March 2, 2017 – Ottawa, National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be joining the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) festivities for the 12th consecutive year, from March 2 to 22, 2017. This is the 19th edition of the ambitious RVF tour, which supports the key NFB objective of making its works as accessible to the public as possible. The RVF will travel to the country’s 10 provinces and three territories, bringing French-speaking and francophile communities together around three NFB film programs designed for audiences of all ages.
The NFB will offer a total of 224 free screenings in 63 cities, 34 of which are taking part in the RVF tour for the first time. The films highlight Canadian francophonie communities and culture in two thematic programs, on the topics of history and family, as well as a special tribute to André Melançon, the acclaimed director of children’s films. The programming also includes a new release that’s having its world premiere right before the RVF: Julien Capraro’s La dernière clé (The Last Key), produced as part of the NFB’s Tremplin competition in collaboration with Radio-Canada. In addition, the NFB’s RVF lineup features an online component of 10 films—five shorts to complement the public screenings and five films from the tour—available for viewing for the duration of the RVF at onf.ca/rvf2017 (in French).
NFB films from regions across the country are on the RVF menu. Le goût des belvas (Bittersweet Blues) by Stephanie David and La dernière clé by Julien Capraro, two documentaries produced by the NFB’s French studios outside of Quebec, are sensitive works on family heritage and the new markers of identity that come in the wake of immigration. Le sort de l’Amérique (The Fate of America) by Jacques Godbout and Canada vignettes: L’édition nationale (Canada Vignettes: News Canada) by Yossi Abolafia are tongue-in-cheek gems from our collection to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Le violon de Gaston (Gaston’s Recital) and Les tacots (Soap-Box Derby), a pair of André Melançon classics, are beloved by generations of children . . . including today’s kids!
Three NFB programs at a venue near you
- Program 1 (92 min): 42 screenings in 33 cities – ages 10+
Jacques Godbout’s documentary Le sort de l’Amérique, preceded by Yossi Abolafia’s animated short Canada vignettes: L’édition nationale
After the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759, the world would never be the same. Every country has its founding myth, and Canada’s is centred on this battle, which saw both commanding generals, the Marquis de Montcalm and James Wolfe, die of their injuries. Documentary filmmaker Jacques Godbout joins playwright René-Daniel Dubois in this humorous and moving film. The film is preceded by the animated short Canada vignettes: L’édition nationale, in which historical events from 1878 are announced in a hilarious mock news broadcast. English titles: The Fate of America and Canada Vignettes: News Canada.
- Program 2 (48 min): 75 screenings in 38 cities – ages 10+
Documentary shorts Le goût des belvas by Stephanie David and La dernière clé by Julien Capraro, produced as part of the Tremplin competition for emerging francophone filmmakers outside Quebec, in collaboration with Radio-Canada
Le goût des belvas reveals the parallels between the evolution of Acadian French and family memories. The documentary insightfully shows the dilemma that Acadians face: Should they adopt normative French to be better understood, or proudly continue to use their own language, which reflects their own identity and authenticity? The newly completed La dernière clé, in turn, tells of a young immigrant who arrives in Canada from France, and among the belongings he has brought with him is a Citroën 2CV. The iconic post-war car stands out on the streets of Vancouver, and before long he meets up with a group of like-minded car buffs. Franck, Lionel, Harjeet and Johnny Mac, busy preparing for an upcoming antique car show, explain how these cars not only evoke nostalgia for a past era but are also a powerful marker of identity and a link between cultures. English titles: Bittersweet Blues and The Last Key.
La dernière clé is having its world premiere at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois 2017 in Montreal right before joining the RVF tour.
- Program 3 (44 min): 107 screenings in 50 cities – ages 8 to 99
Le violon de Gaston and Les tacots, two short dramas directed by André Melançon from the cult 1970s series Toulmonde parle français
Le violon de Gaston is a short fiction film about a young boy torn between conflicting loyalties. Sunday, 2 o’clock, is zero hour for Gaston. He must be in two places at once: performing at a music recital and playing hockey with his teammates. What is Gaston to do? In Les tacots, a group of boys try to keep a secret from a group of girls, who quickly uncover their plans for a soap-box derby. They can win without the boys’ help. In this battle of the sexes, the strong will and courage of the girls win out, although in the end everyone’s laughing. English titles: Gaston’s Recital and Soap-Box Derby.
Online programming at onf.ca/rvf2017 from March 2 to 22
Five additional films offered online:
- “Les Oreilles” mènent l’enquête, the third fiction film made by André Melançon for the 1970s series Toulmondeparlefrançais. (available in French only).
- Canada Vignettes: l’artiste by Norma Bailey (in English on NFB.ca: The Performer). This short film from the Canada Vignettes series features tenor Roger Doucet singing the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada,” before a hockey game in the Montreal Forum.
- Canada vignettes: Le fort Prince de Galles (in English on NFB.ca: Canada Vignettes: Fort Prince of Wales). A humorous animated version of the history of Fort Prince of Wales from its construction to its capture by the French.
- La promesse du Klondike by Julie Plourde (in English on NFB.ca: Klondike Promises) tracks the modern-day explorers for whom the dream of the gold rush is still alive and well.
- Au beau milieu de la plaine – Les Fransaskois by Scott Parker (in English on NFB.ca: The Grasslands Project – Les Fransaskois) hears from the Fransaskois (francophones living in Saskatchewan) on the challenges and future of their unique prairie culture.
Five NFB films from the RVF tour also available online:
- Le sort de l’Amérique by Jacques Godbout (in English on NFB.ca: The Fate of America)
- Canada vignettes: L’édition nationale by Yossi Abolafia (in English on NFB.ca: Canada Vignettes: News Canada)
- Le goût des belvas by Stephanie David (available in French only)
- Le violon de Gaston by André Melançon (in English on NFB.ca: Gaston’s Recital)
- Les tacots by André Melançon (in English on NFB.ca: Soap-Box Derby)
NB: the new release La dernière clé by Julien Capraro will be shown at public RVF screenings only and will not be available online.
- Detailed screening schedule
- The complete screening schedule can be found on the RVF.ca calendar page.
Rendez-vous de la Francophonie