English Program

Projects in production and development

BC & Yukon Studio

Title
Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

 In Release

True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball
True North

9 episode docu-series

Director: Ryan Sidhoo
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
In association with Red Bull Media House

True North provides an intimate look at the rise of the Toronto hoop dream through the stories of five young athletes, inspired by the wave of NBA talent coming from their city. This nine-part docu-series captures the raw emotion of navigating today’s youth basketball machine through the eyes of the city’s players, coaches and families at the centre of it.

That Higher Level
That Higher Level

Feature documentary

Director: John Bolton
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
In association with National Youth Orchestra of Canada

One hundred elite performers chosen to participate in the National Youth Orchestra prepare and perform an ambitious repertoire over 5 grueling weeks before heading out on a cross-Canada tour that lasts a month. The film weaves together footage that captures the essence of the training institute and, eventually, the journey and performances on tour.

Because We Are Girls
Because We Are Girls

Feature documentary

Director: Baljit Sangra
Producer: Selwyn Jacob

The story of a conservative Indo-Canadian family from small-town Northern BC that comes to terms with a family secret of sexual abuse by a cousin that has haunted three sisters from their early childhood to the present. The sisters had planned to keep the abuse a secret forever, but almost 25 years later, they suspect that the cousin is still abusing other family members.

The Zoo
The Zoo

Short animation

Director: Julia Kwan
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Co-producer: Fire Horse Productions

The Zoo follows the parallel and intersecting lives of KUT, a polar bear cub who winds up in a concrete habitat at a popular city zoo, and Jun, a Chinese boy who first visits KUT during the zoo’s glory days and returns numerous times over the decades to observe the majestic captive pacing his cement jail.

In Production

The Way of the Hunter

The Way of the Hunter

Short documentary

Director: Robert Moberg
Producer: Selwyn Jacob

This POV documentary steps into the much-contested territory of hunting. Told through the eyes of a filmmaker who received his first rifle at the age of 12 as a gift from his father to help put food on the table. As an adult, Robert has been pulled into the heated public debate about trophy hunting, and, after a particularly profound and moving encounter with a First Nations hereditary chief, has found himself looking at hunting through a different lens.

Winter 2019

The Whale and the Raven

The Whale and the Raven
Feature documentary

Director: Mirjam Leuze
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Co-producer: Off Island Films & Red Cedar Films (Canada); Busse & Halberschmidt (Germany)

Hermann and Janie research whales on an uninhabited island on the northwest coast of BC. Supported by the indigenous community that lives nearby, they dedicate their lives to the protection of whales. They could never have imagined that one day a tanker line would threaten their life`s work. A film about a place between land and sea and its human and non-human inhabitants, who find themselves entangled in a political and economic power play.

Winter 2019

Sovereign Soil
Sovereign Soil

Feature documentary

Director: David Curtis
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Co-producer: Jackleg Films Inc.

Sovereign Soil is a documentary about food security, from the point of view of modern day back-to-the-landers. The film unfolds over four seasons, in a year of successes and failures for food producers and gatherers as they provide local food to the people of Dawson City, Yukon.

Summer 2019

Highway to Heaven

Highway to Heaven

Short documentary

Director: Sandra Ignagni
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse

Set entirely on No. 5 Road in Richmond, BC, where alongside a single block of suburban highway we find over 25 diverse buildings of worship. A visual and sonic exploration of a uniquely Canadian landscape, the film presents a reflection on the myths and realities of multiculturalism, cultural integration, and religious freedom in 21st century Canada.

Summer 2019

This Was the Time
This Was the Time

Short documentary

Director: Chris Auchter

Producer: Selwyn Jacob

In his quest to find answers as to why the totem pole disappeared from the Haida landscape for more than a century, Haida filmmaker, Christopher Auchter, visits renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson in his studio in White Rock, BC. Robert was the subject of the 1969 NFB documentary, This Was the Time, that raised more questions than it answered.

Summer 2019

Voices Across the Water

Voices_Across_the_Water

Mid length documentary

Director: Fritz Mueller
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Co- Producer: Sagafish Media

Voices Across the Water is about three master canoe builders who hold on by threads to traditional watercraft that once held up entire civilizations. At a glance, these men lead very different lives and come from disparate places – Northern Canada, Coastal Alaska, South Pacific – but they are connected as practitioners of the disappearing art of traditional canoe construction.

