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Four NFB productions and co-productions at FICFA 2020. Renée Blanchar’s doc Le silence having its world premiere as FICFA opening film. Monique LeBlanc’s feature Plus haut que les flammes getting its big screen debut in New Brunswick.


November 3, 2020 – Moncton – National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back in full force at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA) with four productions and co-productions. Opening the festival is Le silence (The Silence, Ça Tourne Productions/NFB), the latest feature documentary by Acadian filmmaker Renée Blanchar, making its world premiere simultaneously online and in a theatre. Monique LeBlanc’s poetic feature Plus haut que les flammes (Higher Than Flames Will Go, NFB) will be shown for the first time on the big screen in New Brunswick, at an in-person event. Also in the lineup are two animated shorts that made waves on the international festival circuit: Andreas Hykade’s Altötting (Studio Film Bilder/NFB/Ciclope Filmes) and Jean-François Lévesque’s Moi, Barnabé (I, Barnabé, NFB). These films sensitively probe a wide range of subjects, from the vital responsibility of raising children, to religion and its institutions as seen from different angles, and from the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests to spiritual challenges and existential crises. FICFA takes place online and in the Greater Moncton region from November 12 to 20, 2020. For all the details and to access the films, visit https://www.ficfa.com/billetterie.

Quick facts

Competition – Best Acadian Medium-length or Feature Film

Le silence (The Silence) by Renée Blanchar (1 h 46 min) – World Premiere and Opening Film
Co-produced by Ça Tourne Productions and the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Moncton, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/the-silence

  • Documenting the scandalous sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priests in New Brunswick, Acadian filmmaker Renée Blanchar reveals the deep roots of the collective silence that paralyzed the affected communities for so many years.
  • The film’s world premiere screening will take place online and at a physical venue on Thursday, November 12, at 8 p.m. The in-person screening will be held in two theatres at the Dieppe Cineplex.
  • On Friday, November 13, the day after its premiere at FICFA, Le silence will be released at Cinéma du Centre de Caraquet and Cinéma Péninsule in Tracadie. Other New Brunswick cities will be added later.

In-person event

Plus haut que les flammes (Higher Than Flames Will Go) by Monique LeBlanc (104 min) – New Brunswick big screen premier
Produced by the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Moncton.
Press kit : mediaspace.nfb.ca/higher-than-flames-will-go

  • A true cinematic tour de force, this auteur essay film is an adaptation of Plus haut que les flammes, Louise Dupré’s 2011 Governor General’s Award-winning book of poetry. A moving meditation on the vital importance of taking care of our children—a task that remains essential to humanity’s survival.
  • There will be an in-person screening of the film at 7 p.m. on November 15 at the Dieppe Cineplex, attended by filmmaker Monique LeBlanc and Christine Aubé, recently confirmed as permanently taking on the role of producer at the Canadian Francophonie Studio in Moncton. The screening will be followed by a Q&A in partnership with the Frye Festival, led by the literary event’s executive director, Émilie Turmel.

Animated shorts

Altötting by Andreas Hykade (11 min)
Co-produced by Studio Film Bilder, the NFB and Ciclope Filmes.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/altotting

  • “You know, when I was a boy, I fell in love with the Virgin Mary. It happened in a little Bavarian town called Altötting.” A mesmerizing, haunting and deeply personal coming-of-age story about love, faith, mortality and shattered illusions.
  • This animated short had its world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and has since screened at other festivals worldwide, including Ottawa.

Moi, Barnabé (I, Barnabé) by Jean-François Lévesque (15 min)
Produced by the NFB with the participation of ARTE France.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/i-barnabe

  • I, Barnabé takes a luminous look at a desperate man’s existential crisis. During a night of stormy drunkenness, he receives a visit from a mysterious bird and is forced to reconsider his life.
  • Jean-François Lévesque won the NFB French Animation Studio’s 17th Cinéaste recherché(e) competition. The resulting creative residency allowed him to complete The Necktie (2008), which went on to win some 15 awards in Canada and abroad. He continues the exploration of hybrid animation techniques in I, Barnabé, which had its world premiere at Annecy, won an award in Ottawa and has been selected to screen at 10 festivals around the world.

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Associated Links

Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie
Ça Tourne Productions
Studio Film Bilder
Ciclope Filmes
ARTE France

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • Madeleine Blanchard
    Publicist for the NFB

  • Lily Robert
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
    C.: 514-296-8261

  • 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.