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 signs US distribution deal for Pink Ribbons, Inc. and Surviving Progress

Press release


Montreal, November 15, 2011 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has sold US distribution rights for two provocative new documentaries that impressed audiences and critics at the Toronto International Film Festival and are now in competition at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

First Run Features, renowned for its discerning slate of documentary and fiction features, will release Pink Ribbons, Inc. (NFB) and Surviving Progress (Cinémaginaire and Big Picture Media Corporation in co-production with the NFB) in 2012. 

These two acclaimed films both dare to question widely held beliefs: Léa Pool’s Pink Ribbons, Inc. reveals the uncomfortable truths behind seemingly benevolent fundraising for worthwhile causes, while Surviving Progress, directed by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, challenges the longstanding assumption that technological and scientific advancement benefit humanity.

About Pink Ribbons, Inc.

In competition for Best Feature-Length Documentary at IDFA, where the film is having its European debut, award-winning Léa Pool’s Pink Ribbons, Inc. looks at the delicate subject of breast cancer fundraising. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people walk, run and shop for “the cure.” Millions of dollars are raised, but where does all the money go, and what is actually achieved? Inspired by the book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha King, the film offers a completely different take on the pink ribbon “success” story that has overtaken North America, with insight from leading doctors, activists and social critics, as well as those with breast cancer. Pink Ribbons, Inc. is produced by the NFB’s Ravida Din.

About Surviving Progress

A contender for Best Green Screen Documentary (films about the environment) at IDFA, where it is being introduced to the European market, Surviving Progress examines how what seems like human progress has often backfired throughout history. Inspired by Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History of Progress, with Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks’ film features some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, bankers and scientists, who challenge us to overcome the “progress traps” that have destroyed past civilizations and lie treacherously embedded in our own. Surviving Progress is a production of Cinémaginaire and Big Picture Media Corporation in co-production with the NFB. It is produced by Daniel Louis and Denise Robert (Cinémaginaire) and Gerry Flahive (NFB). The executive producers are Mark Achbar and Betsy Carson (Big Picture Media Corporation), Silva Basmajian (NFB), Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff.

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. Over 2,000 NFB productions can be streamed online, at the NFB.ca Screening Room as well as via partnerships with the world’s leading video portals, while the NFB’s growing family of apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV delivers the experience of cinema to Canadians everywhere.

About Cinémaginaire

Winner of an Academy Award for Denys Arcand’s Barbarian Invasions, Cinémaginaire is the dynamic production venture created by the fusion of two complementary talents—those of Denise Robert and Daniel Louis. Since its foundation in 1988, Cinémaginaire has produced more than 30 successful films: Arcand’s Barbarian Invasions and Days of Darkness, Charles Binamé’s The Rocket, Émile Gaudreault’s Mambo Italiano and Robert Lepage’s The Confessionnal, among others. Many of their productions have won awards on the international stage, including an Oscar, three French Césars and a David di Donatello from Italy. Fathers and Guns, directed by Émile Gaudreault and released in 2009, has broken all Canadian box office records and became the first French-Canadian film to reach number one in national box office sales.

About First Run Features

Founded in 1979, First Run Features is one of the most notable distributors of documentary and foreign films in the United States. Their recent releases include D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’s Kings of Pastry, Ken Bowser’s Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, Joe Berlinger’s Crude and Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith’s Academy Award-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.


Media relations

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

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