The National Film Board of Canada (or simply National Film Board or NFB) (French: Office national du film du Canada, or ONF) is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas. In total, the NFB has produced over 3,000 productions since its inception, which have won over 5,000 awards. The NFB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It has English-language and French-language production branches.
|National Film Board of Canada |
Office national du film du Canada
National Film Board of Canada logo
|Purpose||Film and interactive media producer and distributor|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson
The National Film Board currently maintains its head office in Saint-Laurent, a borough of Montreal, in the Norman McLaren electoral district, named in honour of the NFB animation pioneer. The NFB HQ building is also named for McLaren, and is home to much of its production activity.
In the second quarter of 2018, the NFB is scheduled to move to its headquarters to the new Îlot Balmoral building located at Montreal's Quartier des spectacles, adjacent to the Place des Festivals square. The NFB will occupy the first six floors of the building, which will allow it to have closer contact with the public, and will also feature expanded digital media research and production facilities.
In addition to the English and French-language studios in its Montreal HQ, there are centres throughout Canada. English-language production occurs at centres in Toronto (Ontario Centre), Vancouver (Pacific & Yukon Centre, located in the Woodward's Building), Edmonton (North West Centre), Winnipeg (Prairie Centre), and Halifax (Atlantic Centre). As of October 2009, the Atlantic Centre also operates an office in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. In June 2011, the NFB appointed a producer to work with film and digital media makers across Saskatchewan, to be based in Regina.
Outside Quebec, French language productions are also made in Moncton (Studio Acadie) and Toronto (Canadian Francophone Studio). The NFB also offers support programs for independent filmmakers: in English, via the Filmmaker Assistance Program (FAP) and in French through its Aide du cinéma indépendant – Canada (ACIC) program.
The organization has a hierarchical structure headed by a Board of Trustees, which is chaired by the Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson. It is overseen by the Board of Trustees Secretariat and Legal Affairs.
Funding is derived primarily from government of Canada transfer payments, and also from its own revenue streams. These revenues are from print sales, film production services, rentals, and royalties, and total up to $10 million yearly; the NFB lists this as Respendable Revenues in its financial statements. As a result of cuts imposed by 2012 Canadian federal budget, by 2015 the NFB's public funding will be reduced by $6.7 million, to $60.3 million.
In 1938, the Government of Canada invited John Grierson, a British documentary film producer who introduced the term "documentary" to English-speaking film criticism, to study the state of the government's film production. Up to that date, the Government Motion Picture Bureau, established in 1918, had been the major Canadian film producer. The results of Grierson's report were included in the National Film Act of 1939.
In 1939, the Act led to the establishment of the National Film Commission, which was subsequently renamed the National Film Board (NFB). The NFB was founded in part to create propaganda in support of the Second World War.
In 1940, with Canada at war, the NFB launched its Canada Carries On series of morale boosting theatrical shorts. The success of Canada Carries On led to the creation of The World in Action, which was more geared to international audiences.
In this period, other NFB films were issued as newsreels, such as The War Is Over (1945), intended for theatrical showings. These films were based on current news and often tackled wartime events as well as contemporary issues in Canadian culture.
Early in its history, the NFB was a primarily English-speaking institution. Based in Ottawa, 90% of its staff were English and the few French Canadians in production worked with English crews. There was a French Unit which was responsible for versioning films into French but it was headed by an Anglophone. And in NFB annual reports of the time, French films were listed under "foreign languages". Screenwriter Jacques Bobet, hired in 1947, worked to strengthen the French Unit and retain French talent, and was appointed producer of French versions in 1951. During that period, commissioner Albert Trueman, sensitive to how the Quiet Revolution was beginning to transform Quebec society, brought in Pierre Juneau as the NFB's "French Advisor". Juneau recommended the creation of a French production branch to enable francophone filmmakers to work and create in their own language.
In 1950, a revision of the National Film Act removed any direct government intervention into the operation and administration of the NFB.
In 1956, the NFB's headquarters was relocated from Ottawa to Montreal, improving the NFB's reputation in French Canada and making the NFB more attractive to French-speaking filmmakers.
In 1964, a separate French production branch was finally established, with Bobet as one of its four initial executive producers.
In 1967, the creation of the Canadian Film Development Corporation (now known as Telefilm Canada) refined the mandate for the National Film Board. The Canadian Film Development Corporation would become responsible for promoting the development of the film industry. The Challenge for Change was also created the same year as a community media project which would develop the use of film and video as a tool for initiating social change.
In the early 1970s, the NFB began a process of decentralization, opening film production centres in cities across Canada. The move had been championed by NFB producers such as Rex Tasker, who became the first executive producer of the NFB's studio in Halifax.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, the National Film Board produced a series of vignettes, some of which aired on CBC and other Canadian broadcasters as interstitial programs. The vignettes became popular because of their cultural depiction of Canada, and because they represented its changing state, such as the vignette Faces which was made to represent the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity of Canada. In 1996, the NFB operating budget was cut by 32%, forcing it to lay off staff and to close its film laboratory, sound stage (now privatized) and other departments.
In 2006, the NFB marked the 65th anniversary of NFB animation with an international retrospective of restored Norman McLaren classics and the launch of the DVD box set, Norman McLaren – The Master's Edition. The NFB budget has since been cut again. The six-storey John Grierson Building at its Montreal headquarters has been unused for several years – with HQ staff now based solely in its adjacent Norman McLaren Building. In October 2009, the NFB released a free app for Apple's iPhone that would allow users to watch thousands of NFB films directly on their cell phones.
In 2010, the NFB released an iPad version of their app that streams NFB films, many in high definition.
Beginning on 2 May 2014, the NFB's 75th anniversary was marked by such events as the release of a series of commemorative stamps by Canada Post, and an NFB documentary about the film board's early years, entitled Shameless Propaganda.
In the post-war era the NFB became a pioneer in new developments in documentary film. The NFB played a key role in both the Cinéma vérité and Direct Cinema movements, working on technical innovations to make its 16 mm synchronized sound equipment more light-weight and portable—most notably the "Sprocketape" portable sound recorder invented for the film board by Ches Beachell in 1955. Influenced by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the NFB's Studio B production unit experimented with cinema verite in its 1958 Candid Eye series. Candid Eye along with such NFB French-language films as Les Raquetteurs (1958) have been credited as helping to inspire the cinéma vérité documentary movement. Other key cinéma vérité films during this period included Lonely Boy (1961) and Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965).
Running from 1967 to 1980, Challenge for Change and its French-language equivalent Societé Nouvelle became a global model for the use of film and portable video technology to create community-based participatory documentary films to promote dialogue on local issues and promote social change. Over two hundred such films were produced, including 27 films about Fogo Island, Newfoundland, directed by Colin Low and early NFB efforts in Indigenous filmmaking, such as Willie Dunn's The Battle of Crowfoot (1968).
NFB documentarians played a key role in the development of the IMAX film format, following the NFB multi-screen experience In the Labyrinth, created for Expo 67 in Montreal. The film was the centrepiece of a $4.5 million pavilion, which attracted over 1.3 million visitors in 1967, and was co-directed by Roman Kroitor, Colin Low and Hugh O'Connor, and produced by Tom Daly and Kroitor. After Expo, Kroitor left the NFB to co-found what would become known as IMAX Corporation, with Graeme Ferguson and Robert Kerr. The NFB continued to be involved with IMAX breakthroughs at subsequent world's fairs, with NFB director Donald Brittain directing the first-ever IMAX film Tiger Child for Expo 70 in Osaka, and with the NFB producing the first full-colour IMAX-3D film Transitions for Expo 86 in Vancouver and the first 48 fps IMAX HD film Momentum for Seville Expo '92.
In the 1980s, the National Film Board also produced a number of "alternative drama" films, which combined documentary and narrative fiction filmmaking techniques. Generally starring non-professional actors, these films used a documentary format to present a fictionalized story and were generally scripted by the filmmakers and the cast through a process of improvisation, and are thus classified as docufiction.
The alternative drama films were The Masculine Mystique (1984), 90 Days (1985), Sitting in Limbo (1986), The Last Straw (1987), Train of Dreams (1987), Welcome to Canada (1989) and The Company of Strangers (1990).
