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 15th Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal

Press release


Montreal, October 24, 2012 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is proud to be a part of the 15th Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) festival, with a solid lineup of films and events. The festival takes place November 7 to 18.

The Quebec premiere of Peter Mettler's The End of Time opens the festival. The NFB has also co-produced two films in the International Feature Competition whose screenings are world premieres: Le prix des mots ( Silence Is Gold), directed by Julien Fréchette; and Le chant des ondes – Sur la piste de Maurice Martenot ( Wavemakers), directed by Caroline Martel.

Also showing in the International Feature Competition are the Quebec big-screen premieres of Chasseurs de fruits (The Fruit Hunters), directed by Yung Chang, and Les poings de la fierté ( Fists of Pride), directed by Hélène Choquette, while Jeffrey St. Jules' Let the Daylight into the Swamp is a Quebec premiere in the International Medium-Length Competition. Alanis Obomsawin's new documentary The People of the Kattawapiskak River is also premiering in Quebec, screening as a Special Presentation at RIDM.

This year, the NFB will be awarding the first annual Magnus Isacsson Prize for an emerging filmmaker. The award is presented by the NFB's ACIC program, Cinéma Politica, Doc Québec and the ARRQ (the Quebec association of film directors). It includes $10,000 worth of technical services from the NFB, among other benefits.

For this 15th edition of RIDM, the NFB is also pleased to be sponsoring free weekday screenings before 5 p.m. for students and seniors. Once again, the NFB is partnering with RIDM to provide members of the public an opportunity to discuss pressing issues, following the screenings of three high-profile films at this year's festival.

The End of Time opens RIDM

The End of Time, co-produced by maximage, Grimthorpe, NFB, SRF, SRG SSR, and ARTE G.E.I.E., is the final instalment in a trilogy of works by Peter Mettler that explores the limits of what can be expressed in cinema. The previous two films in the series are Picture of Light (1994) and Gambling, Gods & LSD (2002).

In this latest work, Mettler takes on the elusive subject of time, again seeking to film the unfilmable on a journey that takes him to a particle accelerator in Switzerland and lava flows in Hawaii, disintegrating inner-city Detroit and a Hindu funeral rite near the place of Buddha's enlightenment. Mettler dares to dream the movie of the future while immersing us in the wonder of the everyday.

The End of Time made its Canadian debut in the Masters program at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is being presented with French subtitles at RIDM. The film is distributed in Quebec by Métropole Films.

International Feature Competition

Acclaimed filmmaker Yung Chang follows up the success of Up the Yangtze and China Heavyweight with the EyeSteelFilm/NFB co-production Chasseurs de fruits, which is having its Quebec premiere at RIDM. The film is a fascinating cinematic odyssey into the worlds of fruit and commerce, and it will change not only the way we look at what we eat but how we view our relationship to the natural world.

Le prix des mots, co-produced by MC2 Communication Média and the NFB, and directed by Julien Fréchette, takes us through the twists and turns of judicial proceedings pitting Canadian mining companies Barrick Gold and Banro against author Alain Deneault, his co-writers, and publisher Éditions Écosociété, following the 2008 release of the book Noir Canada. This is a legal and political thriller of a documentary—one that captures years of intense psychological tension. The NFB and RIDM invite members of the public to engage with the issues in the film by participating in a conversation/debate on whether the courts protect freedom of expression, following the screening.

Le prix des mots marks the second collaboration between the NFB and Julien Fréchette, who continues to create socially engaged cinema. His Le doigt dans l'œil (2007) was also a RIDM selection.  Le prix des mots will screen theatrically in winter 2013.

A modern-day journey set against a historical background, Caroline Martel's Le chant des ondes – Sur la piste de Maurice Martenot (co-produced by Productions Artifact and the NFB) pursues the legacy of the most sensitive of electronic musical instruments, the ondes Martenot. For more than 10 years, Martel ( The Phantom of the Operator) has been bringing together research, documentary theories and practice—with a special interest in aural and visual heritage, hidden histories, archives and our relationship to various technologies.

