October 3, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
A world leader in film and digital production by women and committed to doing more, the National Film Board of Canada will be represented at the 2017 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (Oct. 18–22) with two new feature-length documentaries and two acclaimed animated shorts—showcasing the richness and diversity of NFB films by women.
A Better Man is a powerful feature doc by first-time director Attiya Khan and Lawrence Jackman that explores how healing can happen when men take responsibility for domestic abuse, while Tess Girard’s As the Crow Flies follows a group of Royal Canadian Air Cadets as they get their chance to participate in an elite flight-training camp.
The festival is also presenting award-winning short animation, with Diane Obomsawin’s I Like Girls and
Eva Cvijanović’s Hedgehog’s Home.
Following its announcement in 2016 that by 2019, 50 percent of its productions will be directed by women and 50 percent of all production spending will be allocated to films directed by women, the NFB introduced a new set of goals on International Women’s Day 2017. The NFB is now committed to achieving gender parity (50 percent) in key creative positions for animated, documentary and interactive works in production as of 2020.
A Better Man
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. 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.
As the Crow Flies – WORLD PREMIERE
Every summer, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets offers its top cadets the chance to participate in an elite flight-training camp. As the Crow Flies follows a group of these young men and women as they undergo seven weeks of training to get their pilot’s license in an intense program that normally takes six to eight months. Casting an especially affectionate and empathetic eye on her female subjects, award-winning filmmaker Tess Girard—herself a graduate of the program—creates a unique and intimate portrait of an extraordinary, yet also very recognizable, group of 17-year-olds as they come of age. As the Crow Flies is produced by Lea Martin and executive produced by Anita Lee for the NFB’s Ontario Studio.
I Like Girls
Montreal cartoonist and animator Diane Obomsawin, a.k.a. Obom, adapts her latest graphic novel for the screen, using endearing anthropomorphic figures to tell real-life stories of first love in I Like Girls. Winner of five awards to date, including the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, this eight-minute film was produced by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer for the NFB’s French Animation Studio.
Winner of 15 international awards to date, including the Young Audiences Public Prize at Annecy, Eva Cvijanović’s Hedgehog’s Home is a sumptuous and delicately choreographed stop-motion fable that revives the timeless and timely notion of cultivating our own place of safety, dignity and comfort, no matter how big or small. This international co-production is produced by Jelena Popović (NFB) and Vanja Andrijević (Bonobostudio, Croatia), with Michael Fukushima as executive producer.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: A Better Man | As the Crow Flies | Hedgehog’s Home | I Like Girls
St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
NFB’s commitment to Parity 2017 – NFB blog