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 at the 41st Festival du nouveau cinéma

Press release


Montreal, September 25, 2012 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is proud to announce that 10 of its productions and co-productions will be screening at the 41st edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC), to be held in Montreal from October 10–21. The festival will mark the world premiere of Alphée of the Stars (NFB | Esperamos)—a new, very personal release from the multi-talented Hugo Latulippe—and features the Quebec premiere of Stories We Tell, created by Sarah Polley for the NFB. The film is in official competition.

Two recently premiered short films from the NFB are in official competition: Edmond Was a Donkey ( Papy3D Productions | ARTE France | NFB), directed by Franck Dion, and My Little Underground (NFB), directed by Élise Simard. Both films are screening in Quebec for the first time, as are the remarkable Kali the Little Vampire ( Folimage Studios | Ciclope Filmes | NFB | Studio GDS), directed by Regina Pessoa, and L'automne de Pougne (Folimage Studio – Foliascope | Piwi+ | Carpe Diem Film & TV | NFB), directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon and Antoine Lanciaux. A Sea Turtle Story (NFB), directed by Kathy Shultz and produced by Silva Basmajian, is a great pick for young audiences.

The NFB's participation in the festival is rounded out by three interactive projects and a partnership with FNC PRO. The full slate once again highlights the NFB's expertise in documentary and animation.

Alphée of the Stars: The world premiere of a very intimate film

Hugo Latulippe made his name as a political filmmaker highly critical of the status quo. In that capacity, he has won numerous awards for his films, which include Bacon, the Film, What Remains of Us, Shadows Within, and République: un abécédaire politique. Now, for the first time, Latulippe offers a much more personal work: The documentary Alphée of the Stars, co-produced with Esperamos, has its world premiere at FNC, screening in the FOCUS category.

The film is first and foremost a father's moving declaration of love for his daughter, who has a rare genetic disorder. Shot at child's height, the documentary tenderly and poetically records Alphée's daily life in a comforting alpine environment—far from the world of specialized schools. Narrated by Alphée's father, the film invites us to go beyond appearances. Latulippe and the key protagonists in the film will be present at the screening. Alphée of the Stars opens in Quebec theatres on October 12.

Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell in official competition

In this inspired, genre-twisting film, Oscar®-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets behind a family of storytellers. She playfully interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of a lively, fun-filled past and the shadows just beneath. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: a messy, intense and loving tangle of contradictions.

This work was created by Sarah Polley at the NFB. Anita Lee is the producer and Silva Basmajian, of the NFB's Ontario Centre, is executive producer. Stories We Tell opens in Quebec theatres on October 19 in English and October 26 in French.

Two titles in the running for the Loup Argenté award

Twenty-seven films—including two from the NFB—are in the running for the Loup Argenté award, given to the best short film in international selection at the festival.

Over the past few months Edmond Was a Donkey—the third animated film by French filmmaker Franck Dion—has taken home the special jury prize at the Annecy international animation festival and the Bravo!FACT prize for best Canadian short at the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto. Dion brings us the touching story of an outsider who does not reveal his true self until the day his co-workers place a set of donkey ears on his head. Edmond then discovers the challenges of being true to one's self in a world of social conformists. The film is co-produced by Papy3D Productions and the NFB. The festival screening is its Quebec premiere.

Also up for the Loup Argenté and enjoying its Quebec premiere is My Little Underground, directed by Élise Simard and produced by the NFB. This sombre and beautiful autobiographical film is Simard's fifth. She uses a mix of time-lapse photography, inks, and pastels to capture a young girl's bus ride home—one that holds the promise of self-discovery and rebirth. With this film, Simard has created a haunting, compassionate exploration of pain—existing side-by side with hope and faith in the strength of love.

Three short animated films for children

Kali the Little Vampire is a must-see in the festival's P'tits loups (Young Wolves) section of programming for children. A co-production between France, Portugal, Switzerland and Canada, this animated film has already won four international awards, including the prestigious Hiroshima prize. Directed by Portuguese filmmaker Regina Pessoa, this poetic fable reminds us that there can be acceptance for all—even young Kali, who is having a hard-time coming to terms with being a vampire. This film is the third and final instalment in Pessoa's trilogy on the discomforts of childhood. It is masterfully narrated by Oscar®-winning actor Christopher Plummer.

L'automne de Pougne, directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon and Antoine Lanciaux, features the return of the award-winning grumpy hedgehog and his other puppet friends from the land of King Balthasar for one last adventure, in which they search for a hidden treasure that turns out to consist of love, forgiveness and family.

A Sea Turtle Story follows the life cycle of a fascinating and endangered species. From the moment a female turtle lays eggs on a tropical beach to the moment her newly hatched turtles race to the sea, this gorgeous animated film captures all the beauty of an ecosystem.

Interactivity and new distribution platforms

The NFB—like the FNC—is enthusiastic about exploring new technologies and the broadcast and distribution platforms of tomorrow. That's why we are shining the spotlight on interactive productions too. There are three interactive NFB projects at the festival, each bringing together the art of photography, animation and sound: Soldier Brother by Kaitlin Ann Jones, Bear 71 by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison, and 24 poses féministes by Caroline Hayeur. These projects will be available on the FNC's website and can be seen on touch-screens installed in several locations at the festival.

Innovation is also on the agenda at the special activities of the FNC PRO arm of the festival, in which the NFB is participating once again. Hugues Sweeney, Executive Producer, Interactive Productions for the NFB's Quebec studio, will be a part of the “NFB & Le Devoir” workshop. The workshop will include a screening of the production Un vendredi soir au club vidéo, directed by Cédric Cabuel and Alexandra Viau, and a conversation entitled “Investing in new forms of communication; investing in experimentation.” On October 15, Deborah Drisdell, the NFB's Director General of Accessibility and Digital Enterprises, will be a guest at the day devoted to “New creative platforms and new modes of distribution.” The event will close with a round-table discussion.

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB's award-winning content can be seen at NFB.ca and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada's public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.



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

For Stories We Tell
Bonne Smith
Telephone: 416-488-4436
Fax: 416-488-8438
E-mail: starpr@sympatico.ca

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