An Inuit hunter travels by snowmobile across the frozen sea. Photo taken from Stories from Our Land – Nippaq, a documentary short directed by Qajaaq Ellsworth in 2011.

The Rendez-vous de la francophonie

THE NFB AT THE RENDEZ-VOUS DE LA FRANCOPHONIE:

EYE-OPENING FILMS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Host one or more public screenings during the month of March —or come and discover films at a venue near you!

Since 2006, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has participated in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF), which takes place every year in 75 cities across the country and features more than 250 film screenings. The NFB is very proud to be part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie for the 14th consecutive year, marking the event with a lineup of films offering unique, compelling stories and candid points of view. For this 21st edition of the RVF, we invite Canadian francophones and francophiles to enjoy these films on the theme of dialogue between cultures. The selection includes Luc Bourdon’s latest documentary, La part du diable (The Devil’s Share), along with recent award-winning animated films that have been screened at prestigious festivals around the world: Trois mille (Three Thousand) by Asinnajaq, Le sujet (The Subject) by Patrick Bouchard, Étreintes (Embraced) by Justine Vuylsteker, Rubans (Threads) by Torill Kove, Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes) by Franck Dion, MacPherson by Martine Chartrand and La pureté de l’enfance (Sweet Childhood) by Zviane. Two programs for children offer lively and colourful imagery for younger viewers. The first, Des histoires d’ici pour les petits (Tales from Here for Tots), is a collection of tales and legends drawn from Indigenous storytelling traditions. The second, Des animaux qui ont presque toujours le dernier mot (Animals Who (Almost) Always Get the Last Word) includes stories in which humans and animals, or animals themselves, find solutions to problems—such as the complex language challenges that are part of Canada’s cultural landscape.

This diverse selection of titles is sure to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. The NFB recognizes the role it plays in fostering dialogue between cultures through the films it produces, from its documentaries to its animation. We continue to make films that engage with important issues and provide plenty of food for thought and discussion. We encourage you to organize multiple screenings. And remember, all the films in these programs are provided free of charge. We hope that many of you will opt to participate in this event, which is taking place throughout the entire month of March.

Four programs:

Program 1: 110 min (General public – ages 13+)
Identities in Dialogue

La part du diable (The Devil’s Share) | Luc Bourdon | 2017 | 102 min 22 s (preceded by the short film Au beau milieu de la plaine – Les Fransaskois (The Grasslands Project –Les Fransaskois) | Scott Parker | 2016 | 7 min) Drawing on nearly 200 NFB films, La part du diable (The Devil’s Share) by Luc Bourdon takes a fresh new look at the great upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s. A journey back in time in which francophones and anglophones express their views in deftly selected clips, La part du diable (The Devil’s Share) is a rare experience that brings together the various currents and cultures that have left a mark on the history of North America. The film invites each of us to become a committed observer of these events, and to lend an attentive ear to its passionate, lyrical statement. The program opens with a short film on the Fransaskois, a francophone bastion living in the heart of Saskatchewan. This program embraces bilingualism beyond duality—highlighting the importance of peaceful co-existence and the exchange of ideas—in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act.

Program 2: 71 min (General public – ages 12+)
Powerful Animated Voices

Trois mille (Three Thousand) | Asinnajaq | 2017 | 14 min
Un printemps (Winds of Spring) | Keyu Chen | 2017 | 6 min 7 s
Le sujet (The Subject) | Patrick Bouchard | 2018 | 13 min
La pureté de l’enfance (Sweet Childhood) | Zviane | 2017 | 3 min 30 s
MacPherson (MacPherson)| Martine Chartrand | 2012 |10 min 52 s
Étreintes (Embraced) | Justine Vuylsteker | 2018 | 5 min 24 s
Rubans (Threads) | Torill Kove | 2017 | 8 min 46 s
Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes) | Franck Dion | 2016 | 9 min 28 s