Summer 2019

The Magnitude of All Things

The Magnitude of All Things

Feature documentary

Director: Jennifer Abbott
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse
Co-producers: Flying Eye Productions; Off Island Productions

A personal and philosophical documentary about facing grief and finding hope in times of personal and planetary change. The first is a story of courage; the series of events between the cancer diagnosis and death of the filmmaker’s sister. The second is a larger collective narrative; the story of how we as a species are responding to climate change. What do these two stories have in common? The answer, surprisingly, is everything.

Winter 2020

In Development

My Brother’s Story

My Brother’s Story

Mid length documentary

Director: Loretta Todd
Producer: Selwyn Jacob

Following decades of estrangement, Métis director Loretta Todd renews ties with an older brother who left Canada years ago to build a new life in Africa, working as a bush pilot for UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies. Situating her family history within the continuum of her people’s ancestral experience, she hopes to repair a fractured sibling bond – and replenish the “emptiness of stories untold.”

Two Apples

Two Apples
Short animation

Director: Bahram Javahery
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse

In pursuit of a better future, a young girl decides to emigrate. She leaves her homeland behind along with her belongings and her loved ones. In the new country she realizes the depth of her venture and discovers that the only thing she carries with her from her homeland, is a symbol of love.

Zeb’s Spider
Zeb’s Spider

Short animation

Directors: Alicia Eisen, Sophie Jarvis
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse

When the superstitious Zeb finds a spider in her apartment, she must do everything in her power to keep the unwanted guest’s appetite satisfied, or risk being eaten herself.

Out of Darkness

Out of DarknessShort documentary

Director: Sheona McDonald
Producer: Shirley Vercruysse

A short, experimental documentary that uses live action and animation that tells the story of a mother’s journey through loss, acceptance, and joy as she supports her four-year old child’s gender transition.

Quebec & Atlantic Studio

Title

Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

In Release

Becoming Labrador
Becoming Labrador

Feature documentary

Directors: Justin Simms, Tamara Segura, Rohan Fernando
Producers: Annette Clarke, Rohan Fernando
Written by Michael Crummey, animation by Fred Casia

In the stark Labrador interior, a growing number of Filipino workers have recently landed in the small regional hub of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, travelling halfway around the world for jobs they hope will offer their families new opportunities and a better life. Combining documentary footage with interpretive animation, Becoming Labrador is a remarkable feat of collaborative authorship. It offers an intimate account of the radical mobility and displacement of the modern world, and of how tenaciously people hold to their roots in the midst of fundamental change.

The Song and the Sorrow

The Song and the Sorrow
Mid-length documentary

Director: Millefiore Clarkes
Producers: Rohan Fernando, Paul McNeill

Folk musician Catherine MacLellan walks in the complicated shadow of her late father Gene MacLellan, the Canadian song-writing legend who shot to fame with hits like Snowbird and Put Your Hand in the Hand – only to take his own life in 1995. Decades after his death, she seeks new insight into her gifted but tormented dad. A lyrical verité doc that dissects myths surrounding mental illness and creativity while honouring a singular musical legacy.

Love, Scott

Love, Scott
Feature documentary

Director: Laura Marie Wayne
Producer: Annette Clarke

While walking on the street one night in a small town in Canada, Scott Jones, a gay musician, is attacked and paralyzed from the waist down; what follows is a brave and fragile journey of healing and the transformation of a young man’s life. From the first raw moments in the hospital to a disquieting trip back to the place he was attacked, Scott is constantly faced with the choice of losing himself in waves of grief or embracing love over fear.

1999

1999
Feature documentary

Director: Samara Grace Chadwick
Producers: Kat Baulu, Jacques Gautreau
Co-producers: Sarah Spring & Selin Murat, Parabola Films and Aline Schmid, Beauvoir Films

When death haunts a high school in a small town in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle, prismatic film, Samara returns to the town she fled as a teen to re-immerse herself in the memories still lurking there. 1999 weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how grief is internalized—and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.

In Production

River Silence

River Silence

Feature documentary

Director: Rogerio Soares
Producer: Annette Clarke
Co-producer: Bob Moore, EyeSteelFilm

In the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, the world’s third largest hydroelectric project is nearing the end of construction. This observational feature documentary explores the impact of large scale development on communities and families who have lived sustainably for generations.  A poignant query into our legacy for future generations.

Winter 2019

Assholes, A Theory

Assholes, A Theory

Feature documentary

Director: John Walker
Producer: Annette Clarke
Co-producers: John Walker & Ann Bernier, A Rude Film Inc.

