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Biidaaban: First Light

Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett, Jam3 and the National Film Board of Canada
2018 | 6-8 min
Virtual Reality

Selections and Awards

  • Best Immersive Experience Fiction Canadian Screen Awards 2019

  • Official NomineeBanff World Media Festival - Rockie Awards 2019

  • Official NomineeWebby Awards 2019

  • Award Best Interactive WorkimagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival 2018

  • Official Selection New Orleans Film Festival 2018

  • Official selectionRIDM 2018

  • Best Virtual Reality FilmTacoma Film Festival 2018

  • Official SelectionTribeca Film Festival 2018

  • Official SelectionLos Angeles Film Festival 2018

  • Official SelectionMelbourne Film Festival 2018

  • Official SelectionCamden International Film Festival, Rockport and Rockland, Maine, USA (2019)

  • Official Nominee – Best AnimationAmerican Indian Film Institute, San Francisco, California, USA (2019)



About Biidaaban: First Light

Promotional Materials



Credit: Mathew Borrett
Screen grab from Biidaaban: First Light
Screen grab from Biidaaban: First Light
Screen grab from Biidaaban: First Light
Screen grab from Biidaaban: First Light
Screen grab from Biidaaban: First Light


Lisa Jackson
Creative Director and Story by
Photo : Michael Labre

Lisa Jackson

Anishinaabe director Lisa Jackson’s award-winning fiction and documentary films have screened widely at festivals such as Berlin, Hot Docs, SXSW and London BFI. Her work has also aired on many networks in Canada and earned her a Genie Award (Canada’s Oscar®). Lisa’s upcoming projects include an IMAX film and more traditional film and TV work. See more at lisajackson.ca.

Mathew Borrett
3D Artist and Environment Design

Mathew Borrett

Mathew Borrett creates rich environments using digital and traditional media. His work can be seen on film and TV, and recently in virtual reality experiences as well. Mathew’s home city of Toronto often serves as the inspiration for his work.

Designer and Developer
Photo : Dean West


Jam3 is a design and experience agency known for smart, innovative and inspired work. They work closely with their clients to first understand their problems and then solve them in creative ways. From their offices in Toronto, Los Angeles and Montevideo, they team up with forward-thinking brands from around the world.

Their partners include Google, Spotify,Microsoft, Adidas, Facebook, Ford, Sephora, MTV and Disney Pixar. Modesty aside, their diverse work has received global recognition from Cannes to The One Show, and even the Pulitzer Prize. To learn more, visit jam3.com.

Dana Dansereau
Producer (NFB)

Dana Dansereau

Dana Dansereau is an interactive producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio, where he oversees the ideation and production of core projects. Over the years, he has brought to life such innovative works as Circa 1948, Bear71, War of 1812, and Hyperlocal. During his earlier work as creative technologist and technical director at Dare/Cossette, one of Canada’s leading interactive advertising agencies, Dansereau lent his inimitable artistic touch to numerous innovative and award-winning social media projects. His experience in the advertising industry brings a unique perspective to the creation of the NFB’s world-leading interactive storytelling experiences.

Rob McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin is a Canadian producer and journalist most known for his work in digital media. He is currently the Executive Producer and Head of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Director of Digital Content and Strategy at the NFB, where he led the development of the institution’s digital programming strategy and pioneering interactive documentary work, including Welcome to Pine Point and Bear 71. His most recent credits include the VR projects Homestay and Biidaaban: First Light.

 From 2011 to 2015, he was an editor, publisher and senior executive at Canada’s largest newspaper chain, responsible for leading newsroom staff through a time of radical transformation in the newspaper industry. 

Prior to working at the NFB, Rob was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There he focused on developing new forms of audiovisual content designed to attract new audiences for public broadcasting, including the interactive radio service CBC Radio 3. He also served as the CBC’s director of digital programming, responsible for the creative development of digital platforms in the areas of documentaries, arts and entertainment shows for television and network radio programming. 

A former tree planter and fishing guide from small-town Saskatchewan, Rob now lives in North Vancouver with his wife and the world’s two most brilliant girls, aged 10 and 14.


By Lisa Jackson, Mathew Borrett,
Jam3 and the National Film Board of Canada.

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. 

Creative Director and Story by
Lisa Jackson

3D Artist and Environment Design
Mathew Borrett

VR Designer and Developer

Soundscape Design by
Fader Master Sound Studios

Thanksgiving Address adapted by
Jeremy Green

Thanksgiving Address spoken by
Jeremy Green
Kawennakon Bonnie Whitlow
Tehanenhrakhas Green

“Nayendamowin Mitigwaaking” by
Margaret Ann Noodin

Spoken by
Gabe Desrosiers

Wendat spoken by
Andrée Levesque

Wendat Translation
Craig Kopris

Digging Woman
Jeneen Frei Njootli

Digging Woman Shoot
Director of Photography
Vince Arvidson

Paul Dombrovskis

Scot Proudfoot

Mike Southworth

Set Designer
Angelyne Martin

Assistants Set Decorator
Matthew Campbell
Cam Ziegler
Brett Lennan

Min-Jee Mowat

David Tomiak

Online Editor
Ryan Mance

Executive Creative Director
Pablo Vio

Creative Director
Dirk Van Ginkel 

Associate Creative Director
Vinicius Araujo

Executive Producer
Media Ridha

Jason Legge

Technical Directors
Peter Altamirano

Production Coordinator
Erin Ray

Motion Artists
Cyrill Durigon
John Flores

Mike Lamont

Technical Artists
Shaun Larkin

Game Developers
Michael Phan
Luis Guajardo Diaz
Reuben Pereira

Juan Manuel Codó

National Film Board of Canada
Dana Dansereau & Rob McLaughlin

Executive Producer
Rob McLaughlin

Executive Director
Loc Dao

Creative Technologist
Vincent McCurley

Project Manager
Camille Fillion

Studio Administrator
Carla Jones

Production Coordinator
Jasmine Pullukatt

Director of Production and Operations
Janine Steele

Marketing Manager
Tammy Peddle

Marketing Coordinator
Stéphanie Quevillon

Thank you
Zoe Hopkins
Noel Habel
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Gordon Cobb
Jon Ritchie
Michael Price
Kat Cizek
Anthony Wallace
Shaun Nakatsuru
Linda Maness

Biidaaban: First Light was created
in Toronto, on the traditional territories
of the Wendat, the Anishinaabeg,
Haudenosaunee, Métis and the
Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation,
as well as in Vancouver on the unceded
territory of the Coast Salish peoples,
including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm
(Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish),
Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh
(Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

“Nayendamowin Mitigwaaking/Woodland Liberty”
adapted from Weweni by Margaret Noodin.

Copyright © 2015 Wayne State University Press,
with the permission of Wayne State University Press.

Skymap provided by NASA/Goddard
Space Flight Center Scientific
Visualization Studio.

© 2018 National Film Board of Canada

Press Relations

  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the world’s leading digital content hubs, creating groundbreaking interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations and participatory experiences. NFB interactive productions and digital platforms have won over 100 awards, including 21 Webbys. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.