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NFB.CA - News

There is always something happening at the NFB.


Atlantic Film Festival awards

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 05:00:00 -0000

The NFB congratulates Atlantic Film Festival winners

Good Morning Kandahar by Arial Nasr (NFB's Reel Diversity project)

Producer: Annette Clarke
Executive producer: Kent Martin

David Christensen won for Best Music Score

Passage by John Walker

Producers: Andrea Nemtin (PTV Productions Inc.), John Walker (John Walker Productions Ltd.), Kent Martin (NFB)

John Walker won for Best Director
Kent Nason and Nigel Markham won for Best Cinematography


Ottawa 08 International Animation Festival awards

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 05:00:00 -0000

Three films pick up awards and honours at the Ottawa 08 International Animation Festival.

Drux Flux by Theodore Ushev

Producer: Marc Bertrand
Executive producer: René Chénier

Canadian Film institute Award for Best Canadian Animation
Mention in Experimental Animation category

L'hiver de Léon by Pascal Le Nôtre and Pierre-Luc Granjon

Producers: Pascal le Nôtre (Folimage), Marie-Josée Corbeil, Christine Côté (Divertissement Subséquence), Marc Bertrand, René Chénier (NFB)

Best Animation: Kids Competition

People from the Dark Years - Bates by John Halfpenny and Steven Silver

Co-producers: Laszlo Barna (Barna-Alper Production) and Gerry Flahive (NFB)

Best Television Animation for Adults

Hungu wins two awards at prestigious Palm Springs ShortFest

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 05:00:00 -0000

The short animated film Hungu, directed by Nicolas Breault, is back from the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market held August 21 to 27 in California with two awards:

First Place for the Best Animated Short Jury Award - with a $2,000 prize
Honorable mention for the Future Filmmaker Award

Hungu takes its title from the name of an African musical instrument and combines 2D with sand animation in an elegant tale of death and resurrection. Inspired by the grace and raw beauty of African rock paintings, Brault applies his narrative gifts to a world where humans and nature are subtly linked. Hungu was produced by the NFB by Michèle Bélanger and Julie Roy.

Why Documentaries Matter - Doc Summit 2008

Tue, 13 May 2008 05:00:00 -0000

Why Documentaries MatterA Talk by Tom PerlmutterDelivered to the NFB Hot Docs Doc SummitApril 25, 2008Welcome to the 5th annual Hot Docs NFB Doc Summit. Today various presenters will speak about important policy issues that affect the structure and methods by which documentaries are produced. The subjects include terms of trade, C-10 and equity. This kind of debate is certainly vital to maintain a vibrant documentary culture. But I want to take a few minutes to step back - and give a context for why we should even care about such things. I want to talk today about why documentaries matter.This may seem self-evident given the enduring popularity of the form and the important window on the world that documentaries have revealed to audiences globally. Over the last fifteen years there has been a veritable explosion of specialty channels built on various forms of documentary and factual programming-Discovery Channel, Canal D, History Television, the Documentary Channel. Documentary has become an accepted, if still niche, part of the feature film world. The remarkable success of this festival is testimony enough to the vitality of the documentary. But sometimes what is most obvious needs to be the most questioned. Popularity does not necessarily mean that something matters. I do believe documentaries matter, and I believe they matter for reasons that are not so self-evident. I want to look at a particular kind of documentary and make an argument for why it is the beating heart of what the form is about. This is the visionary documentary, the documentary as cinema, the documentary created by an auteur filmmaker who has rendered the real into image by force and virtue of the imagination.It is the kind of work that we aspire to at the NFB and that we deliver when we are at our best. Its roots lie in the Griersonian injunction to use "art as a hammer," an art that is a creative engagement with actuality.The actuality that I am speaking about is not the news or current affairs programming like The Fifth Estate that may sometimes call their work documentaries. Their intent is to inform, to uncover what may be hidden, to determine the facts of the case, whatever they may be. The facts are what remain important at all times. The facts take precedence over narrative, over emotional appeal, over the characters represented in the piece even though all of these elements in various proportions may be important in how the work is presented.The actuality that I am speaking about is also different from what is now commonly called "factual entertainment" like Survivor, Project Runway, Big Brother or The Biggest Loser. These are a particular mix of game show and soaps whose intent is fundamentally melodramatic. They lack the reportorial factuality of current affairs or the sub-text and resonance of the documentary. Let me be clear that I am not in any way denigrating the form. These are great inventive genres of popular culture and a necessary part of how living cultures are formed and remain dynamic.But if that is all that we had-the factual and the melodramatic-we would as a society feel, even if we couldn't name it, a profound sense of absence. We would feel that something was missing. We might even feel, in some indefinable way, that we had been cheated. The lack would be a very real one: it would be the absence of meaning.The actuality that I am speaking about-the documentary as a work fully informed by the point of view of a creator, a filmmaker-is driven by meaning. At its heart is a moral point of view about the sanctity of the individual human being and the significance of the just life in human society. Politically, it can cover the spectrum from right to the left, but they will share this unbending commitment to meaning.The documentarian "bears witness." To bear witness is to see and to name. This is not a simple kind of seeing and naming. This is not the seeing and naming of the reading primer: Look, Jane, look. S[...]