Intellectually provocative and existentially necessary, filmmaker John Walker examines best-selling author Aaron James’ book Assholes, a Theory. Taking a playful approach to uncovering defining characteristics, the film examines how and why asshole behavior is on the rise, affecting many – in the workplace, in government, at home. Assholes is a timely and urgent reminder of our collective responsibility to call out abuses of power.

Winter 2019

Luben & Elena

the love of art and the art of love

Luben & Elena

Feature documentary

Director: Ellie Yonova
Producer: Annette Clarke

Deeply rooted in artistic families, young Luben and Elena escape the repressions of communist Bulgaria and find refuge on the island of Newfoundland. With their 2-year-old daughter and $60.00 they begin to build a new life. At the height of what many would define as success, they leap again, understanding that the greatest risk for art, and for love, is taking it for granted.

Spring 2019

Conviction

Conviction
Feature documentary

Directors: Nance Ackerman, Ariella Pahlke
Producer: Annette Clarke
Co-Producer: Teresa MacInnes, Sea to Sea Productions

Women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population in Canada. A collaboration between three Atlantic filmmakers in deep consultation with the Elizabeth Fry Society and women who are in prison, Conviction imagines a different kind of world – one that prevents women from entering prison in the first place.

Spring 2019

Far Away from Far Away

Far Away from Far Away
Interactive project

Written by: Michael Crummey
Creative Directors: Bruce Alcock with Jeremy Mendes
Producers: Annette Clarke, Rob McLaughlin

Inspired by conversations with Zita Cobb, the woman behind the innovative economic and artistic transformation of Fogo Island; Michael Crummey crafts a very specific story that ultimately connects the wisdom of walking tall with one step firmly in the past, and the other firmly in the future.

Spring 2019

Elephant – 1967
Elephant – 1967

Animated short

Directors: Colin MacKenzie, Aparna Kapur
Producer: Kat Baulu

A true story of epic size and error. In 1967, a bull elephant and his mahout arrive in Halifax, a gift from an East Indian trading company. Having walked over one hundred miles to get to the ship that would bring them to Nova Scotia, the pair was not prepared for the cold climate and foreign culture.

Spring 2019

4 North A
4 North A

Animated short

Director: Jordan Canning, Howie Shia
Producer: Annette Clarke

Over the course of 24 hours in a hospital ward, two young women face mortality and the meaning of life.

Autumn 2019

Forbidden Reel

Forbidden Reel
Feature documentary

Director: Ariel Nasr
Producer: Kat Baulu, Paul McNeill
Co-producer: Sergeo Kirby, Loaded Pictures

Forbidden Reel tells the dramatic history of Afghanistan’s film industry—a history that parallels Afghanistan’s own story. It is a tale of resistance and courage, the irrepressible nature of self-expression, and the charismatic filmmakers who risked their lives so Afghanistan’s cinema could be screened to the world.

Autumn 2019

Jordan’s Principle

Jordan’s Principle

Mid length documentary

Director: Alanis Obomsawin
Producers: Alanis Obomsawin, Annette Clarke

Alanis Obomsawin documents the life of Jordan River Anderson and the impact of his death on his home community and federal legislation. Jordan was a child from Norway House First Nation who suffered from a rare muscular disorder that required years of medical treatment in a Winnipeg hospital. After spending over two years in hospital while governments argued over who should pay for his at-home care, Jordan died in 2005 at the age of 5.

Autumn 2019

In Development

Becoming Dawod

Feature documentary

Director: Peter Svatek
Producer: Annette Clarke

Dawod is a 12 year old Yazidi boy.  The Yazidi are a small Kurdish-speaking sect from northern Iraq that dates back to Mesopotamian times – who have been persecuted for almost as long. Dawod and his mother Naro were held captive by ISIS for months but managed to escape at night through deep forests. They made it to one of the refugee camps and from there to Canada, arriving in London, Ontario in winter 2018. This is the story of Dawod’s first cycle through the seasons in Canada.

Re-Imagining Nova Scotia

Short documentary (3)

Directors: Rachel Bower, Sandi Rankaduwa, Jason Young
Producer: Rohan Fernando

Three short documentaries that surprise and deepen our understanding of ourselves. Rankaduwa’s Ice Breakers tells a story of hockey and its African Nova Scotian roots through the pov of a young black teen who dreams of playing in the NHL. In Gun Killers, Young creates a visual poetic experience to connect the destruction of guns with saving lives. Bower introduces us to a beautiful transgender girl in This is Skylar and to her family who encourages us all to live authentic lives.