Le chant des ondes combines a vérité approach, never-before-seen archival footage and an entrancing soundtrack. This feature documentary tracks an ensemble of Martenot aficionados in France and Quebec as they seek to unravel the mysteries of the instrument. Among them are the inventor's son, Jean-Louis Martenot, Suzanne Binet-Audet, the “Jimi Hendrix of the Martenot,” and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.

Le chant des ondes has its world premiere at RIDM and will be released in theatres in winter 2013. In conjunction with the screening of the film, on November 8 the Cinémathèque québécoise will host an evening of performance by Ensemble d'ondes de Montréal featuring DJs.

In  Les poings de la fierté (Aviva Communications), Hélène Choquette follows the daily life of Little Tiger and his fellow fighters in a boxing camp on the Thai-Burmese border. In a region where combat sports have always been a matter of honour and money, the film reveals how, for many Burmese exiles and their families, fighting is the sole means of survival.

Hélène Choquette, who previously worked with the NFB on GDP: The Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis (2009–2010), has been making social and political documentaries since 2001. On Les poings de la fierté she took on the roles of director, writer and researcher. The NFB has acquired international rights for the film.

International Medium-Length Competition

With Let the Daylight into the Swamp, produced by the NFB, Montreal-born and Toronto-based filmmaker Jeffrey St. Jules reconstructs the dramatic story of his grandparents and their rugged frontier existence in the logging towns of Northern Ontario. Blending fiction and documentary, myth and fact, comedy and tragedy, St. Jules stitches together an elusive and fractured family history in a film filled with both joy and heartbreak. It is a triumphant return for St. Jules, the director of the remarkable and innovative short film The Tragic Story of Nling, which was nominated for a Genie Award. It was singled out as sure to become a cult hit by indieWIRE and called the best short film of 2007 by Film Threat. The Tragic Story of Nling screened at the Sundance film festival in 2007, where it was acclaimed for its dark, fantastical humour.

Let the Daylight into the Swamp had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was made in the great NFB tradition of combining research and innovation to create bold and distinctive work.

Special Presentations

Director Alanis Obomsawin's The People of the Kattawapiskak River, which opened the imagineNATIVE film festival in October, has its Quebec premiere at RIDM as a special presentation. In the film, Obomsawin exposes the 2011 housing crisis and the growing poverty of a Cree community in Northern Ontario. Images of rundown shacks and brutally cold conditions are juxtaposed with futile political debates. Despite the dire situation, is there a glimmer of hope for this community?

A member of the Abenaki Nation, Alanis Obomsawin is among Canada's foremost documentary filmmakers, and for the past 40 years she has given Canada's Aboriginal peoples a voice. She has made 37 documentaries with the NFB, many of which have won international awards. Obomsawin was one of 15 Canadian and foreign personalities from the worlds of arts and culture invited by RIDM to serve as guest programmers, selecting one documentary that changed their lives to be screened at the festival. Obomsawin's selection is the film Reel Injun, directed by Neil Diamond and produced by Rezolution Pictures Inc. and the NFB.

Docs 2.0

As part of Docs 2.0, the NFB will be presenting Here At Home, its cross-Canada Web project on mental illness and homelessness, which will include a session in which users are guided through the website, followed by a Q&A. Launched on October 15, Here At Home includes short films shot in Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. They will be released online one at a time between now and summer 2013.

Tribute screening

To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking NFB documentary Pour la suite du monde, directed by Michel Brault and Pierre Perrault, RIDM is holding a special screening of the film. When it was released in 1962, this documentary about the lives of the inhabitants of Isle-aux-Coudres was recognized as a direct cinema classic. It was the first Canadian film selected by the Cannes Film Festival. The screening will be followed by a conversation with several of the artists involved its production, moderated by Denys Desjardins.

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.


Media relations:

Pat Dillon, NFB Publicist
Telephone: 514-283-9411
Cell: 514 206-1750

Lily Robert, Director, Corporate Communications, NFB
Telephone: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261

For The End of Time

Bonne Smith, Star PR
Telephone: 416-488-4436

For Le chant des ondes
Marie Marais
Telephone: 514-845-2821

For Fists of Pride
Caroline Rompré
Telephone: 514-778-9294

For The Fruit Hunters
Damien Detcheberry
Telephone: 514-937-4893 Ext. 122