' First Peoples' Festival (June 17­–23, 2010) with a strong showing in the event's Film & Video Showcase: 10 new documentaries and animations, including two world premieres, that explore First Nations realities. The NFB congratulates the festival for this milestone achievement and the increased visibility it offers Aboriginal artists; and, as Canada's public producer, continues to work with First Nations filmmakers, fostering emerging talent so that tomorrow's generation can make their voices heard.

In world premiere

Two shorts from the Nunavut Animation Lab, which trains local artists in animated film techniques, will premiere at the festival. Inspired by an Inuit poem, Gyu Oh's Je ne suis qu'une petite femme ( I Am But a Little Woman) (5 min) evokes the power of nature and the beauty of the Arctic landscape, as well as the bond between a mother and daughter. Ame Siqiniq Papatsie's Qalupalik (6 min) tells the tale of a young boy's kidnapping by Qalupalik – a terrifying sea monster who lives deep in the Arctic Ocean – and of the long kayak journey undertaken by his father to bring the boy home. Both films are Inuit Broadcasting Corporation/NFB co-productions.

In North American premiere

The feature-length documentary Qimmit: Un choc, deux vérités ( Qimmit: A Clash of Two Truths) (68 min) by Ole Gjerstad and Joelie Sanguya (Piksuk Media/NFB) probes the disappearance of the sled dog: a mystery that has left Canada's North with lasting scars. Many Inuit believe their dogs were deliberately killed by the RCMP as part of a government policy to force them off the land and into “civilization.” The RCMP denies this, denouncing such claims as pure fabrication or the result of cultural misunderstanding.

Other new releases

In Hollywood et les Indiens ( Reel Injun) (88 min), Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood “Indian,” exploring the portrayal of Native North Americans through a century of cinema. Using clips from old classics and recent films, the feature-length documentary traces the depiction of Native peoples on celluloid from the silent film era to the present day. Co-directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Jeremiah Hayes, Hollywood et les Indiens is a Rezolution Pictures/NFB co-production.

Also on the program: six works from VISTAS, a short film series on the theme of nationhood, produced by the NFB and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN):

-    Melanie Jackson's Dancers of the Grass (2 min) uses stop-motion animation to vividly render the majesty of the hoop dance, a tradition symbolizing unity amongst nations.

-     La visite ( The Visit) (4 min), an animated film by Lisa Jackson, tells the story of a Cree family's strange encounter one winter night and how it results in a conversation beyond words.

-     Inukshop (2 min) by Jobie Weetaluktuk mixes new and archival footage to comment on the appropriation of Inuit culture throughout history.

-    Tracey Deer's Crossing the Line (3 min) turns the politics and conflicts of a playground sandbox into an allegory for friction between nations, asking if borders do more harm than good.

-    Jerry Evans' documentary Red Ochre (3 min) combines archival images with new and found footage to create a personal, impressionistic rendering of what it's like to grow up Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland, amid a culture of denial.

-     Little Thunder (3 min), an animated short by Nance Ackerman and Alan Syliboy that explores Aboriginal humour and is inspired by the Mi'kmaq legend in which Little Thunder reluctantly leaves his family and sets out on a cross-country canoe trip to become a man.

Also screening is Wapos Bay: The Hardest Lesson. Directed by Trevor Cameron, the 24-minute film was produced by Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson, Anand Ramayya (Wapos Bay Productions) and Derek Mazur (NFB). In addition, the NFB will present a special program on the Oka crisis as part of an event organized by the Kahnawake Language and Cultural Centre.

About the NFB

Canada's public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. 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, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic animation – and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. The NFB's new website features over 1,600 productions online, and its iPhone app has become one of the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit NFB.ca today and start watching.

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Source: National Film Board of Canada


Nadine Viau
NFB publicist
Phone: 514-496-4486
Cell.: 514-458-9745
E-mail: n.viau@nfb.ca