Mary Two-Axe Earley

Short documentary

Director: Courtney Montour
Producer: Kat Baulu

Mary Two-Axe Earley (1911-1996) was a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) elder, advocate for women and children, and human rights activist from the reserve of Kahnawake, Quebec. She led the fight against the gender discrimination for indigenous women that lost “status” under the Indian Act.

Sex Alphabet

Animated short

Director: Bobbi Jo Hart
Producer: Annette Clarke

An educational yet irreverent and age-appropriate sex alphabet for tweens to demystify and educate sexuality in modern times. Example:  S is for SEXT – send (someone) sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone. B is for Boundary – what are the healthy, safe and secure personal zones.

Labrador DOC project

Short documentary (4)

Directors: Heather Campbell, Jennie Williams, Holly Andersen, Ossie Michelin
Producer: Kat Baulu
Associate Producer: Stephen Agluvak Puskas
Co-producer: Latonia Hartery, LJH Films

A series of four short films: A portrait of Heather Campbell’s grandmother, Evelyn Campbell, who was one of the first accredited Inuk teachers from Labrador. In Jennie Williams’ film, we discover the rituals of Nalujuk Night and its importance in the culture of Nunatsiavut communities. Holly Andersen’s documentary tells the difficult story of the forced relocation of Inuit from Hebron/Nutak to communities along the coast in the 60’s. Ossie Michelin will follow Amy Winters and the Goose Bay Drum Dancers as they spread the love of drum dancing.

ANIMATION STUDIO

Title

Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

In Release

Animal Behaviour
Animal Behaviour

Short Animation

Directors: Alison Snowden, David Fine
Producer: Michael Fukushima

Dealing with what comes naturally isn’t easy, especially for animals. In Animal Behaviour, the latest animated short from the Oscar®-winning team of Alison Snowden and David Fine (Bob’s Birthday), five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist.

Bone Mother
Bone Mother

Short Animation

Directors: Sylvie Trouvé, Dale Hayward
Producer: Jelena Popovic

Who dares to disturb the devil’s grandmother and enter her slumbering house of bones? Who is foolish enough to betray this immortal nature-spirit? Baba Yaga holds the answers you need, but are they the answers you seek? Tread carefully, for your ambitious schemes could come back to haunt you…

Museum of Symmetry
Museum of Symmetry

Interactive Animation

Creator: Paloma Dawkins
Producer: Maral Mohammadian

An absurdist mind-and-body romp through the highest clouds to the ocean deep, Museum of Symmetry is the explosive feel-good alter-universe of cartoonist and animator Paloma Dawkins—a room-scale VR experience with 2D animation in a 3D playground.

Turbine
Turbine
Short Animation

Director: Alex Boya
Producer: Jelena Popovic

A war pilot crash-lands through his apartment window. When his wife returns from work, she discovers that her husband’s face has been replaced by an airplane turbine. He’s also fallen in love with their kitchen ceiling fan. To save their faltering marriage, his wife decides she will no longer let her humanity get in the way of love.

I’m OK
I’m OK

Short Animation

Director: Elizabeth Hobbs
Producer: Jelena Popovic
Co-producer: Abigail Addison, Animate Project

Following the end of a stormy love affair, Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka enlists in the First World War. After suffering serious injuries in battle, he experiences a series of memories and visions as medics transport him through the forests of the Russian front. Playful and imaginative, I’m OK explores the wounds of heartbreak and trauma.

Caterpillarplasty
Caterpillarplasty
Short Animation

Director: David Barlow-Krelina
Producer: Jelena Popovic

A prescient, grotesque sci-fi satire that lifts plastic surgery to another level. Set in a state-of-the-art clinic, in a world where advanced technologies have given rise to new standards of beauty and prestige, Caterpillarplasty offers its sardonic take on a social obsession with beauty that’s spiralled out of control.

Freaks of Nurture
Freaks of Nurture
Short Animation

Director: Alexandra Lemay
Producer: Maral Mohammadian

Freaks of Nurture is an animated short about a neurotic mother-daughter relationship inspired by the filmmaker’s own unorthodox upbringing with her single-parent mom, who is also a foster parent and dog breeder. Self-deprecating and bursting with energy, the film reveals that no matter how grown-up we think we are, we never quite stop craving the love and support of a parent.

In Production

Shannon Amen
Shannon Amen
Short Animation

Director: Chris Dainty
Producer: Maral Mohammadian

A mixed media film about Chris Dainty’s childhood best friend and emerging artist, Shannon Jamieson (aka Amen), who took her own life in 2006.

