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 launches Ma tribu, c'est ma vie, an interactive Web documentary

Press release


Plunge into the world of virtual social networks


Montreal, February 10, 2011 – On February 10, the National Film Board of Canada will launch Ma tribu, c’est ma vie (My Tribe Is My Life), a French interactive Web documentary that explores the distinctive worlds of eight style-conscious music fans. The stories of these young people serve as a catalyst for a thought-provoking probe of the Internet’s role in transforming personal relationships and forging individual identity. An accomplished follow-up by Myriam Verreault, who established herself as a rising talent with her realistic portrayal of the world of teenagers in À l’ouest de Pluton (2008, co-directed by Henry Bernadet), Ma tribu, c’est ma vie was produced by Web director Alex Leduc of Atelier Deux Huit Huit and Hugues Sweeney, NFB producer for interactive productions. This Web project marks the NFB’s first invitation to Internet users to engage in an analysis of virtual networks and to question their own attitudes about these new social realities.

Virtual Worlds

A social network creates a space where individuals can meet, linked by shared interests, tastes and needs. When that space becomes virtual, its function may remain unchanged but the practice of networking radically alters daily life. Twenty years after the first Internet site went up, young Quebecers are spending more than 20 hours per week online. This is “Generation C” (for “connected”)—Web users born between 1982 and 1996. They are keenly aware that this state of perpetual connection is transforming their world.

To each his “tribe:” Goth, emo, reggae, rap, vampire. . . . Music is often more than a simple cultural product; it can be a means of constructing identity. Online social networks allow Web users to share music, information, images and feelings; in seeking out their own “kind,” they can discover a tribe that speaks to them. And in exchange for expressing themselves through sharing and posting, they hope to receive comments, opinions and gestures of approval, all of which serves to validate their identity. The Web thus functions as a safe virtual home, a space in which to open up and reveal one’s true self.

The Characters

Ma tribu, c’est ma vie introduces eight characters: Patrick, a Goth loner who lives in his parents’ basement, and has built up a network on a forum dedicated to “vampire” style; Heythem, who organizes reggae parties, and views Facebook as the post-modern address book; Jimmy, a rapper in Abitibi, and a member of Quebec’s hip hop community; Janis (a.k.a. DJ Monochrome), an insurance broker by day and a passionate player in Quebec’s electro music scene by night; Laurianne from Sayabec in the Gaspé, who refines her Goth ethos in daily forum discussions; Sébastien, a Goth dandy/loli and a great admirer of the Japanese Harajuku culture, who regularly uploads photos of himself in his exquisitely constructed clothing ensembles; Pierre-Luc from St-Félicien, a provocateur through his “public private diary,” which has become his Facebook profile; and Shana, an emo teenager from Maliotenam on the North Shore, who derives her sense of identity through her friends, live chat rooms and a penchant for lip-synching videos.

Interactivity And you: Which tribe DO YOU BELONG TO?

In Ma tribu, c’est ma vie, interactive viewers will encounter eight diverse characters and have the opportunity to observe them as they go about their day-to-day activities. Through a series of questions, viewers will be invited to think about the role of the Internet in their own lives. They can also create an avatar and choose its style, characteristics, accessories, etc., as well as comment on the film and chat with other participants.

After visiting the site, viewers are invited to continue the conversation on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and on NFB.ca/blog; these discussions will form an intrinsic part of the interactive documentary’s structure and purpose.

Ma tribu, c’est ma vie raises some essential questions for this era of hyper connectivity between individuals and groups. Does the Internet erase cultural differences, or is it a powerful engine for the construction of new communities? Does life in front of a monitor lead to isolation and exclusion from genuine social engagement? And how do we celebrate diversity when we are constantly seeking a mirror of our own experience?

An English version of the website will be online February 23.

About the National Film Board of Canada

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 almost 2,000 productions online, and its iPhone and iPad apps are among the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit NFB.ca today and start watching.

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Pat Dillon, NFB Publicist
Telephone: 514-283-9411
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: p.a.dillon@nfb.ca