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What does the future of human memory and the transmission of knowledge look like in an increasingly virtual world? Oana Suteu Khintirian’s NFB doc Au-delà du papier (Beyond Paper) opens in Montreal and Quebec City on April 7


March 14, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Oana Suteu Khintirian’s NFB-produced feature doc Au-delà du papier (Beyond Paper) will open on April 7 at the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montreal and at Cinéma Le Clap Place Ste-Foy in Quebec City. In this visually arresting film, the director journeys around the globe to better understand how she can preserve her own heritage, as well as our collective memory. Screening with French subtitles, Au-delà du papier grapples with essential questions at a critical moment in the history of the written word, as humanity’s archives migrate to the cloud.

The film—whose poster was created by renowned animation filmmaker Theodore Ushev—will have its world premiere on March 15 at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal before screening at the FIFA in Quebec City on March 16. In Montreal, the Cinémathèque Québécoise screenings on Friday, April 7, Sunday, April 9 and Monday, April 10, will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

About the film

  • Au-delà du papier (Beyond Paper) by Oana Suteu Khintirian (130 min)
    Producer: Nathalie Cloutier for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie & Acadian Documentary Studio
    Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/beyond-paper

    In the age of the virtual revolution, how can we grasp the impact of the ongoing abandonment of books on thought and learning? What’s the future of our individual and collective memories? In this personal quest with universal resonance, the filmmaker embarks on a journey to understand how to preserve her cultural history, both Armenian and Romanian, and share it with her son. From the fragile grain of centuries-old manuscripts to blinking servers in digital libraries, the film takes us around the world and introduces us to “guides” such as Maria Sebregondi, president of the Moleskine Foundation, who speculates on the possibilities of “augmented paper;” Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, who describes the massive web library as “fabulous and terrible;” Maria Kodama, widow of Jorge Luis Borges and president of the Borges Foundation, who brings to life the words of the Argentinian writer, breathing contemporary meaning into them. Filmed in locations including a “city of libraries” in the midst of the Mauritanian desert and El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires (one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world), as well as in Bucharest, Montreal, San Francisco, Milan and Copenhagen, Au-delà du papier (Beyond Paper) blends reflection and emotion, reminding us that human knowledge is above all an affair of the soul and the spirit.

About the filmmaker

Oana Suteu Khintirian is a director and media artist of Romanian-Armenian origin who has lived in Montreal since 1995. She studied filmmaking, and over the last 20 years her dance films and documentaries, including Point de fuite, Passare and Flow, have won awards at numerous international festivals. In addition to her work as a director, Oana has created installations and immersive environments shown at museums and galleries around the world, and edited many documentaries and animated films. Au-delà du papier (Beyond Paper) is the first feature-length documentary she’s directed.

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French version here | Version française ici.

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  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.