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Canadian lockdown stories unlocked—40 NFB creators give a voice to millions. NFB presents The Curve: a pan-Canadian perspective on COVID-19, launching August 24 with three short docs.


(Image from the K’i Tah Amongst the Birch project provided by the NFB)

August 24, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

A living document of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Film Board of Canada’s online project The Curve begins its official launch today with three short documentaries from the NFB’s North West Studio: Kristin Catherwood’s In the Garden on the Farm, Melaw Nakehk’o’s K’i Tah Amongst the Birch and Galen Johnson’s Thursday.

The Curve- Lockdown stories unlocked

The Curve will feature the talents of 40 creators and filmmakers, giving a voice to millions whose lives have been touched by COVID-19. From east to west and far into the North, 30 works will present pan-Canadian perspectives on what it’s like to navigate one’s way through this unprecedented time. Utilizing animation, documentary and digital storytelling formats, The Curve is being produced by the NFB’s English and French-language studios across the country.

The August 24 launch marks the start of a roll-out of online works at The Curve, through the summer and into the fall—a unique destination for social distancing stories that bring us closer together.

New releases on The Curve:

  • In the Garden on the Farm (8:38 min)

As social distancing measures set in during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristin Catherwood moved back to her family’s farm to stay with her widowed father. Spring brings the usual urgency to plant the year’s crops, and Kristin starts thinking about planting her vegetable garden, a garden that brings deep memories of her mother and grandmothers. In the Garden on the Farm is produced by Jon Montes.

Kristin Catherwood was raised on a century family farm and currently lives between Ceylon, Saskatchewan, and Radville in Treaty Four Territory. She holds an MA in Folklore from Memorial University and is dedicated to telling the stories of the prairie landscape that has shaped her life. Kristin’s writing can be seen on fromthegap.com, and she previously worked as social-media coordinator on the NFB’s The Grasslands Project. Her earlier films include Lift, Spur and Ride.

  • K’i Tah Amongst the Birch (10 min)

Filmmaker/activist Melaw Nakehk’o has spent the pandemic with her family at a remote land camp in the Northwest Territories, “getting wood, listening to the wind, staying warm and dry, and watching the sun move across the sky.” In documenting camp life—activities like making fish leather and scraping moose hide—she anchors the COVID experience in a specific time and place. K’i Tah Amongst the Birch is produced by Coty Savard.

Melaw Nakehk’o is a Dene/Dënesųłiné artist based out of Yellowknife, NT. She’s had a distinguished career as an artist, community leader and actor, and is recognized for her exemplary work in reviving and teaching moose hide tanning techniques. This work has initiated a resurgence of the practice, shaping a broader community-building movement within Canada (#revolutionmoosehide.) She is a Founding Member of Dene Nahjo.

  • Thursday (14 min)

Filming from his high-rise apartment during the COVID-19 lockdown in Winnipeg, director Galen Johnson captured people going about their daily routines in the eerily empty streets, yards, parking lots, balconies and riverbanks. The extreme distance and the diminutive scale of humans is paired with sound close-ups—a combination that embodies the strange, heightened intensity of feeling of the time, knowing an era-defining tragedy is happening yet being so physically removed. Thursday is produced by Alicia Smith.

Galen Johnson is an artist and filmmaker from Winnipeg, Canada. After graduating from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture, he was a graphic designer and illustrator for a number of years before acting as production designer, composer, co-editor and co-director of numerous Guy Maddin films, including the NFB co-productions The Forbidden Room (2015) and the interactive Seances (2016).

Previously launched on The Curve:

These three new works join two already online: 60 Day Cycle, directed by Colin Jones and Darcy Wittenburg, and Parenthèse, a collaborative Instagram project by artists from the world of animation and illustration.

Coming soon:

Launching soon on The Curve: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow directed by Laura Cortes, Alexandra Hook, Mel Eshaghbeigi and Jam3, a co-production of the NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver and design and experience agency Jam3.

Follow us!

Follow #TheCurveNFB #LaCourbeONF to learn more about The Curve’s creators and get news and sneak peeks of upcoming works.

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Related Products

Promotional clip: Bundle 1, The Curve

French version here | Version française ici.

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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.