Winter 2019

The Gates

The Gates

Virtual Reality

Director: Frances McKenzie
Producer: Jelena Popovic

A VR experience set in the centre of an unusual DNA strain. Each nucleotide is a stage for what might become: from lab-created pigs being factory-fed their own meat to chameleons’ and jellyfish capacities to regenerate into mutants. The user wanders through this revolving evolutionary wrap and wonders if humanity is trapped in the promise of salvation through algorithms of genes.

Winter 2019

What Rhymes With Toxic
What Rhymes With Toxic

Short Animation

Director: Lynn Smith
Producer: Maral Mohammadian

The lake is being pumped with toxic sludge and despite warnings from environmentalists, a City Councilman denies any health risks…until a very sick turtle arrives, pointing the finger of blame at him for all the creatures dying from the polluted water.

Winter 2019

In Development

Affairs of the Art
 Affairs of the Art

Short Animation

Director: Joanna Quinn
Producer: Michael Fukushima

UK filmmaker Joanna Quinn is Oscar-nominated and much-awarded, whose body of work comprises some of the UK’s best animation since the 1980s. In Affairs of the Art, Joanna lets Beryl, her avatar, set the path to fulfilling her life’s dreams of becoming a late-in-life artist.

Spring 2019

Wheetago War

Wheetago War
Short Animation

Director: Amanda Strong
Producer: Maral Mohammadian

Two lifetimes from now, the Wheetago, an ancient race of humans cursed with insatiable thirst and hunger, return from the ice where they were buried. A stop motion short film by Amanda Spotted Fawn Strong, based on the short story by Richard Van Camp.

Autumn 2019

North West Studio

Title

Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

 In Release

Snow Warrior

Snow Warrior

Short documentary

Director: Kurt Spenrath
Producer: Bonnie Thompson, David Christensen
Co-producer: Frederick Kroestch

A love letter to the aesthetics of winter capturing the beauty of a northern city interwoven with the first person experience of a winter cyclist courier in Edmonton.

Summer 2018

 In Production

A Change of Scenery
A Change of Scenery
Short animation

Director: Anita Lebeau
Producer: Alicia Smith

Vintage Super 8 home movie parade footage are combined with traditional animation, to represent the incongruous notions and petty worries that endlessly stream through our minds, especially when our lives get overly busy.

Winter 2019

Loon River

Loon River

Short documentary

Director: Cory Generoux
Producer: David Christensen

Loon Lake, a short documentary shot in 1968, was recently rediscovered in the NFB vaults. Shot in Loon River Alberta by the Indian Film Crew, the film is being taken back to the community for it’s first public screening in 50 years. This short film interviews some of the residents and former Indian Film Crew about the original film and the changes in the community.

Winter 2019

After the Thaw

After the Thaw

Short documentary

Director: Janine Windolph
Producer: Jon Montes
Associate Producer: Coty Savard

Born in La Ronge in northern Saskatchewan, Janine Windolph grew up eating food from the land. A move to the city introduced her to a southern diet that impacted her health and her connection to the land, her elders and her ancestors. As an adult raising two boys in Regina, Janine returns to La Ronge with her two boys to learn the traditional lifestyle from their grandma.

Winter 2019

Rocher River

Rocher River

Short documentary

Director: Natasha Duchene & Scott McQueen
Producer: Jon Montes

Dene community leader and educator Scott McQueen has only been to Rocher River once since he left with his family at age 7, when the community was displaced. What was once a thriving community of about 200 people is now virtually indistinguishable from the wilderness surrounding it. This short documentary follows Scott as he travels from Yellowknife back to Rocher River, bringing along his son and three elders.

Winter 2019

Freedom Road

Freedom Road

Mid length documentary

Director: Angelina McLeod
Producer: Alicia Smith

This film immerses us in a time of transformation for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, a community stranded without clean water, and determined to liberate itself from a century of human rights violations. The path to their future is Freedom Road, the road that will connect them to the TransCanada Highway, with access to the world and basic necessities of life.

Spring 2019

Supreme Law

Supreme Law

Interactive documentary

Creator: Kat Cizek
Producer: Bonnie Thompson, David Christensen

Hosted by 5 prominent YouTubers, Supreme Law delves into the backroom high-stakes drama surrounding the repatriation of the Canadian constitution and how it has had lasting consequences for how we are governed, the powers of provinces, the possibility of Indigenous self-governance, and the fundamental rights of Canadians. An interactive experience aimed at university students and engaged citizens.