This program of striking animated films offers a variety of creative techniques and covers a diverse array of cultures—mirroring Canada’s Francophonie. In the archive-inspired Trois mille (Three Thousand), Asinnajaq recasts the past and present of the Inuit people and imagines their future. In Un printemps (Winds of Spring), first-time animation director Keyu Chen tenderly tells the story of a young girl who, driven by the need for self-fulfillment, dreams of leaving the family nest. For Le sujet (The Subject), Patrick Bouchard worked with a life-sized model of himself instead of the puppets that populated his previous films. With her first animated film, La pureté de l’enfance (Sweet Childhood), well-known Quebec comic book creator and musician Zviane thumbs her nose at nostalgia. In MacPherson, Martine Chartrand tells the story of the friendship between Félix Leclerc and Frank Randolph MacPherson, a Jamaican chemical engineer; the film uses the very rare animation technique of painting on glass to create this ode to francophone culture, using Leclerc’s song “MacPherson” as its soundtrack. French-born Justine Vuylsteker also uses a rare technique—the pinscreen—to create her first animated film, Étreintes (Embraced), which tells the story of two men: one from the main character’s present and one from her past. In Rubans (Threads), Torill Kove, whose film Le poète danois (The Danish Poet) won an Oscar in 2007 for Best Animated Short, explores the beauty and complexity of parental love. Like the other films in this program, Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes), by director and illustrator Franck Dion, has won awards at many festivals; tender and poetic, the film recounts a journey taken by an elderly woman with degenerative dementia. This selection of titles offers an eclectic sample of the NFB’s filmmaking expertise and penchant for innovative storytelling.

Program 3: 42 min (General public – ages 4+)
Tales from Here for Tots

Vistas – Petit Tonnerre (Vistas – Little Thunder) | Nance Ackerman, Alan Syliboy | 2009 | 2 min 59 s
Îlot (Islet)| Nicolas Brault | 2003 | 7 min 1 s
Labo d’animation du Nunavut : Je ne suis qu’une petite femme (I Am But a Little Woman, from the Nunavut Animation Lab)| Gyu Oh | 2010 | 4 min 39 s
Waseteg | Phyllis Grant | 2010 | 6 min 29 s
Maq et l’esprit de la forêt (Maq and the Spirit of the Woods) | Phyllis Grant | 2006 | 8 min 29 s
Une histoire de tortues (A Sea Turtle Story) | Kathy Shultz | 2012 | 9 min 51 s
Vistas – Les danseurs de l’herbe (Vistas – Dancers of the Grass) | Melanie Jackson | 2009 | 2 min

This program is inspired by Indigenous stories and legends. Five of the program’s seven films were directed by Indigenous filmmakers, representing several regions of Canada. Based on a Mi’kmaq legend, Vistas – Petit Tonnerre (Vistas – Little Thunder) was co-directed by Alan Syliboy of the Millbrook First Nation and Nance Ackerman, who is of Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) heritage. Phyllis Grant, of the Pabineau First Nation, was also inspired by Mi’kmaq culture for Waseteg and Maq et l’esprit de la forêt (Maq and the Spirit of the Woods). In Labo d’animation du Nunavut : Je ne suis qu’une petite femme (I Am But a Little Woman, from the Nunavut Animation Lab), Gyu Oh interprets a 1927 Inuit poem. Melanie Jackson, a Métis/Saulteaux director with ties to the Sakimay First Nation in Saskatchewan, directs Vistas – Les danseurs de l’herbe (Vistas – Dancers of the Grass), an animated film depicting the hoop dance, a tradition symbolizing the unity of all nations. This program also includes Nicolas Brault’s Îlot (Islet), inspired by Inuit culture, and Une histoire de tortues (A Sea Turtle Story), a touching and universal tale about the life of a turtle, directed by Kathy Shultz. All of these animated films use vibrant colours and show a strong connection to place.

