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

NFB presents new films at the Calgary International Film Festival

Press release


Montreal, September 15, 2011 – The National Film Board of Canada presents a lineup of new documentaries and shorts at the Calgary International Film Festival (September 23– October 2, 2011), including two compelling Alberta stories. Wiebo's War, directed by David York, is the story of Wiebo Ludwig's closed Christian community and their ongoing war with the oil and gas industry; and the animated short Wild Life, by Oscar nominees Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, explores the Canadian Wild West of a century ago in its story of a wayward “remittance man.” Other new NFB titles at the festival are Rohan Fernando's The Chocolate Farmer, an exploration of the tension between ancestral traditions and the pressures of the modern world on a lush cacao plantation in Belize; and the imaginative animated tale Sunday, by Patrick Doyon. The NFB will also present the Alberta Spirit Award for the Best Short Film at this year's festival. 


Wiebo's War chronicles a clash between corporate will and public interest, forcing viewers to contemplate an unsettling question: How far would you go to defend what you value the most? In the 1990s, sour natural gas wells were drilled in close proximity to the Ludwig farm, despite the family's concerns over their potentially harmful impact. Soon after, livestock began to die, and the Ludwigs started experiencing health problems, culminating in a series of miscarriages. After five years of being ignored by the oil and gas industry, Wiebo Ludwig went to war, and a campaign of barricaded roads and blown-up wells eventually resulted in his arrest and conviction. It is almost a decade later when another pipeline explodes. The issues remain unresolved. But the miscarriages, livestock deaths and persistent health problems remind us that, in Wiebo's war against a powerful industry, the stakes remain tragically high.

The Chocolate Farmer, directed by Rohan Fernando, takes us to an unspoiled corner of southern Belize, where cacao farmer and father Eladio Pop manually works his plantation in the tradition of his Mayan ancestors: as a steward of the land. A tender and moving family tale, this lush cinematic journey intimately captures a year in the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is suddenly and dramatically changing. The Chocolate Farmer is produced by Annette Clarke.


Wild Life, the new film by Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, tells the story of a dapper young “remittance man” who, in 1909, is sent from England to Alberta, where it soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. Wild Life is produced for the NFB by Marcy Page and Bonnie Thompson.

Sunday, Patrick Doyon's first professional film, features uncluttered pencil drawings that leave just enough to the imagination. This charming animated fable for the whole family shows how important it is to see life through a child's eyes—even on a grey Sunday afternoon. Sunday is produced by Marc Bertrand and Michael Fukushima.

About the NFB

Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates interactive works, social-issue documentaries, auteur animation and alternative dramas that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is developing the entertainment forms of the future in groundbreaking interactive productions, while pioneering new directions in 3D stereoscopic film, community-based media, and more. It works in collaboration with emerging and established 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 4 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. Its NFB.ca Screening Room features over 2,000 productions online, including high-definition and 3D films. The NFB also puts the experience of cinema into the hands of Canadians everywhere through its acclaimed mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms, as well as a pre-loaded app in the BlackBerry PlayBook.



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

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