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Available Light Film Festival presents five powerful NFB docs


January 11, 2024 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The 2024 Available Light Film Festival in Whitehorse is featuring five films by National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creators from February 8 through 18—a selection of powerful and deeply personal feature-length and short documentaries.

The festival will present the Yukon premieres of two feature docs:

  • WaaPaKe (Tomorrow), directed by British Columbia filmmaker Jules Arita Koostachin, named Best BC Film at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival;
  • A Quiet Girlby Montreal director Adrian Wills.

The festival is also screening three short docs from the NFB:

  • Alberta filmmaker Leanne Allison’s Losing Blue, recently named Best Canadian Short Film at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival in Toronto;
  • Holly Andersen’s Hebron Relocation and Heather Campbell’s Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher, produced through the Labrador Doc Project, an NFB initiative to amplify the work of first-time Labrador Inuit filmmakers.

Feature-length documentaries

WaaPaKe (Tomorrow) by Jules Arita Koostachin (80 min)
Produced by Teri Snelgrove and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/waapake

  • For generations, the suffering of residential school Survivors has radiated outward, impacting Indigenous families and communities. Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin’s deeply personal documentary moves beyond intergenerational trauma, with an invitation to unravel the tangled threads of silence and unite in collective freedom and power.
  • Film subjects include Whitehorse resident Maisie Smith, a member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, a self-governing First Nation with Traditional Territories in Yukon and northern BC.
  • Jules Arita Koostachin (Attawapiskat) is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, performance artist and academic. She holds a Ph.D. in Indigenous documentary and protocols and processes, through UBC’s Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.

A Quiet Girl by Adrian Wills (86 min)
Produced by Annette Clarke and executive produced by Annette Clarke, John Christou and Rohan Fernando for the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/a-quiet-girl

  • Adopted Montreal filmmaker Adrian Wills discovers, on camera and in real time, the startling truths of his complex beginnings in Newfoundland. In this moving feature documentary, Wills’ voyage transforms from an urgent search for identity into a quest to give a quiet girl her voice.
  • 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.

Short docs

Losing Blue by Leanne Allison (16 min)
Produced and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/losing-blue

  • Losing Blue is a cinematic poem about what it means to lose the otherworldly blues of ancient mountain lakes, now fading due to climate change.
  • Alberta filmmaker Leanne Allison is best-known for her award-winning feature-length NFB documentaries Being Caribou (2004) and Finding Farley (2009), and the trailblazing 2012 NFB interactive documentary Bear 71.

Hebron Relocation by Holly Andersen (15 min)
Produced by Latonia Hartery, Kat Baulu and Rohan Fernando
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/hebronrelocation

  • In Hebron RelocationHolly 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.

Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher by Heather Campbell (15 min)
Produced by Rohan Fernando, Kat Baulu and Latonia Hartery
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.

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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.