When Norman McLaren joined the organization in 1941, the NFB began production of animation. The animation department eventually gained distinction, particularly with the pioneering work of McLaren, an internationally recognized experimental filmmaker. The NFB's French-language animation unit was founded in 1966 by René Jodoin.
When McLaren joined the NFB, his first film at the film board was the drawn-on-film short, Mail Early. He would go on to refine his technique make a series of hand-drawn films at the NFB during and after the Second World War, most notably Boogie-Doodle (1940), Hen Hop (1942), Begone Dull Care (1949) and Blinkity Blank (1955).
McLaren's Oscar-winning Neighbours popularized the form of character movement referred to as pixilation, a variant of stop motion. The term pixilation itself was created by NFB animator Grant Munro in an experimental film of the same name. In 2015, the NFB's animation studios were credited as helping to lead a revival in stop-motion animation in Canada, building on the tradition of NFB animators such as McLaren and Co Hoedeman.
The NFB was a pioneer in computer animation, releasing one of the first CGI films, Hunger, in 1974, then forming its Centre d'animatique in 1980 to develop new CGI technologies. Staff at the Centre d'animatique included Daniel Langlois, who left in 1986 to form Softimage.
The NFB was licensed by IMAX Corporation to develop new artistic applications using its SANDDE system for hand-drawn stereoscopic computer animation, with the NFB producing a number of films including Falling in Love Again (2003) and Subconscious Password (2013).
Traditional animators included Richard Condie, John Weldon, Allison Snowden, Janet Perlman, Cordell Barker, Brad Caslor, Michael Mills, Paul Driessen among others (some draw on paper rather than cels).
Caroline Leaf used this technique on films such as The Metamorphosis Of Mr. Samsa and The Owl Who Married A Goose. The Sand Castle was the first (and so far only) sand animation to win an Oscar.
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbes perfected the paint on glass technique (mixing oil paint with glycerine) on films such as Strings and Wild Life. This technique was also used on Caroline Leaf's film The Street.
As of March 2013, the NFB devotes one quarter of its production budget to interactive media, including web documentaries. The NFB is a pioneer in interactive web documentaries, helping to position Canada as a major player in digital storytelling, according to transmedia creator Anita Ondine Smith, as well as Shari Frilot, programmer for Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier program for digital media.
Welcome to Pine Point received two Webby Awards while Out My Window, an interactive project from the NFB's Highrise project, won the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and an International Digital Emmy Award.
Loc Dao is the executive producer and "creative technologist" responsible for NFB English-language digital content and strategy, based in the Woodward's Building in Vancouver. Jeremy Mendes is an interactive artist producing English-language interactive works for the NFB, whose projects include a collaboration with Leanne Allison (Being Caribou, Finding Farley) on the webdoc Bear 71.
Dao's counterpart for French-language interactive media production at the NFB is Hugues Sweeney, based in Montreal. Sweeney's recent credits include the online interactive animation work, Bla Bla.
In January 2009, the NFB launched its online Screening Room, NFB.ca, offering Canadian and international web users the ability to stream hundreds of NFB films for free as well as embed links in blogs and social sites. By mid-2013, the NFB's digital platforms had received approximately 41 million views.
In October 2009, the NFB launched an iPhone application that was downloaded more than 170,000 times and led to more than 500,000 film views in the first four months. In January 2010, the NFB added high-definition and 3D films to the over 1400 productions available for viewing online. The NFB introduced a free iPad application in July 2010, followed by its first app for the Android platform in March 2011. When the BlackBerry PlayBook launched on April 19, 2011, it included a pre-loaded app offering access to 1,500 NFB titles. In January 2013, it was announced that the NFB film app would be available for the BlackBerry 10, via the BlackBerry World app store.
In September 2011, the NFB and the Montreal French-language daily Le Devoir announced that they would jointly host three interactive essays on their websites, ONF.ca and ledevoir.com. The NFB is a partner with China's ifeng.com on NFB Zone, the first Canadian-branded web channel in China, with 130 NFB animated shorts and documentary films available on the company's digital platforms. NFB documentaries are also available on Netflix Canada.
In April 2013, the NFB announced that it was "seeking commercial partners to establish a subscription service for Internet television and mobile platforms next year. The service would be available internationally and would feature documentaries from around the world as well as the NFB’s own catalogue." As of April 2015, NFB.ca offered VOD films from partners Excentris and First Weekend Club along with NFB productions, with over 450 English and French VOD titles scheduled to be added in 2015.
On June 20, 2017, the NFB announced a three-year plan entitled "Redefining the NFB's Relationship with Indigenous Peoples" that commits the organization to hiring more Indigenous staff, designating 15% of its production spending for Indigenous works and offering cross-cultural training to all employees. The plan also sees the NFB building on its relationships with Canadian schools and organizations to create more educational materials about Indigenous peoples in Canada.
In November 2011, the NFB and partners including the Inuit Relations Secretariat and the Government of Nunavut introduced a DVD and online collection entitled Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories, makes over 100 NFB films by and about Inuit available in Inuktitut and other Inuit languages, as well as English and French.
In November 2006, the National Film Board of Canada and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation announced the start of the Nunavut Animation Lab, offering animation training to Nunavut artists. Films from the Nunavut Animation Lab include Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's 2010 digital animation short Lumaajuuq, winner of the Best Aboriginal Award at the Golden Sheaf Awards and named Best Canadian Short Drama at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.
In 2005, the NFB introduced its "First Stories" program for emerging Indigenous directors from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Twelve five-minute films were produced through the program, with four from each province. First Stories was followed by "Second Stories," in which three filmmakers from the previous program—Gerald Auger, Tessa Desnomie and Lorne Olson—were invited back to create 20 minute films.
The Indian Film Crew was an early effort in First Nations filmmaking at the NFB, through its Challenge for Change program, and was jointly sponsored by the Company of Young Canadians and the Department of Indian Affairs. After five months' training about various aspects of filmmaking, participants worked on community development projects and research for future films. The unit's first release was The Ballad of Crowfoot (1968), described as "the first NFB film to present First Nations experience from an Indigenous point of view." Subsequent films included the 1969 documentaries These Are My People and You Are on Indian Land. A documentary was also made about the effort to increase aboriginal representation in filmmaking.
The NFB has been a leader in films by women, with the world's first publicly funded women's film's studio, Studio D, followed subsequently by its French-language equivalent, Studio des femmes. Beginning on March 8, 2016, International Women's Day, the NFB began introducing a series of gender parity initiatives.
In 1974, in conjunction with International Women's Year, the NFB created Studio D on the recommendation of long-time employee Kathleen Shannon. Shannon was designated as Executive Director of the new studio—the first government-funded film studio dedicated to women filmmakers in the world— which became one of the NFB's most celebrated filmmaking units, winning awards and breaking distribution records.
Notable films produced by the studio include three Academy Award-winning documentaries I'll Find a Way (1977), If You Love This Planet (1982) and Flamenco at 5:15 (1983), as well as Not a Love Story (1982) and Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives (1992). Studio D was shut down in 1996, amidst a sweeping set of federal government budget cuts, which impacted the NFB as a whole.
On March 8, 2016, NFB head Claude Joli-Coeur announced a new gender-parity initiative, with the NFB committing that half of all its production spending will be earmarked for films directed by women. The following year, the NFB announced that it also plans to achieve gender balance by 2020 in such creative positions as editing, scriptwriting, musical composition, cinematography and artistic direction. As of 2017, 53% of its producers and executive producers are women, as well as half of its administrative council.
NFB training programs include:
Hothouse, a program for emerging animators that marked its tenth anniversary in 2015. Notable Hothouse alumni include Academy Award nominee Patrick Doyon, part of its 2006 edition. Cinéaste recherché(e) is a similar program for French-language emerging animators. Past graduates include Michèle Cournoyer, who took part in the program's 9th edition in 1989.
A collaboration with the Canadian Film Centre on a theatrical documentary development program. First launched in January 2009, the program has led to the production of Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, Yung Chang‘s The Fruit Hunters and Su Rynard’s The Messenger. In May 2015, the CFC and NFB announced a new version of the program entitled the NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab.