Spring 2019

John Ware: Reclaimed
John Ware: Reclaimed

Mid length documentary

Director: Cheryl Foggo
Producer: Bonnie Thompson, David Christensen

Calgary filmmaker Cheryl Foggo pursues the origins of the legendary Black cowboy, John Ware, who lived and died in southern Alberta between 1882 and 1905. While attempting to unravel the mystery of his pre-Canadian past, it also seeks to correct the myth-making that has placed him at the centre of a convenient but incomplete and misguided narrative about Canadian identity.

Spring 2019

Life and Death on the Prairies

Life and Death on the Prairies

Feature documentary

Director: Tasha Hubbard
Producer: Jon Montes & Bonnie Thompson (NFB), Tasha Hubbard & George Hupka (Downstream Documentary Productions.

On August 9, 2016, 22-year-old Colten Boushie from Red Pheasant First Nation was shot and killed after he and his friends, driving a car with a flat tire, stopped in an occupied farm-yard. Two days later, farmer Gerald Stanley was charged with second-degree murder. Part investigation, part soul-searching, Life and Death on the Prairies is director Tasha Hubbard’s exploration of the legacy of oppression in her homelands.

Spring 2019

Kiimaapiipitsin (Dust Settles)

Kiimaapiipitsin
Feature documentary

Director: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Producer: David Christensen

In 2014, Fentanyl – a synthetic opiate fifty times stronger than heroin – claimed over twenty lives on the Blood Reserve, leading tribal authorities to declare a state of emergency. Working alongside Dr. Esther Tailfeathers and community members committed to healing, Dr. Tailfeathers’ daughter, filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, documents this critical moment for the Blood Tribe.

Summer 2019

 In Development

Arctic Song
Short animation

Directors: Neil Christopher, Germaine Arnaktauyok
Producers: David Christensen, Alicia Smith

Co-Producer: Taqqut Productions

An animated journey into the oral history of the ancient arctic, weaving together throat singing, animated images and poetic writing from two Inuit women artists—Germaine Arnaktauyok and Celina Kalluk.

Illustrations/animation created for Arctic Song will also be used in a circus performance tour by Artcirq (Igloolik) and Seven Fingers (Montreal), commencing spring 2020 at the National Arts Center.

Autumn 2019

Forgotten Lake

Short documentary series

Director: Kevin Settee
Producer: Alicia Smith
Associate Producer: Coty Savard

This is a Challenge for Change-modeled project, engaging with a range of Indigenous individuals and communities located in the remote north basin of Lake Winnipeg in a time of intense political, environmental and social change. The series of short films will demonstrate the ways that communities are responding to issues around water, land, fishing and hunting rights.

Spring 2020

The Flying Sailor

Short animation

Directors: Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby
Producer: David Christensen

The Flying Sailor is based on the Halifax explosion of 1917 when two ships collided in the Halifax Harbour causing the largest accidental explosion in history. Among the tragic stories of the disaster is the remarkable account of a sailor who, blown skyward from the deck of a British cargo steamer, flew 4 km before landing completely unharmed, but naked except for his boots.

Crow’s Nest

Short animation

Director: Chrystene Ells
Producer: Jon Montes

With only cawing crows to keep her company, a wordless child searches for life and beauty in a post-water wasteland. Ruled by a domineering mother, she at last finds freedom in a feather that falls from the sky. Director Chrystene Ells seams together live puppetry with stop-motion and 2D animation to create an impressionist world of desperation and flight.

Wilfred Buck

Feature documentary

Director: Lisa Jackson
Producer: Alicia Smith

Wilfred Buck is a science educator of Indigenous star knowledge. He’s compelled to share these stories because they were important to his own recovery and reconnection to his ancestry and culture. Lisa Jackson intersects these teachings and worldview with Wilfred’s life story to talk about the “juggernaut of intellectual colonialism” and the complex Indigenous knowledge systems that have been retained.

Spring 2020

Ontario Studio

Title

Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

In Release

What Walaa Wants
What Walaa Wants

Feature documentary

Director: Christy Garland
Producer: Justine Pimlott
Co-producers: Christy Garland & Matt Code, Murmur Films (Canada), Anne Koheke, Final Cut for Real (Denmark)

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces. Despite discouragement from her family, Walaa applies and gets in. What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

What is Democracy?
What is Democracy?
Feature documentary

Director: Astra Taylor
Producer: Lea Marin

Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor. Featuring a diverse cast, this urgent film provokes and inspires.

