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

Four innovative NFB productions at imagineNATIVE

Press release


Toronto, October 2, 2012 – Aboriginal film and new media creation at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be featured at the 2012 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, with film premieres, installations and more. The festival will open on October 17 with the world premiere of distinguished filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin's NFB production The People of the Kattawapiskak River, accompanied by a special presentation of her very first film, the 1971 NFB documentary short Christmas at Moose Factory. The 2012 festival will also present the Ontario premiere of We Were Children (Eagle Vision/eOne/NFB), directed by Tim Wolochatiuk and written by Jason Sherman; an installation premiere and interactive preview of the ITWĒ Collective's De Nort, the first project produced under an NFB/imagineNATIVE digital media partnership; and Jesse Gouchey's animated vignette Baaad Dream, produced through the NFB's Hothouse program for emerging animators.

The People of the Kattawapiskak River
World premiere / Opening night, October 17 at 7 p.m., Bloor Cinema

In the fall of 2011, the First Nations community of Attawapiskat found itself at the centre of media attention. In the midst of a serious housing crisis, the community, located on the western shores of James Bay, declared a state of emergency.

In The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Obomsawin looks at the housing crisis and the causes that led to it. She meets families who live in Third World conditions, sleeping in poorly heated makeshift shelters. While residents of the reserve live in poverty, a diamond mine—Victor Diamond—has been operating nearby since 2008. The People of the Kattawapiskak River is the first in a series of films by Obomsawin on the rights of Aboriginal children in Canada, and is written and produced by Obomsawin and executive produced by Ravida Din.

On opening night, The People of the Kattawapiskak River will be presented following Obomsawin's 1971 classic Christmas at Moose Factory, in which children's crayon drawings and the voice of a little girl create a charming study of life at Christmas time in Moose Factory.

In a distinguished career spanning more than four decades, Obomsawin has made over 35 uncompromising documentaries on issues affecting Aboriginal people in Canada. One of Canada's most renowned artists, Obomsawin is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the  Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame, and her many personal honours include the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

We Were Children
Ontario premiere / October 18 at 7 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

For over 100 years, Aboriginal children in Canada were legally required to attend church-run boarding schools, an assimilationist practice now regarded as a national and cultural tragedy. Directed by Tim Wolochatiuk and written by Jason Sherman, We Were Children tells the heartbreaking true story of Lyna Hart and Glen Anaquod, removed from their homes at the ages of four and six and forced to adapt to a strange, threatening new world.

Blending stunning dramatic storytelling with unflinching documentary narratives, the film gives voice to two children trapped in a system that would impact their lives forever. We Were Children is a coproduction of Eagle Vision Inc., eOne and the NFB, with the participation of Manitoba Film and Music, the Canadian Media Fund and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. The film is produced by Kyle Irving and executive produced by Lisa Meeches for Eagle Vision and Laszlo Barna and Loren Mawhinney for eOne, with David Christensen as producer and executive producer for the NFB.

De Nort
Installation: October 17–21, VMAC Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, suite 452;
New Media Screening and Artist Talk: October 20, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox 5

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the NFB are presenting the installation premiere and interactive preview of the ITWĒ Collective's De Nort, the first project produced under the NFB/imagineNATIVE Digital Media Partnership—a unique collaboration aimed at supporting new forms of indigenous artistic expression. De Nort is both an online interactive journey and an onsite installation exploring the life and experiences of people living on a northern Manitoba reserve through the objects in their households. The online version of De Nort will be launched in early 2013.

Based in Winnipeg and Montreal, the ITWĒ Collective is a trans-disciplinary collective dedicated to research, creation and production in Aboriginal art, with members that include Kevin Lee Burton (Swampy Cree), Caroline Monnet (Algonquin/French) and Sébastien Aubin (Cree/Malecite). De Nort was produced by Jennifer Moss, Dana Dansereau and Brendon Sawatzky. The executive producer is Loc Dao. The NFB produced Kevin Lee Burton's previous interactive work, God's Lake Narrows, which won the award for Best New Media Project at imagineNATIVE in 2011 and then went on to win a  Webby Award for Best Use of Photography.   

Baaad Dream
Tweet This! Youth Shorts Program / October 18 at 10:30 a.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Jesse Gouchey's one-and-a-half-minute animated short Baaad Dream pokes fun at selectively bred mammoth sheep, whose out-of-proportion form makes them vulnerable to tipping over, and a very fat farmer trying to save them until he himself tips over, with dire consequences. Produced by Michael Fukushima, Baaad Dream was created as part of the eighth season of Hothouse ( films.nfb.ca/hothouse), a program for emerging animators from across Canada. The producer for Baaad Dream and Hothouse is Michael Fukushima; Roddy McManus is executive producer.

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.



Jennifer Mair, NFB Publicist                
T: 416-954-2045 | C: 416-436-0105            
j.mair@nfb.ca |     Twitter: @NFB_Jennifer           

Pat Dillon, NFB Publicist
T: 514-283-9411 | C: 514-206-1750
p.a.dillon@nfb.ca | Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

Lily Robert
Director, Corporate Communications, NFB
T: 514-283-3838 | C: 514-296-8261