As of 2015, the NFB is organized along the following branches:
With six regional studios in English Program:
And four regional studios in French Program:
Upon its merger with the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau in 1941, the NFB's mandate expanded to include motion as well as still pictures, resulting in the creation of the Still Photography Division of the NFB.
From 1941 to 1984, the Division commissioned freelance photographers to document every aspect of life in Canada. These images were widely distributed through publication in various media.
The division's work is the subject of a 2013 book by Carleton University art professor Carol Payne entitled The Official Picture: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division and the Image of Canada, 1941-1971, published by the McGill-Queen's University Press.
As part of the 2012 budget cuts, the NFB announced that it was forced to close its Toronto Mediatheque and Montreal CineRobotheque public facilities. They ceased to operate as of September 1, 2012. In September 2013, the Université du Québec à Montréal announced that it had acquired the CineRobotheque for its communications faculty.
As stipulated in the National Film Act of 1950, the person who holds the position of Government Film Commissioner is the head of the NFB. As of December 2014, the 16th commissioner of the NFB is Claude Joli-Coeur, who first joined the NFB in 2003 and had previously served as interim commissioner.
Over the years, the NFB has been internationally recognized with more than 5000 film awards. In 2009, Norman McLaren's Neighbours was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme, listing the most significant documentary heritage collections in the world.
The National Film Board of Canada has received 12 Academy Awards to date. It has received 74 Oscar nominations, more than any film organization in the world outside Hollywood. The first-ever Oscar for documentary went to the NFB production, Churchill's Island. In 1989, it received an Honorary Award from the Academy "in recognition of its 50th anniversary and its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative and technological activity and excellence in every area of filmmaking." On January 23, 2007, the NFB received its 12th and most recent Academy Award, for the animated short The Danish Poet, directed by Torill Kove and co-produced with MikroFilm AS (Norway). 55 of the NFB's 74 Oscar nominations have been for its short films.
Nominated: (incomplete list)
As of April 2014, the NFB has received five Peabody Awards, for the web documentary A Short History of the Highrise, co-produced with The New York Times; the Rezolution Pictures/NFB co-production Reel Injun (2011); Karen Shopsowitz's NFB documentary My Father's Camera (2002), the NFB/Télé-Action co-produced mini-series The Boys of St. Vincent (1995) and the NFB documentary Fat Chance (1994).
NFB Annie Awards nominations include:
Nominated: (incomplete list)
In June 2011, NFB received the Award of Excellence in Interactive Programming from the Banff World Media Festival. In August 2011, the NFB received an outstanding technical achievement in digital media award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
As of 2016, NFB web documentaries have won 17 Webby Awards, presented International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for excellence on the internet. Filmmaker-in-Residence, a project by Katerina Cizek about St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, was named best online documentary series at the 2008 Webbys. In 2010, the NFB website Waterlife, on the state of the Great Lakes, won in the Documentary: Individual Episode category. In 2011, Welcome to Pine Point received two Webbys, for Documentary: Individual Episode in the Online Film & Video category and Net art in the Websites category. In 2012, the NFB received two more Webbys, for Bla Bla (best web art) and God's Lake Narrows (best use of photography). In 2013, Bear 71 received the Webby for best net art. In 2014, the interactive photo essay The Last Hunt received a People’s Voice Award Webby for best navigation/structure. In 2015, the NFB-co-produced webdoc Seven Digital Deadly Sins received three People's Voice Awards, chosen by the public online, at the 2015 Webby Awards.
At the 2016 awards, the NFB received six more Webbys: Way to Go received the Webby and People's Voice awards in the Web/NetArt category as well as the Webby for Online Film & Video/VR: Gaming, Interactive or Real-Time. The Unknown Photographer won the People's Voice award in the Online Film & Video/VR: Gaming, Interactive or Real-Time category, while Universe Within received the Webby for Online Film & Video/Best Use of Interactive Video, and Cardboard Crash VR for Google Cardboard won in the category of Online Film & Video/VR: Gaming, Interactive or Real-time (Branded).
In addition to Neighbours, other NFB productions have been the source of controversy, including two NFB productions broadcast on CBC Television that criticized the role of Canadians in wartime led to questions in the Senate of Canada.
