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

NFB marks the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami with free streaming of John Bolton's short documentary Debris, March 10 to 13

Press release


March 2, 2016 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

To honour the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is offering free streaming of award-winning Vancouver filmmaker John Bolton’s short documentary Debris, from March 10, 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET, to March 13, 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET.

Debris is a moving portrait of Tofino, BC, intertidal artist Pete Clarkson as he crafts an evocative memorial to victims of the 2011 disaster, primarily out of mangled timber washed ashore from the other side of the ocean. In Clarkson’s caring hands, the remnants of the lives and homes of people from Japan’s Tohoku region take on new meaning as he shapes them into a poignant public sculpture. The result is a site of remembrance and contemplation, and an emotional bridge connecting an artist, his community and a people an ocean away.

Debris had its world premiere this past September at the Vancouver International Film Festival and went on to screen at festivals in Montreal, Paris and Torino, Italy.

Written and directed by John Bolton, Debris is produced for the NFB by Shirley Vercruysse, with Teri Snelgrove as associate producer. The film is edited by Jenn Strom, with Andrew Coppin as director of photography. The composer is Scott Morgan, with sound design by Chris McLaren. The executive producer for the NFB’s BC & Yukon Studio is Shirley Vercruysse.

Quick Facts

John Bolton

John Bolton is an award-winning filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. His company, Opus 59 Films, has produced performing arts pieces, literary adaptations, sports films and the occasional disaster movie. John is currently producing, writing and directing several projects, including the musical docudrama Aim for the Roses about Canadian musician Mark Haney and Canadian daredevil Ken Carter. Projects in development include E Day Is Coming, a seismic comedy about earthquake preparedness and real estate anxiety in Vancouver, and Snowman, a hallucinatory black comedy/psychological horror film based on the play by Greg MacArthur.

Pete Clarkson

Pete Clarkson has been creating sculptures out of marine debris since he moved to Tofino to work for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve 17 years ago. An intertidal artist, he forgoes paint, pencils and clay to work instead with the garbage polluting our oceans and shorelines. Looking closely at one of his coastal scenes can reveal an unlikely combination of objects from umbrella handles to bath toys and wood from shipwrecks.

Shirley Vercruysse

Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. Along with Debris, her NFB credits include serving as co-producer and executive producer on Katherine Monk’s directorial debut, Rock the Box, and executive producer of Mina Shum’s first feature documentary, Ninth Floor. Prior to joining the NFB, Shirley was an independent film and television producer based in Calgary.


Associated Links

NFB Blog - Debris
Pete Clarkson

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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 14 Canadian Screen Awards, 11 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.