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 16th Montreal International Documentary Festival

Press release


Montreal, October 23, 2013 – An exciting selection of National Film Board of Canada (NFB) films and interactive works will be shown at the 16th Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), taking place November 13 to 24. Two features will be in competition: Ariel by Laura Bari (NFB/ Parabola Films/ Beso Film) and Hi-Ho Mistahey! by Alanis Obomsawin (NFB). Chelsea McMullan's My Prairie Home (NFB) will be screened in the festival's new Beat Dox music documentary section. A Short History of the Highrise by Katerina Cizek (NFB/ The New York Times) and the Fort McMoney documentary game by David Dufresne ( TOXA/NFB, in association with ARTE) are in the interactive program, Docs 2.0. The NFB, along with other community partners, will present the Magnus Isacsson Award in addition to supporting special RIDM screenings and free admission to weekday screenings for students and seniors. The NFB will participate in a number of events at the Doc Circuit Montreal professional documentary film market and, for the first time, is awarding a prize at the Cuban Hat Pitch.

Canadian competition

Ariel by Laura Bari – North American premiere

When Ariel was just 33, his legs were shredded by an industrial dough mixer in Mendoza, Argentina. He became a living embodiment of the ongoing duel between man and machine. From that point on, he began to rediscover the meaning of freedom: to rebuild his broken identity, keep his family together and design his own artificial legs. Director Laura Bari ( Antoine, 2009) has created an intimate and metaphorical portrait of Ariel's newfound transhumanity, juxtaposing his daily life with dreamlike inner worlds—and pushing the boundary between the real and the imaginary. A story of healing and transformation tinged with touches of magic realism, this introspective journey explores themes of identity and difference, of overcoming and resilience. Co-produced by the NFB, Parabola Films and Beso Film, Ariel is a touching tale in which a man's precarious emotional balance illuminates his unique metamorphosis. The film's producers are Nathalie Cloutier (this is her first feature documentary produced at the NFB), Sarah Spring and Selin Murat at Parabola Films, and Laura Bari at Beso Film.

Hi-Ho Mistahey! by Alanis Obomsawin – Quebec premiere

Hi-Ho Mistahey!, the latest feature documentary by one of the most acclaimed voices of Canadian and Aboriginal filmmaking, Alanis Obomsawin, is coming to Quebec following its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and a screening at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. In 2008, young Shannen Koostachin launched a campaign to provide access to a suitable school for the children of the Cree community of Attawapiskat. After her tragic death in 2010, the campaign became Shannen's Dream—a national movement to provide fairness in education for First Nations children, in schools that are safe and welcoming. The film brings together the voices of those who have taken the dream across Canada and all the way to the United Nations in Geneva. The film's executive producer for the NFB is Ravida Din, and the producer is Alanis Obomsawin.

Beat Dox

My Prairie Home by Chelsea McMullan – Quebec premiere

My Prairie Home is having its first Quebec screening following its recent world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival. In Chelsea McMullan's documentary-musical, indie singer Rae Spoon takes us on a playful, meditative and at times melancholic journey. Against majestic images of the infinite expanses of the Canadian Prairies, Spoon sweetly croons us through tales of a queer and musical coming of age. Interviews, performances and music sequences reveal Spoon's inspiring process of building a life as a trans person and as a musician. In collaboration with media partner Exclaim!, the NFB will present the film in theatres in several Canadian cities, including in Montreal at Cinema Excentris starting December 13. Spoon's new album, also titled My Prairie Home, features the film's score and soundtrack, and is available at Saved by Radio. The video for the first single, “ I Will Be a Wall,” is a clip from the documentary and can be viewed at NFB.ca. The film was produced by Lea Marin for the NFB.