Program 4: 50 min (General public – ages 6+)
Animals Who (Almost) Always Get the Last Word

Ludovic – Un crocodile dans mon jardin (Ludovic – A Crocodile in My Garden) | Co Hoedeman |2000 | 9 min
La montagne de SGaana (The Mountain of SGaana) | Christopher Auchter | 2017 | 10 min 2 s
Les yeux noirs (Private Eyes) | Nicola Lemay | 2011 | 14 min 22 s
Le merle (Le merle) | Norman McLaren | 1958 | 4 min
Histoires de bus (Bus Story) | Tali | 2014 | 10 min 48 s
Le corbeau et le renard | Francine Desbiens, Pierre Hébert, Yves Leduc, Michèle Pauzé | 1969 | 2 min

Listening to and understanding each other is never easy. In this program, animals almost always have the last word and succeed in negotiating, understanding each other, finding solutions, and reconciling with one other. This program may represent the types of dialogue that can lead to harmonious co-habitation between different language groups. In Histoires de bus (Bus Story) by Tali, more than one animal finds itself in the wrong place at the wrong time—but the story ends well. Featuring the beloved teddy bear Ludovic, Co Hoedeman’s film shows that sharing space is not always easy, especially when there’s a crocodile in the garden. Sharing in general isn’t easy, as Le corbeau et le renard, a deconstruction of LaFontaine’s classic fable, shows. In the magical tale La montagne de SGaana (The Mountain of SGaana), by Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter, a man caught between an orca and a mouse is saved by his true love. Also featuring an animal, Les yeux noirs (Private Eyes) by Nicola Lemay broaches the sensitive subject of visual impairment gently, tenderly, and with a good dose of humour. And Le merle, a classic by animation master Norman McLaren, is a fabulous metaphor for an outspoken Francophonie.

How to organize screenings

The NFB provides organizers with logistical and promotional support to help them host screenings. We provide the following free-of-charge:

1) DVD copies of the films in the selected program(s). Each DVD has both French and English menus, selectable during the screening;
2) Customized posters in French for each program (4 max.) to advertise your screenings. Upon request, we will send you a PDF version of these posters;
3) Film descriptions (information sheets), based on availability (4 max. per film). Upon request, we will send you a PDF version of the sheets;
4) Promotion of your screenings on the RVF and NFB websites and blogs as well as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media.

How to participate

Who can organize a public screening? Anyone! What do you have to do? It’s easy! You’ll need to:

1) Download the registration form on this page, or contact RVF2019@nfb.ca.
2) Find a venue where a projector, DVD player and screen can be easily installed. This could be a community hall, school gymnasium, parish hall, seniors’ residence, library, classroom, or even your living room!
3) Once you receive confirmation of the date and time of your screening(s), submit the registration form (before January 29, 2019) to RVF2019@nfb.ca.
4) Promote your screenings to attract as many people as possible. For example, display the posters provided by the NFB in strategic locations at least three weeks in advance, create a Facebook page, place ads or run a telephone or e-mail campaign (see checklist on the back of the registration form);
5) Find a guest speaker to discuss the films after the screening, if appropriate. This often attracts a larger audience and stimulates discussion.

To take advantage of this offer from the NFB you must also meet certain requirements:

1) Hold your screenings only during the RVF, i.e., between March 1 and March 31, 2019;
2) Present each program in its entirety (advise us in advance if this is not possible);
3) Perform all technical testing on receipt of the DVDs; 4) Send an audience data report to the NFB by April 8, 2019. A quick e-mail to RVF2019@nfb.ca is all we need! Include the date and location of the screening, the program number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and the size of the audience; 5) Return or destroy the DVDs. If you decide to destroy them, please e-mail the NFB at RVF2019@nfb.ca.

Discover films at a venue near you!

The list of confirmed screenings will be available in February, and can be seen on the RVF calendar.

Vive la francophonie!

Contact:
Florence François
Programming Agent
f.francois@nfb.ca | 514 914-9253