April 5, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose, a new documentary by Jean-Daniel Lafond, will have its French launch at the Vues d’Afrique International Film Festival in Montreal (April 21), Ottawa (April 22) and Quebec City (April 23), and its English launch in Toronto (April 22) in conjunction with the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, with the director, Michaëlle Jean and other guests in attendance. 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 shows the recent journey of Michaëlle Jean, his wife, through Canadian society and diplomacy. This intimate and sensitive portrait takes us behind the scenes, revealing her growth as a stateswoman.
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 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.
- Premiere and other screenings at the Vues d’Afrique Festival
World premiere in Montreal (public screening), Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the main theatre at the Cinémathèque québécoise, with Jean-Daniel Lafond, Michaëlle Jean and Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB Claude Joli-Coeur in attendance. There will be a second screening at 8:30 p.m. at the same venue.
Ottawa screening, Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at La Nouvelle Scène.
Quebec City screening, Saturday, April 23, at 7:00 p.m. at the Musée de la civilisation, with Jean-Daniel Lafond, Michaëlle Jean and Claude Joli-Coeur in attendance.
- Screening in conjunction with Hot Docs
Toronto, Friday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m., Bloor Cinema, with Jean-Daniel Lafond, Michaëlle Jean, Hot Docs Director of Programming Shane Smith, and Claude Joli-Coeur in attendance. Presented by CBC Radio’s Anna Maria Tremonti.
The film will be broadcast throughout Canada on ICI Radio-Canada Télé on Saturday, May 7, at 9 p.m. on the 1001 vies program (in French).
It will be broadcast on TV5 Monde before the end of 2016.
Starting May 8, the film will be accessible throughout the country, online, for free at NFB.ca (in English) as well as ONF.ca and ICI Tou.tv (in French).
The documentary will be distributed this fall by the NFB and its partners in Canada’s educational, community and institutional networks.
About the film
On September 27, 2005, Michaëlle Jean became Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. It 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 civic space and her focus on cultural diplomacy. As a woman actively engaged 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 an intimate portrait, showing Jean’s own perspectives.
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.
Vues d’Afrique International Film Festival
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
ICI Radio-Canada Télé
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca