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 National Film Board of Canada showcases four stunning productions at the 2011 Atlantic Film Festival

Media kit

The Chocolate Farmer
Trailer

The Chocolate Farmer
One sheet

Wiebo's War
Trailer

Wild Life
Excerpt

Wild Life
One sheet

The Lost Town of Świteź
Trailer

The Lost Town of Świteź
One sheet

 

Press release

2011/08/30


Halifax, August 30, 2011 – It’s been 31 years since the curtains rose on the very first Atlantic Film Festival and every year the National Film Board has been front and centre in this annual celebration of the cinematic arts. From September 15–24, 2011, in Halifax, the NFB is once again delighted to participate as a partner and as a producer of films. Four outstanding NFB productions, all receiving their Atlantic Canada premieres, have been selected for screening this year. In addition, the NFB presence will include interactive master classes and conversations with filmmakers in the festival lounge. Sharing the limelight with nationally and internationally acclaimed cinema artists will be another outstanding slate of NFB productions.

THE CHOCOLATE FARMER

In an unspoiled corner of southern Belize, cacao farmer Eladio Pop works his plantation in the tradition of his Mayan ancestors—as a steward of the land. A tender and poetic tale, director Rohan Fernando’s lush cinematic journey captures the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is dramatically changing. When the promise of land ownership suddenly replaces a communal approach to cultivating this beautiful land, which is naturally rich with cacao trees, new ideals of capitalism are introduced. Soon, greed ensues and the time-honoured methods of farming, proven sustainable over centuries, are under threat. With profound insight, Eladio Pop understands what is at stake—even while his family becomes as divided as his once united, strong community. The Chocolate Farmer challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress.

An award-winning director and cinematographer, Rohan Fernando is a Sri Lankan native and Canadian immigrant. His credits include the Gemini-nominated feature Cecil’s Journey (Filmi South Asian Film Festival; two awards, Atlantic Film Festival); many episodes of the highly rated television series Past Lives for Global TV, and feature documentaries Trudeau’s Other Children and Blood and Water. The Chocolate Farmer is produced by Annette Clarke (NFB).

WIEBO'S WAR

Wiebo’s War tells the story of a closed Christian Community at war with the oil and gas industry. Wiebo Ludwig is the prime suspect in a series of pipeline bombings near his family’s farm that echoes a campaign of sabotage he waged against the gas industry a decade ago. The Ludwig family lives according to strict religious values, and under the sway of Wiebo, their patriarch. They are self-sufficient but isolated, with seven unmarried adult children, and 38 grandchildren. And they believe that those who don’t share their beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness.

David York is an award-winning producer who has made feature films, television dramas, and more than 100 hours of non-fiction television that have been broadcast around the world. In 2008, his company, 52 Media, was named by Realscreen Magazine as one of the ‘Global 100’ most influential production companies. Wiebo’s War is his directorial debut. Produced by David York, Bryn Hughes, Nick Hector ( 52 Media) and Bonnie Thompson (NFB).

WILD LIFE

Alberta, 1909. The wide open prairies of the Wild West. Enter a well-tailored Englishman, fresh from the old country. He’s been sent to try his hand at ranching but his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. As the golden prairie summer turns to fall, it becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. Borrowing playfully from the western, the nature documentary and eyewitness reportage, this short animated film offers a fresh, wry take on the Canadian frontier experience. Wild Life is about the beauty of the untamed prairie, the pang of homesickness and the folly of living dangerously out of context.

Originally from Alberta, filmmakers Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby met in Vancouver where they studied film and animation. They each went on to create their own works with the NFB before co-directing When the Day Breaks (1999), which received over thirty international awards, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Grand Prix at Annecy, Zagreb and Hiroshima, and an Academy Award nomination. Wild Life is produced by Marcy Page and Bonnie Thompson (NFB).

THE LOST TOWN OF ŚWITEŹ

In 19th-century Poland, a traveller loses his way in the forest one stormy night and witnesses the last days of a medieval town under attack by ruthless warriors. Are the knights on galloping steeds and the hail of fiery arrows mere figments of his imagination? The Lost Town of Świteź transports viewers into an apocalyptic fantasy world. But out of the horror of a massacre, the most delicate flowers bloom. Filmmaker Kamil Polak has used advanced computer-assisted animation techniques to create a rich visual universe inspired by religious iconography.

Kamil Polak studied classical music, ballet and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, which led him to filmmaking, and especially animation. He earned a degree in directing from the prestigious National Film, Television, and Theatre School and was subsequently visual effects supervisor for Peter & the Wolf (2006), an animated film made for Channel 4, which won an Oscar in 2008. Produced by Stanislaw Dziedzic ( Human Ark), Zbigniew Zmudzki ( Se-Ma-For), Kamil Polak and Eliza Oczkowska ( Film Produkcja).


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Media Relations:

Chris Majka, Publicist                   
Telephone: 902-425-3725                   
Email: c.majka@ns.sympatico.ca            

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

Lily Robert, NFB Director, Communications
Telephone: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
Email: l.robert@nfb.ca