Docs 2.0

A Short History of the Highrise by Katerina Cizek – Canadian premiere

After its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in late September and its launch on The New York Times site in early October, A Short History of the Highrise will have its Canadian premiere at RIDM with screenings of the four films that comprise it and a demonstration of the work's interactive features. Directed by Katerina Cizek, and produced by the NFB and The New York Times, A Short History of the Highrise tours the 2,500-year global history of vertical living, exploring issues of social equality in an increasingly urbanized world. Each of its four films is intended to evoke a chapter in a storybook, with rhyming narration, photographs brought to life through intricate animation, game play and responsive videos that create immersive user experiences. The first three films― Mud, Concrete, and Glass―draw on the Times' extraordinary visual archives, a repository of millions of photographs that have largely been unseen in decades. The fourth chapter, Home, is comprised of images submitted by the public and set to music. A Short History of the Highrise is written and directed by Katerina Cizek, documentary filmmaker and HIGHRISE director. The interactive elements are produced by the Times' graphics team under the direction of Cizek and the Times' Jacqueline Myint, interactive art director and developer for the series. The NFB senior producer is Gerry Flahive, with Jason Spingarn-Koff as series executive producer and New York Times commissioning editor.

Fort McMoney – Preview

Fort McMoney is a trilingual documentary game (French, English and German) about the issues facing Fort McMurray, Alberta, a fast-growing community where more than a million and a half barrels of oil are extracted every day. Participants gathered in a theatre at RIDM will have a preview game session, in closed circuit, in the presence of the artists behind the project, including creator David Dufresne ( Prison Valley). Fort McMurray is at the centre of Canada's economic growth, thanks to its location in the heart of the oil sands, the world's largest energy project. Produced by TOXA and the NFB in association with ARTE, Fort McMoney allows users to immerse themselves in the town's environmental, social, cultural, economic and political concerns. By meeting citizens and key players in Fort McMurray's development, users can, among other things, participate in major debates leading to referendums whose outcome—determined collectively by the players—influence the direction of the game for everyone. Participants find themselves taking part in a striking interactive experience that brings to life complex and very real dilemmas.

Produced by Philippe Lamarre and Raphaëlle Huysmans (TOXA) and Hugues Sweeney and Dominique Willieme (NFB), in association with ARTE, Fort McMoney is presented in partnership with Le Monde and SüdDeutsche.de, and will be available on their websites as well as at fortmcmoney.com starting November 25.

The Magnus Isacsson Award and other NFB collaborative initiatives with RIDM

For the second year, the NFB, along with other community partners, will be presenting the Magnus Isacsson Award. The prize includes $5,000 worth of technical services from the NFB through its independent film support program, ACIC (Aide au cinéma indépendant – Canada). At this 16th edition of the festival, the NFB is also supporting the RIDM initiative to allow students and seniors to attend weekday screenings before 5 p.m. free of charge, and is partnering with the festival for an array of special screenings. Lastly, the NFB applauds the tribute that will be paid to two great pioneers of Quebec cinema who died recently: Arthur Lamothe and Michel Brault.

Doc Circuit Montreal

Doc Circuit Montreal is North America's only bilingual market for documentary film professionals. This year, for the first time, the NFB is presenting a $5,000 prize in technical services at the Cuban Hat Pitch through its ACIC program. The initiative provides Canadian filmmakers with collective support for their documentary projects. Several NFB professionals will participate in Doc Circuit Montreal events: Monique Simard, Director General of the French Program, will be on the Cuban Hat Pitch special jury; Executive Producer Colette Loumède will take part in the Rough Cut Sessions; Executive Producer Annette Clarke and Producer Maral Mohammadian will participate in Face Off; and Lorne Price, Head of Digital Distribution, will be part of a panel on digital distribution.

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.



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

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

For My Prairie Home

Maude Charest, for the NFB
Tel.: 438-935-2363
E-mail: maude@edvinssonpublicity.com

For Ariel

Marie Marais, for the NFB
Tel.: 514-845-2821
Cell: 438-933-2821
E-mail: marais@cooptel.qc.ca