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13 NFB FILMS SCREENING AT THE 2016 MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL. Films by Santiago Bertolino, Zaynê Akyol and Alanis Obomsawin, three documentaries in competition, and a closing film having its world premiere.



October 19, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back this year at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 10 to 20, with a diverse selection of 13 films by talented auteurs. Santiago Bertolino’s Freelancer on the Front Lines (NFB) will have its world premiere as the festival’s closing film. The features Gulîstan, Land of Roses (Périphéria Productions/Mîtosfilm/NFB) by Zaynê Akyol and Angry Inuk (NFB/Unikkaat Studios/EyeSteelFilm) by Alethea Arnanuq-Baril will have their Quebec premieres and screen in competition. Also competing is Philippe David Gagné’s short film Dialogue(s) (NFB/La bande Sonimage). We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, the new NFB-produced documentary by the renowned Alanis Obomsawin, will have its Quebec premiere as a special presentation, and the filmmaker will be taking part in a panel entitled “Indigenous Videographers Shoot Back.”

Three shorts produced or co-produced by the NFB are part of the retrospective “Animating Reality: The Creative Genius of Animation Meets Documentary,” a collaboration between RIDM and the Sommets du cinéma d’animation. A related panel will also be held with NFB executive producer Julie Roy as moderator. The festival’s family screenings will include five excellent NFB animated shorts. In addition, the NFB will be on hand for the professional documentary market Doc Circuit Montreal (running November 12 to 16), take part in several DCM events, and present an award at the Cuban Hat Pitch.

NFB films screening at RIDM

  • Closing film – World premiere

Freelancer on the Front Lines by Santiago Bertolino (Red Square on a Blackboard, 2013, co-directed with Hugo Samson)

This documentary tracks Canadian reporter Jesse Rosenfeld through Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Iraq, exploring the complex world of a freelance journalist working in warzones. Produced at the NFB by Nathalie Cloutier and Denis McCready.

Jesse Rosenfeld will be in Montreal to meet with media from November 16 to 20.

  • Canadian feature competition

Gulîstan, Land of Roses by Zaynê Akyol – Quebec premiere

The film won the coveted Doc Alliance Selection Award as chosen by seven of Europe’s top documentary film festivals.

Female fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) share their revolutionary and feminist ideals as they wage war against the armed militants of the Islamic State group. Produced by Sarah Mannering, Fanny Drew and Yanick Létourneau (Périphéria), Mehmet Aktaş (Mîtosfilm), and Nathalie Cloutier and Denis McCready (NFB).

Angry Inuk by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril – Quebec premiere

Armed with social media, a new generation of Inuit challenge anti-sealing groups and add their voices to the conversation on seal hunting. Produced by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Unikkaat Studios) and Bonnie Thompson (NFB) in association with EyeSteelFilm.

  • Canadian short and medium-length competition

Dialogue(s) by Philippe David Gagné

Air force pilots, a heavy metal band and two fans of modified cars are the unlikely focus of a deadpan film-essay on language. Dialogue(s) was part of the second edition of the 5 Shorts Project, produced by Denis McCready and Colette Loumède (NFB) and Claudia Chabot (La bande Sonimage).

The film is also among the four shorts selected for the RIDM on Flight program, showing from October 1 to November 30 on Air Canada flights.

  • Special presentation

We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice by Alanis Obomsawin – Quebec premiere

The film documents a nine-year legal battle in which Indigenous Canadians took on the Canadian government to secure equal services for their children. Produced at the NFB by Alanis Obomsawin.

Panel: “Indigenous Videographers Shoot Back”

Alanis Obomsawin joins this panel, along with filmmakers Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Isabella Weetaluktuk and others.

  • Retrospective: “Animating Reality: The Creative Genius of Animation Meets Documentary” (presented jointly by RIDM and the Sommets du cinéma d’animation)

The program features three shorts produced or co-produced at the NFB: Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre’s Oscar (MJSTP Films/NFB, 2016), which will have its Montreal premiere; Chris Landreth’s Oscar-winning Ryan (Copperheart Entertainment/NFB, 2004); and Theodore Ushev’s Lipsett Diaries (NFB, 2010), winner of 16 awards around the world.

Panel:Animating Reality”

NFB executive producer Julie Roy moderates a panel on animated documentaries that includes filmmakers Theodore Ushev, Pierre Hébert and Penny Lane.

  • Family screenings

Younger audiences will be treated to an awesome program of shorts: 

Doc Circuit Montreal

  • This major market for documentary filmmakers includes the Cuban Hat Pitch, an event at which the NFB awards a $5,000 prize in technical services through its ACIC program. The initiative provides Canadian filmmakers with collective support for documentary projects. 
  • NFB producers and executive producers take part in the One-on-One Pitches on November 15 (Nathalie Cloutier and Colette Loumède, Annette Clarke and Katherine Baulu, as well as David Oppenheim).
  • Eloi Champagne and David Oppenheim join some of the teams taking part in Kino VR, November 11 to 13, where participants will be creating prototype virtual reality projects.
  • Eloi Champagne also participates in The VR (Anti) Manifesto debate on November 11.
  • On November 15, Lea Nakonechny of NFB Archives takes part in a panel on the use of archives in documentary filmmaking.


Associated Links

Montreal International Documentary Festival – RIDM
Périphéria Productions

Unikkaat Studios
La bande Sonimage
Copperheart Entertainment
Mikrofilm AS
NFB ACIC program

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Media Relations

  • Nadine Viau
    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745

  • Lily Robert
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
    C.: 514-296-8261

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.