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An InformAction/NFB co-production, in association with Majda Films International. Jean-Daniel Lafond’s documentary Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose gets special screening in Toronto in conjunction with Hot Docs. Doc offers personal and sensitive portrait of Michaëlle Jean during her tenure as Governor General of Canada.


April 13, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Jean-Daniel Lafond’s new documentary, Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose, will have a special, one-night-only screening in Toronto, presented with the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, on Friday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m., at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. In this InformAction production (Nathalie Barton), co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (René Chénier) in association with Majda Films International, the filmmaker captures the recent journey of Michaëlle Jean through Canadian society and diplomacy. This personal and sensitive portrait takes us behind the scenes, revealing her growth as a stateswoman. Jean’s appointment as Governor General of Canada was a historic moment. Not only was she the first black woman to occupy Canada’s highest office, she would also redefine the role through her desire to turn it into a space for civic engagement and her focus on cultural diplomacy. The screening will be attended by the director, Michaëlle Jean, Hot Docs president Chris McDonald, and Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur. A post-screening Q&A will be hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti (CBC Radio’s The Current) with Jean-Daniel Lafond and Michaëlle Jean.

Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose will also be available to the public on various TV and Web platforms: broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé and TV5 Monde, accessible online as of May 8 at NFB.ca (in English) as well as ONF.ca and ICI Tou.tv (in French), and distributed in community, institutional and educational networks across Canada.

About the film

On September 27, 2005, Michaëlle Jean became Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. As a woman actively involved in social issues and a citizen of the world, Jean quickly made her convictions clear—using the arts as a tool for social change, encouraging the voices of people in excluded and marginalized communities, defending the rights of women and Indigenous people, and bringing a message of hope to people in the 40 or so countries she visited during her mandate, and in regions as disparate as the Far North and Africa. While in office, Jean was also deeply affected personally by the 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti—the land where she was born and has deep roots—during the last year of her term. Filmed behind the scenes and at the heart of the action by her husband, Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose is a personal portrait that captures Jean’s perspectives on the world.

About the director

Taking a poetic, provocative, and thoughtful look at the destinies of individuals and peoples, director and writer Jean-Daniel Lafond has made over 15 films, including Tropique Nord (TV5 award for best French-language documentary), Haïti dans tous nos rêves (best political film award, Hot Docs), Salam Iran: A Persian Letter (best documentary film award, Gémeaux), and Madwoman of God, his first fictional film, inspired by the writings of Marie of the Incarnation. Lafond is the co-founder of the Montreal International Documentary Festival and the Observatoire canadien du documentaire (Canadian Documentary Network). His latest film, Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose, is about the extraordinary adventure he shared with his wife during her term as Governor General of Canada.


Associated Links

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Michaëlle Jean
ICI Radio-Canada Télé
TV5 Monde

ICI Tou.tv

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  • 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.