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

World premiere of the 3D film Les yeux noirs

Press release


This March Break, the NFB teaches kids how to see in the dark

Montreal, February 10, 2011 – Throughout March break (February 28 to March 6, 2011), the National Film Board of Canada will offer families an extraordinary opportunity to “see in the dark,” immersing them in life as experienced by the visually impaired. Using the magic of 3D animation, Les yeux noirs ( Private EyeS) is directed by filmmaker Nicola Lemay and adapted from the children’s book by Gilles Tibo. Accompanying this short film will be a series of remarkable activities designed by a team of education specialists from l’ École Jacques-Ouellette in Longueuil. The total duration of the film and activities, taking place February 28 to March 6 at the NFB CineRobotheque, is 50 minutes. Free for kids 12 and under.

The 3D film Les yeux noirs

Produced by Marc Bertrand and directed by Nicola Lemay, this short animated film has taken on an extraordinary challenge: to enable filmgoers to experience the world of the blind. The audience accompanies Mathew, a little boy who cannot see but whose other senses are very sharp, as he searches everywhere for the birthday present his parents have hidden. In using 3D stereoscopy to convey the sensory experiences of a visually impaired person through film, Nicola Lemay has added a human touch to this technology.

When Gilles Tibo’s book Les yeux noirs was first published in 1999, it became a huge hit with readers and won the Mr. Christie’s Book Award that same year. Through his collaboration with animation filmmaker Nicola Lemay, the author is giving the book new life and extending its reach to a wider audience. With this latest film, director Nicola Lemay continues his successful, award-winning collaboration with the NFB; in 2002, the NFB series Science Please!, which he helped create, was awarded the Gémeaux prize for Best Animated Program or Series, as was his 2004 short, Noël Noël.

Teach your kids to see in the dark!

After seeing the film, kids can continue their exploration of the world of the visually impaired by taking part in a series of activities. They will exercise their other senses through smelling and tasting samples, discover “the eyes” in their fingertips through a series of fine motor activities, and learn how to walk with a cane, how to write their names in Braille, etc.

This fun and educational experience offers kids a unique opportunity to learn how to “see in the dark,” developed in collaboration with teachers at the École Jacques-Ouellette ecolejo.csmv.qc.ca/qui-sommes-nous/, The only school in Quebec that specializes in teaching visually impaired students.   

The film Les yeux noirs will be shown February 28 to March 6 at the CineRobotheque, every 20 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Visitors can participate in the activities at their own pace as they explore the installation.   

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