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 National Film Board of Canada honours the memory of Roger Blais

Press release

2012/11/13


Montreal, November 13, 2012 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) honours the memory of Roger Blais, NFB producer, filmmaker and artist, who died on November 9 at the age of 95.

“Roger Blais' contribution to our cinema is immense. In addition to the fact that his films have been translated into several languages and screened around the world, Mr. Blais was also committed to passing on his expertise and passion to the many young people who crossed his path. All of us at the NFB are truly saddened by the loss of this exceptional man,” said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB.

Roger Blais was born in Giffard in 1917 and studied at the École des beaux-arts de Québec. He was a leading figure at the NFB, where he produced and directed many short and feature films, commercials and documentaries. He was first hired as an animator by John Grierson, the NFB's founder, and became a Canadian filmmaking pioneer on the French-language team. Films to his credit include Fridolinons (1945), Royal Journey (1951), Monastery (1951) and The Dikes (1955).

From 1954 to 1957, Roger Blais served as executive producer at the NFB's French Studio. In 1961, he led a United Nations mission to West New Guinea to learn about the Papuan people and make the feature film De l'âge de Pierre à l'âge atomique. In 1964, as an NFB delegate, he represented the federal government as audiovisual director and coordinator at Expo 67, where he oversaw some 5,000 audiovisual productions. Roger Blais subsequently held various administrative positions at the NFB and shot Grierson, a documentary about the NFB's founder, in 1973.

His words, knowledge and actions extended well beyond the NFB and enabled him to share his experience and accomplish many achievements even after his retirement in 1980. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (2000) and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec (2005). He was twice named Honorary Citizen of the City of Dorval, honoured by the City of Montpellier for his work during Expo 67 and by the President of Senegal, Abdou Diouf, for his role in the Consortium de communications audiovisuelles en Afrique (1980).

To watch films by Roger Blais online, go to the NFB.ca site: nfb.ca/explore-all-directors/roger-blais

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Information:

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

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