In Production

Hispaniola
HISPANIOLA

Feature documentary

Director: Michele Stephenson
Producer: Lea Marin
Co-Producer: Jennifer Holness, Hungry Eyes

In 2013 the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic upheld legislation that stripped citizenship from individuals of Haitian heritage born in that country. Hispaniola will examine the day-to-day lives of people directly impacted by these new laws. Interweaving present day stories with dramatic personal accounts of the 1937 Parsley Massacre, the film will beautifully juxtapose how past and present converge as it explores themes of genocide and otherness.

Winter 2019

Draw Me Close

Draw Me Close
Virtual Reality

Creator: Jordan Tannahill, Amy Hodge
Producer: David Oppenheim

Canadian playwright-director Jordan Tannahill partners with the National Theatre and the NFB to create Draw Me Close, a vivid memoir about his relationship with his mother in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis.

Winter 2019

POV Instagram Stories

POV Instagram Stories
Interactive production

Creator: TBC
Producer: David Oppenheim
Co-producer: POV and partnership with Teen Vogue

A series of eight short documentaries that explore the theme of belonging in the 21st century, made by female-identifying and genderqueer storytellers under 30, specifically for younger, socially and culturally engaged audiences on Instagram Stories.

Spring 2019

The Book of Distance

The Book of Distance
Virtual reality

Director: Randall Okita
Producer: David Oppenheim

The Book of Distance is a place, a landscape of memories, and a story about its creator, Randall Okita. The audience is invited on an immersive pilgrimage through interactive virtual environments and artwork to discover an emotional and physical geography of memory that moves through countries and generations, back to his grandparents when their country forced them into an internment camp because they were Japanese.

Spring 2019

Send Us Your Brother

Send Us Your Brother
Feature documentary

Director: Nisha Pahuja
Producer: David Oppenheim
Co-producer: Notice Pictures Inc.

The making of the modern Indian man is told through the stories of a few difficult, violent, fearful men and the men who are trying to change them. Although the setting is India, the bold social experiment documents ideas and issues being echoed all over the world.

Spring 2019

This Is Not a Movie

This Is Not a Movie
Feature documentary

Director: Yung Chang
Producer: Anita Lee
Co-producers: Allyson Luchak, Nelofer Pazira

This Is Not a Movie follows iconoclast Robert Fisk, infamous Middle East correspondent, as he takes us through a provocative journey through his 40 years living in the Middle East, re-evaluating current affairs through the prism of history and Fisk’s own unique perspective. The film reflects on an end of an era for old school journalism as newspapers vanish or shift to digital formats.

Summer 2019

Inconvenient Indian
Inconvenient Indian

Feature documentary

Director: Michelle Latimer
Producer: Justine Pimlott
Co-producer: 90th Parallel: Jesse Wente, Stuart Henderson

A journey into the mind of Thomas King, one of the world’s foremost Indigenous intellectuals, and one of our greatest storytellers. His words, his voice, his brilliant insight and his aching humour.

Autumn 2019

Throat

Throat

Feature documentary

Director: Chelsea McMullan
Producer: Lea Marin

Weaving together footage from one singular live performance with archival documentary elements, and surreal science fiction fantasy visuals suffused with creativity, joy, and sadness.

Winter 2020

Borealis

Borealis
Feature documentary

Director: Kevin McMahon
Producer: Justine Pimlott
Co-producer: Primitive Entertainment: Michael McMahon, Kristina McLaughlin, Kevin McMahon

Borealis will capture a transformation in the boreal forest that has profound global significance. Poetic in its approach and epic in its scale, the film will combine the visceral intimacy of cinema with the latest science to look at this drama from the point of view of the trees.

Spring 2020

 In Development

Agence

Agence

Interactive project

Creator: Pietro Gagliano
Producer: David Oppenheim

Agence explores the relationship between artificial intelligence and human agency. Through immersive VR we invite the user to control the fate of a group of curious AI creatures on a foreign planet. Shocking and beautiful, the story of Agence is a highly interactive and compelling experience.

