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Eight powerful NFB titles at AIFF 2023 spotlight diverse stories from coast to coast—including three films from Newfoundland and Labrador


World premieres of Heather Campbell’s short doc Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher,
feature documentaries A Quiet Girl by Adrian Wills and Stolen Time by Helene Klodawsky,
and Ryo Orikasa’s animated short Miserable Miracle

August 16, 2023 – Halifax – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will bring eight heart-felt, profound and eye-opening documentaries and animated films to festival goers at the 2023 Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) in Halifax—including three deeply personal stories from Newfoundland and Labrador.

From honouring a legendary trailblazer, to fighting for justice that puts seniors first, to tracing a life back to one’s birth mother, the eight films screening at AIFF (September 14 to 21) are packed with stories that will move you, show you something new, validate our innate desire to connect with those we love, and much more.

The selection includes four world premieres, three of them from the Quebec & Atlantic Studio:

  • Adrian Wills’ transformative feature-length documentary A Quiet Girl;
  • Helene Klodawsky’s riveting NFB/Intuitive Pictures feature documentary Stolen Time;
  • Heather Campbell’s short doc Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher, the latest from the Labrador Documentary Project, which works with first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers to create and distribute Inuit stories from Inuit perspectives.

AIFF is also presenting the world premiere of Ryo Orikasa’s Miyu Productions/NFB/New Deer co-produced animated short Miserable Miracle.

All screenings will take place at the Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane in downtown Halifax.

World premieres

A Quiet Girl by Adrian Wills (86 min)
Documentary Program | Tuesday, September 19, 7 p.m. | Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker

Produced by Annette Clarke and Rohan Fernando for the Quebec & Atlantic Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/a-quiet-girl

  • When filmmaker Adrian Wills sets out to discover the story behind his adoption, his voyage reveals startling truths he could never have imagined, and shocking details he had tried to forget.
  • Wills is an award-winning director, series co-creator and showrunner. A Quiet Girl is his first film with the NFB and his most personal one yet.

Stolen Time by Helene Klodawsky (85 min)
Documentary Program | Monday, September 18, 8:30 p.m. | Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker; Oscar-nominated producer Ina Fichman (Fire of Love) in attendance

Produced by Ina Fichman for Intuitive Pictures inc.; Ariel Nasr for the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/stolentime

  • Charismatic elder rights lawyer Melissa Miller and hundreds of aggrieved families take on the corporate for-profit nursing-home industry—an industry notorious for its lack of transparency and accountability.
  • Helene Klodawsky has explored the documentary art form for over 35 years. The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Hot Docs and the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois are among the many festivals that have honoured her work.

Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher by Heather Campbell (15 min)
Shorts Program 3 | Sunday, September 17, 4 p.m. | Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker

Produced by Rohan Fernando, Kat Baulu and Latonia Hartery. An initiative of the Quebec & Atlantic Studio’s Labrador Documentary Project to amplify first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/misscampbell-inukteacher

  • Part oral history and part visual poem,Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher is the story of Evelyn Campbell, a trailblazer for an Inuit-led educational system in the small community of Rigolet, Labrador.
  • Originally from Rigolet, Heather Campbell is a well-known Inuk artist whose work has been featured in collections at the Canadian Museum of History, the City of Ottawa, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Miserable Miracle by Ryo Orikasa (8 min)
Shorts Program 3 | Sunday, September 17, 4 p.m.

Produced by Emmanuel-Alain Raynal and Pierre Baussaron for Miyu Productions; Jelena Popović, Robert McLaughlin and Michael Fukushima for the NFB; Nobuaki Doi for New Deer; with the support of CNC & the Ciclic Animation Residency.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/miserable-miracle

  • Inspired by Henri Michaux’s poems and drawings about his experiences with mescaline, Miserable Miracleexplores the limits of language and perception, creating connections between sound, meaning, shapes and movement.
  • Born in Ibaraki, Japan, and now based in Tokyo, Orikasa first came to prominence in 2015 with Datum Point, winner of the Golden Zagreb at Animafest Zagreb and Best Experimental or Abstract Animation Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

AIFF premieres

Aphasia by Marielle Dalpé (3 min 45 s)
Shorts Program 1 | Friday, September 15, 5 p.m.

Produced by Marc Bertrand for the NFB French Program Animation Studio.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/aphasia

  • Aphasiais an unsettling sensory experience that immerses us in the world of people with Alzheimer’s disease who are facing the loss of their language capabilities.
  • A former NSCAD student, Dalpé is a graduate of Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema who was a finalist in the 2017 edition of the NFB’s Cinéaste recherché(e) contest.

Hebron Relocation by Holly Andersen (15 min)
Reel East Coast Shorts Gala | Sunday, September 17, 7 p.m.

Produced by Latonia Hartery, Kat Baulu and Rohan Fernando. An initiative of the Quebec & Atlantic Studio’s Labrador Documentary Project to amplify first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/hebronrelocation

  • In Hebron Relocation,Holly Andersen explores what makes a place a home as she learns more about her community’s connection to generations of displaced northern Labrador Inuit.
  • Andersen is a filmmaker and photographer from the community of Makkovik, Nunatsiavut. Her practice focuses on her life there with friends, family and community members, and the beauty of northern landscapes and wildlife.

Modern Goose by Karsten Wall (23 min)
Shorts Program 2 | Saturday, September 16, 3:15 p.m.

Produced by Alicia Smith and executive produced by David Christensen for the North West Studio.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/moderngoose

  • This exquisitely observed film flips the usual nature-film perspective to offer a deeper message of continuity and connection.
  • Wall is a Winnipeg-based editor and filmmaker whose first directorial credit, The Seven Wonders of Manitoba, won a Golden Sheaf Award at the 2020 Yorkton Film Festival.

Two Apples by Bahram Javahery (9 min 21 s)
Shorts Program 7 | Wednesday, September 20, 8:15 p.m.

Produced by Teri Snelgrove and Shirley Vercruysse for the BC & Yukon Studio.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/twoapples

  • When a young woman leaves her homeland, she takes a single memento from her past: a ripe apple studded with fragrant cloves infused with love, longing and the tender perfume of hope.
  • Born in the Kurdistan Province in Iran and now based in Coquitlam, BC, Javahery directed the award-winning animated short The Flower, the Bird and the Sun (2001).

NFB industry events

The NFB will host two activities for filmmakers and industry creatives during the festival.

  • On September 17 at 3 p.m., the NFB’s Distribution, Communications and Marketing team will offer a presentation on film distribution at the Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, in partnership with the AIFF.
  • September 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. is the NFB Open House at its studio in downtown Halifax (5475 Spring Garden Road, suite 201). All are welcome, no RSVP needed.

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Related Products

Electronic Press Kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-nfb-at-aiff-2023

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • 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.