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NFB selection at TIFF 2023 showcases new voices in Canadian film. World premieres of Winnipeg director Karsten Wall’s Modern Goose and Montreal filmmaker Marielle Dalpé’s Aphasia in TIFF’s Short Cuts program.


August 9, 2023 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) selection at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), taking place September 7 to 17, will feature compelling documentary and animated storytelling from emerging filmmakers.

The festival’s Short Cuts program is presenting world premieres of NFB short films that explore the mysteries of the natural world and evoke the fragility of human communication.

  • Winnipeg director Karsten Wall’s Modern Goose is an exquisitely observed film essay that embeds audiences in the daily life of these iconic animals to reveal a deeper message of continuity and connection.
  • Montreal director Marielle Dalpé makes her professional debut with the animated short Aphasia, 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.

Premiering in TIFF Short Cuts

Modern Goose by Karsten Wall (22 min)
Produced by Alicia Smith and executive produced by David Christensen for the North West Studio.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/moderngoose

  • Able to navigate by reading the Earth’s magnetic field, fiercely loyal to flock and family, at home on land, air and water, geese straddle the territory between ancient instincts and the contemporary world.
  • Combining beauty, humour and profound empathy, Modern Goosereveals how the mysteries of the natural world persist in the face of continual urbanization. The idea for Modern Goose came about as a way to rethink the standard nature documentary format. As an editor who often works in this genre, Karsten has always had the desire to create a more contemplative and authentic documentary about a wild animal’s struggle for survival.
  • In flipping the usual nature-film perspective to centre another form of consciousness, something radical begins to happen. The concrete sprawl of parking lots, drive-thru restaurants and busy highways transforms from normalized to something extremely unsettling. It isn’t the geese who are the interlopers here, but people who have forced the birds into the margins, disrupting age-old patterns.
  • Karsten Wall is a Winnipeg-based editor who began filming his own nature documentaries only a few years ago. The first project he directed, The Seven Wonders of Manitoba, won a Golden Sheaf Award at the 2020 Yorkton Film Festival. Recent editing credits include Kingdom of the Polar Bearson CBC’s The Nature of Things and Great Lakes Untamed on TVO.

Aphasia by Marielle Dalpé (3 min 45 s)
Produced by Marc Bertrand and executive produced by Christine Noël for the French Program Animation Studio.
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/aphasia

  • Both striking and unsettling, Aphasia is a deeply moving foray into the heart of a devastating neurocognitive condition, one that progressively destroys the ability to speak and understand words, afflicting many people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In her debut professional animated short, Marielle Dalpé is not content to simply evoke the world of language dysfunction. Instead, she fully immerses us in it. The film allows us to feel what it must be like to engage in a battle with time and the limits of our own minds, while everything seems to be slipping away. This powerful and important work highlights the ambiguous fragility of existence, and reminds us of that which makes us uniquely human: our ability to communicate.
  • The English-language version screening at TIFF features the voice of veteran Toronto-born actress Clare Coulter, whose recent credits include the Amazon Prime series Three Pines. The sound design is by Luigi Allemano, who designed the sound for Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s Oscar-nominated NFB animated short, The Flying Sailor.
  • A graduate of Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Marielle Dalpé has dedicated herself to multiple forms of expression, ranging from illustration to animation, multimedia installation to theatrical stage design. A finalist in the 2017 edition of the NFB’s Cinéaste recherché(e) contest, she received a special mention at the pitch competition held at the Cinémathèque québécoise’s Sommets du cinéma d’animation in 2020.

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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.