Variants of Unknown Significance

Variants of Unknown Significance
Interactive project

Creators: Britt Wray, Richard Lachman
Producer: David Oppenheim

An episodic, audio-driven documentary for mobile devices, exploring the emerging field of personalized medicine – treating the individual based on his or her DNA. The holy grail of genetics research, genomics is a rapidly expanding industry inhabited by early adopters, visionary scientists, government officials and private corporations, all navigating the rewards and the risks of unprecedented insight into human DNA.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice

Documentary

Creators: Sherien Barsoum, Jonathan Steckley
Producer: Lea Marin

With unprecedented access to a Circle of Support group, Restorative Justice is an interactive documentary that will invite users to understand the power of restorative justice in addressing sexual offense by stepping into a story – choosing the perspective they want to explore – through the eyes of a community member or restorative justice practitioner. Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) is a highly effective, long-term, voluntary program that offers supportive and accountable relationships with a history of sexual offending.

Mothering in The Movement

Mothering in The Movement

Documentary

Creators: Laurie Townshend
Producer: Lea Marin
Co-Producer: Alison Duke, Goldelox Productions

Mothering in the Movement is a tender and captivating feature length documentary that uncovers both the “labour pains”, and defiant optimism, that persist in the lives of female activists committed to forging a world in which the lives of their sons and daughters not only matter, but flourish.

Digital Studio

Title

Genre / Length

Director, NFB Producer and Co-Producer
Synopsis

 

Release

In Release

Biidaaban: First Light

Biidaaban-_First_Light

VR

Artists: Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett
Producers: Dana Dansereau, Rob McLaughlin

The town square is flooded. The infrastructure has merged with local flora and people commute via canoe. In this radically different future, urban life is thriving. Biidaaban: First Light illuminates how Indigenous languages can provide a framework for understanding our place in a reconciled version of Canada’s largest urban environment.

Homestay

HOMESTAY
VR

Artist: Paisley Smith
Producer: Rob McLaughlin, Loc Dao

Homestay is one family’s story of life with international students — a look at how complete immersion in another culture can create a collision of expectations and change our understanding of family, hospitality, nationality and love.

Tidal Traces

Tidal Traces

360 Video

Artists: Nancy Lee, Emmalena Fredriksson
Producer: Nicholas Klassen, Rob McLaughlin

Tidal Traces is a 360-video VR dance piece that places viewers in the centre of the performance. In it, three characters explore a new and uncertain world—moving between tranquility and ominousness, beauty and peril. Entangled in this tension, the viewer becomes the fourth character, directly composing the dance through their gaze.

In Production

East of the Rockies

East_of_the_Rockies

AR

Artists: Joy Kogawa, Jam3
Producer: Rob McLaughlin

East of the Rockies is an interactive narrative AR experience written by acclaimed Canadian author Joy Kogawa and told from the perspective of Yuki, a 17-year-old girl forced from her home and made to live in BC’s Slocan Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.

Autumn 2018

Kevin Schmidt

Schmidt

Social Media Story

Artist: Kevin Schmidt
Producer: Jeremy Mendes

Kevin Schmidt plays with the ‘How-to’ genre by generating hydro electricity using a washing machine placed in a creek to power a modular synth that plays a musical performance.

Autumn 2018

Gymnasia

Gymnasia

VR

Artists: Chris Lavis, Maciek Szcerzbowski
Producer: Dana Dansereau

In a decayed and abandoned school gymnasium are stirring memories of a childhood lost. Through virtual reality, stop-motion animation, puppets, and miniatures, Gymnasia envelops you in a waking dream.

Winter 2019

Far Away from Far Away

Far_Away_from_Far_Away

Interactive

Artists: Michael Crummey, Bruce Alcock
Producers: Annette Clarke, Robert McLaughlin

Inspired by conversations with Zita Cobb, the woman behind the innovative economic and artistic transformation of Fogo Island; Michael Crummey crafts a very specific story that ultimately connects the wisdom of walking tall with one step firmly in the past, and the other firmly in the future.

Spring 2019

In Development

Shoes
Shoes

Interactive

Artist: Evie Ruddy
Producer: Nicholas Klassen

Growing up, Evie Ruddy didn’t quite feel like a girl, but didn’t feel like a boy either. Only recently, after learning about genderqueer identities, did Evie become comfortable presenting as androgynous and identifying as “they” instead of she or he. Shoes is the story of the evolution of Evie’s personal expression and identity — with footwear as markers along the way, from the mounted, copper-plated baby shoes preserved from Evie’s infancy, to the male work boots Evie wears today.

Untitled

360 Video

Artist: Colin Van Loon
Producer: Dana Dansereau

A new project in a series of partnerships between the NFB and imagineNATIVE to support new forms of Indigenous artistic expression, offering Canadian Indigenous artists an opportunity to create audacious, innovative and socially relevant new-media works.