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The NFB at the REGARD Festival. Four short films in competition, including the world premiere of Audrey Nantel-Gagnon’s Fire-Jo Ball and the Canadian premiere of Janice Nadeau’s Harvey.


March 1, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Always on the cutting edge of creativity, the National Film Board will be at the REGARD Festival in Saguenay from March 22 to 26, with eight short docs and animated films made by NFB studios across Canada, exploring an array of subjects in a range of styles. The lineup includes the world premiere of Fire-Jo Ball by filmmaker Audrey Nantel-Gagnon, about a 57-year-old bartender with big dreams, and the Canadian premiere of Janice Nadeau’s Harvey (NFB/Folimage), which screened at Clermont-Ferrand and was inspired by the eponymous graphic novel by Saguenay writer Hervé Bouchard about a child’s grief.

Quick facts

  • Official competition: Fire-Jo Ball by Audrey Nantel-Gagnon, presented as a world premiere, and The Flying Sailor (Le matelot volant) by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, which is up for an Oscar this year.
  • Youth competition: Harvey by Janice Nadeau, having its Canadian premiere, and Magical CaressesMasturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo by Lori Malépart-Traversy.
  • “Territoires” section: Heartbeat of a Nation (Le cœur battant d’une nation) by Éric Janvier.
  • Festival Présence autochtone’s carte blanche selection: Mobilize (Mobiliser) by Caroline Monnet, Florent Vollant: I Dream in Innu (Florent Vollant: Je rêve en innu) by Nicolas Renaud, and Now Is the Time (Maintenant plus que jamais) by Christopher Auchter.

Official competition

Fire-Jo Ball, Audrey Nantel-Gagnon (15 minutes) – WORLD PREMIERE
Producer: Nathalie Cloutier for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie & Acadian Documentary Studio
Press kit : To come soon

Jo-Ann, a 57-year-old bartender, wants to be a singer and actress. Oscillating between spectacular and intimate, between extra and ordinary, Jo-Ann uses her daily life to stage her dream role. At the crossroads of genres, Fire-Jo Ball paints the portrait of a woman who loves all things rosy even if her life isn’t always so.

The Flying Sailor (Le matelot volant), Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis (7 min 45 s)
Producer: David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-flying-sailor

  • Inspired by the true story of a sailor who was blasted skyward by an explosion, The Flying Sailor blends comedy, suspense and philosophy as it contemplates the fragility of existence. Nominated for the Best Animated Short Oscar and recipient of 11 awards and honours to date.

Youth competition

Harvey, Janice Nadeau (9 min) – CANADIAN PREMIERE
Producers: Marc Bertrand (NFB) and Reginald de Guillebon (Folimage), with the support of the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. Head of Development: Corinne Destombes (Folimage).
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/harvey

  • A luminous look at loss and bereavement, seen through the eyes of a child with an overflowing imagination. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Hervé Bouchard, illustrated by Janice Nadeau (La Pastèque).
  • Selected to screen at Clermont-Ferrand, the film had a standout creative team that included Claude Cloutier and Marc Robinet (lead animators), Olivier Calvert (sound design) and Martin Léon (original music). With the voice of Ryan S. Hill.

Magical Caresses – Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo, Lori Malépart-Traversy
Producers: Julie Roy and Christine Noël for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/magical-caresses

  • History as it was never taught in school! This animated short looks back at the surprising story of our relationship with masturbation—and its repression—from prehistory to today. Winner of the Best Educational Film award at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation.

“Territoires” section

Heartbeat of a Nation (Le cœur battant d’une nation), Éric Janvier (20 min 22 s)
Producer: David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/heartbeat-of-a-nation

  • A Dene First Nation father in northern Alberta passes on traditional knowledge to his child by showing them how to make a drum from caribou hide. Selected to screen at four festivals, including the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

Carte blanche selection from Festival Présence autochtone

This lineup features three NFB titles from previous years: Mobilize (Mobiliser) by Caroline Monnet, Florent Vollant: I Dream in Innu (Florent Vollant: Je rêve en innu) by Nicolas Renaud, and Now Is the Time (Maintenant plus que jamais) by Christopher Auchter.

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French version here | Version française ici.

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