August 21, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The 50th film from Alanis Obomsawin in the 50th year of her legendary filmmaking career, a powerful look by first-time director Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman at how healing can happen when men take responsibility for their domestic abuse, and a musical documentary from Marie Clements connecting key moments in the history of First Nations activism—the National Film Board of Canada lineup at the Atlantic Film Festival (September 14–21, 2017) features stories that touch us and inspire, and help to change us as individuals and as a country.
Our People Will Be Healed, Alanis Obomsawin
Wednesday, September 20 at 1:30 p.m., Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane 5
Our People Will Be Healed is the latest feature documentary by distinguished Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin. The film takes audiences inside the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre, an innovative N-12 school in the remote Cree community of Norway House, 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg, whose educators and programs are helping First Nations children to learn and thrive, growing up strong and proud. The school’s name honours a young woman from Norway House whose notorious 1971 murder was left ignored and unsolved for 16 long years, with the film providing a sobering look at the painful history endured by Cree people in northern Manitoba. But in her 50th film, Obomsawin offers a tremendously hopeful vision for First Nations peoples, showing us how improved education can save lives and change the future for Indigenous youth.
Our People Will Be Healed is the latest in a cycle of films that began with her 2012 Donald Brittain Award-winning The People of the Kattawapiskak River and continued with Hi-Ho Mistahey! (2013), Trick or Treaty? (2014) and We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (2016). It will also continue with Obomsawin’s 51st film, Jordan’s Principle (working title), now underway.
A Better Man, Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman
Tuesday, September 19 at 1:30 p.m., Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane 2
Attiya Khan makes her directorial debut alongside co-director Lawrence Jackman with A Better Man (Intervention Productions/NFB). Twenty-two years ago, she was an 18-year-old who feared for her life―fleeing her ex-boyfriend Steve, who’d been abusing her on a daily basis. Now, all these years later, Attiya wanted to know how he remembers their relationship and whether he’s willing to take responsibility for his actions. Their emotionally raw first meeting, filmed by Attiya with Steve’s consent, is the starting point for a fresh and nuanced look at how healing can happen when men take responsibility for the abuse they inflict. A Better Man is produced by Christine Kleckner for Intervention Productions and Justine Pimlott for the NFB’s Ontario Studio, based in Toronto. The executive producers are Sarah Polley, Kathy Avrich-Johnson and Janice Dawe. The NFB executive producer for A Better Man is Anita Lee. Jane Jankovic is the executive producer for TVO.
The Road Forward, Marie Clements
Monday, September 18 at 1:30 p.m., Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane 5
Marie Clements’ The Road Forward is an electrifying musical documentary that connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with First Nations activism today. Clements shows how a tiny movement, the Native Brotherhood and Native Sisterhood, became a powerful voice for social, political and legal advocacy, eventually effecting profound change at the national level. The Road Forward’s stunningly shot musical sequences, performed by an ensemble of some of Canada’s finest vocalists and musicians, seamlessly connect past and present with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats. The film is produced and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the NFB’s BC & Yukon Studio in Vancouver.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: A Better Man | The Road Forward
Atlantic Film Festival