In the early 1970s, two Quebec political documentaries, Denys Arcand's On est au coton and Gilles Groulx's 24 heures ou plus, were initially withheld from release by the NFB due to controversial content.
The Kid Who Couldn't Miss (1982) cast doubt on the accomplishments of Canadian World War I flying ace Billy Bishop, sparking widespread outrage, including complaints in the Senate subcommittee on Veterans' Affairs.
A decade later, The Valour and the Horror outraged some when it suggested that there was incompetence on the part of Canadian military command, and that Canadian soldiers had committed unprosecuted war crimes against German soldiers. The series became the subject of an inquiry by the Senate.
Other controversial productions included the 1981 film Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography, a 1981 Studio D documentary critiquing pornography that was itself banned in the province of Ontario on the basis of pornographic content. Released the following year, If You Love This Planet, winner of the Academy Award for best documentary short subject, was labelled foreign propaganda under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 in the United States.
The NFB is a minority owner of the digital television channel, Documentary in Canada. NFB-branded series Retrovision appeared on VisionTV, along with the French-language Carnets ONF series on APTN. Moreover, in 1997 the American cable channel Cartoon Network created a weekly 30-minute show called O Canada specifically showcasing a compilation of NFB-produced works; the segment was discontinued in favour of Adult Swim. As of 2010, many of the NFB children's shows are available on the children's IPTV service Ameba.
The Board's logo consists of a standing stylized figure (originally green) with its arms wide upward. The arms are met by an arch that mirrors them. The round head in between then resembles a pupil, making the entire symbol appear to be an eye with legs. Launched in 1969, the logo symbolized a vision of humanity and was called "Man Seeing / L'homme qui voit". It was designed by Georges Beaupré. It was updated in 2002 by the firm of Paprika Communications.
Afterlife is a 1978 animated short by Ishu Patel that takes an impressionistic look at life after death, based on recent studies, case histories and myths. In the film, the afterlife state is portrayed as a working-out of all the individual's past experiences.Churchill's Island
Churchill's Island (French title: La Forteresse de Churchill) is a 1941 propaganda film chronicling the defence of Britain during the Second World War. The film was directed by Stuart Legg and produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) for the Director of Information, Government of Canada.City of Gold (1957 film)
City of Gold is a 1957 Canadian documentary film by Colin Low and Wolf Koenig, chronicling Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush. The film is narrated by Pierre Berton and produced by the National Film Board of Canada.Cosmic Zoom
Cosmic Zoom is a 1968 short film directed by Eva Szasz and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. It depicts the relative size of everything in the universe in an 8-minute sequence using animation and animation camera shots.Documentary Channel (Canada)
Documentary Channel (stylized as documentary Channel) is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the National Film Board of Canada and four other independent producers. Its programming is devoted to featuring primarily documentary films along with documentary-style television series.I'll Find a Way
I'll Find a Way is a 1977 Canadian short documentary film directed by Beverly Shaffer about nine-year-old Nadia DeFranco, who has spina bifida. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, the film won an Academy Award in 1978 for Best Live Action Short Film.If You Love This Planet
If You Love This Planet is a 1982 short documentary film recording a lecture given to SUNY Plattsburgh students by physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott about the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. The movie was directed by Terre Nash and produced by Edward Le Lorrain for Studio D, the women's studio of the National Film Board of Canada. Studio D head Kathleen Shannon was executive producer.
Released during the term of the Reagan administration and at the height of Cold War nuclear tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, If You Love This Planet was officially designated as "foreign political propaganda" by the U.S. Department of Justice and suppressed in the United States. The subsequent uproar over that action gave the film a publicity boost ; it went on to win the 1982 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). It appears that the first cinema showing of the film in Britain did not occur until April 2008, when it was screened by the London Socialist Film Co-op.Lonely Boy (film)
Lonely Boy is a 1962 cinéma vérité documentary about the former teen sensation Paul Anka. The film takes its name from Anka's hit song, "Lonely Boy", which he performs to screaming fans in the film. This short documentary makes use of hand-held cameras to record intimate backstage moments.
Co-directed by Roman Kroitor and Wolf Koenig, this National Film Board of Canada production won a Canadian Film Award as top film of the year and was nominated at the BAFTA Awards for its best short film prize.Mario (1984 film)
Mario is a 1984 Quebec drama film, set in the Magdalen Islands, directed by Jean Beaudin and produced by the National Film Board of Canada.Paddle to the Sea
Paddle to the Sea (French: Vogue-à-la-mer) is a 1966 National Film Board of Canada short live-action film directed, shot and edited by Bill Mason, based on the 1941 children's book Paddle-to-the-Sea by American author and illustrator Holling C. Holling. The film follows the adventures of a child's hand-carved toy Indian in a canoe as it makes its way from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, through Canada's waterways. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 40th Academy Awards. Louis Applebaum composed the musical score.Pinscreen animation
Pinscreen animation makes use of a screen filled with movable pins, which can be moved in or out by pressing an object onto the screen. The screen is lit from the side so that the pins cast shadows. The technique has been used to create animated films with a range of textural effects difficult to achieve with any other animation technique, including traditional cel animation.Royal Journey
Royal Journey is a National Film Board of Canada documentary film chronicling a five-week Royal visit by the then-Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Canada and the United States in the fall of 1951. Released in December 1951, Royal Journey is also notable for being the first commercial feature film in Eastmancolor.Royal Journey features sequences from Quebec City, the National War Memorial in Ottawa, CFB Trenton and a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, as well as sequences in Toronto, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.Royal Journey also shows the royal couple crossing the Rocky Mountains by rail and making stops in several small towns. In Vancouver, they board HMCS Crusader in Vancouver and attend native dances in Thunderbird Park. The action then briefly shifts to the U.S., where they are welcomed by President Harry S. Truman. The remainder of the journey includes visits to Montreal, the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, a steel mill in Sydney, Nova Scotia and finally Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.Royal Journey was directed by David Bairstow, Gudrun Parker and Roger Blais and produced by Tom Daly for the NFB. It received a Canadian Film Award for best theatrical feature-length documentary and was named best documentary film of 1952 at the British Academy Film Awards.Special Delivery (1978 film)
Special Delivery (French: Livraison spéciale) is a 1978 animated short film made at the National Film Board of Canada which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film as well as first prize at Animafest Zagreb. It was directed by Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon. An English and a French-language version were released.Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square
Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square (French: Le jour se lève sur la place Tienanmen) is a 1998 National Film Board of Canada short animated documentary directed by Shui-Bo Wang. It is an autobiography about the director's life, career and ultimate disillusionment with The People's Republic of China. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, losing to The Personals.Other honours for the film included the Gemini Award for Best History/Biography Documentary program and the award for Best Short Documentary at Hot Docs.The Danish Poet
The Danish Poet (Norwegian: Den danske dikteren) is a 2006 animated short film written, directed, and animated by Torill Kove and narrated by Liv Ullmann. A co-production of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Mikrofilm AS of Norway, it has won both the Academy Award and Genie Award for best animated short film.The Sand Castle (film)
The Sand Castle (French: Le château de sable) is a 1977 stop motion animated short by Co Hoedeman. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 50th Academy Awards, the film was produced by Gaston Sarault for the National Film Board of Canada. The film was created with sand animation and sand-covered foam rubber puppets. Including its Oscar, the film received over 20 awards in Canada and internationally.The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin
The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin is a 1981 Canadian animated short by Janet Perlman that comically adapts the tale of Cinderella with penguins. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 54th Academy Awards, losing to another animated short from Montreal, Frédéric Back's Crac. The Oscar nomination was the fourth in five years for executive producer Derek Lamb, also Perlman's husband. The film also received a Parents' Choice Award. Perlman adapted her film into the 1992 children's book, Cinderella Penguin, published by Kids Can Press of Toronto.Waterwalker
Waterwalker is a 1984 documentary film by Bill Mason, a Canadian outdoorsman, painter, canoeist and environmentalist, who made many films on the art of canoeing and on the appreciation of nature. Released theatrically in Canada in 1984, it was nominated for a Genie Award for "Best Documentary Feature."
The film follows Mason as he canoes through whitewater rapids and along the coast of Lake Superior. It features a musical score by Bruce Cockburn. It was Mason's last film.