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NFB’s GGPAA collection to reach 119 films. Directors Gilles Doiron, Michelle Mama and Will Prosper honour Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards laureates in seven new NFB shorts.


(Images provided by the filmmakers. From left to right: Gilles Doiron, Will Prosper and Michelle Mama.)

(Images provided by the filmmakers. From left to right: Gilles Doiron, Will Prosper and Michelle Mama.)

February 22, 2024 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

For the 16th year, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is bringing together filmmakers, NFB producers and creative teams from across the country to create short cinematic tributes to Canadian performing arts legends, as the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) gets set to honour seven new laureates.

Acclaimed filmmakers Gilles Doiron, Michelle Mama and Will Prosper will be directing.

The films will premiere at the GGPAA Gala, June 8, 2024, at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and simultaneously online—giving everyone the opportunity to participate in this celebration of Canadian performing arts excellence.

“Since 2008, we’ve been thrilled to partner with the GGPAA in honouring excellence in Canadian performing arts, bringing together talented filmmakers, NFB producers and creative teams from across Canada to celebrate great artists and arts volunteers. These short films are creative works of cinema in their own right and a growing audiovisual heritage accessible to all Canadians online,” said Suzanne Guèvremont, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson.

To watch the NFB’s GGPAA films free online, visit: nfb.ca/channels/governor_generals_awards.

About the films

  • Acadian director Gilles Doiron is directing three short films honouring laureates, produced for the NFB by Christine Aubé:
    • Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award laureates:
      • Songwriter, composer, performer, pianist and arts advocate Diane Juster,M.;
      • Recording artist, actor, author and motivational speaker Wes “Maestro” Williams.
    • National Arts Centre Award recipient:
      • Multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, stage director and performer Mélanie Demers.
  • Toronto-based documentarian Michelle Mama will pay tribute to Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award laureates in two works produced for the NFB by Chanda Chevannes:
    • Actor Andrea Martin;
    • Puppeteer, playwright, designer and performerRonnie Burkett, O.C.
  • Montreal filmmaker Will Prosper is the director of two short films honouring laureates, also produced by Chanda Chevannes:
    • Soprano and faith advocateMeasha Brueggergosman-Lee, a Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award laureate;
    • Jenny Belzberg, C.M., recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts.

About the directors

Gilles Doiron

Passionate about the art of cinema, Gilles Doiron left his hometown of Dieppe, New Brunswick, to study at the Toronto Film School, where he developed his love of filmmaking and cinematography. After graduating with distinction, he gained valuable experience in Toronto and Montreal before returning to his native region to contribute to the development of New Brunswick’s film industry. Over the next 10 years, he worked on over 50 productions, taking on various roles and responsibilities. His dynamic commitment and determination opened doors and pushed boundaries, marking his career with several successes.

Michelle Mama 

Michelle Mama is an award-winning documentarian and producer with over 300 hours of television under her belt. Her first feature-length film, 21 Days to Nawroz, was an examination of the lives of women in the north of Iraq. She has gone on to direct for series like In the Making and Shine True, and was the lead creative producer on the feature doc Summer Qamp (TIFF 2023). She is currently directing the documentary feature film Anti-Diva: The Carole Pope Confessions and has recently launched a boutique production company called GAY AGENDA to produce, mentor and create from a defiantly queer lens.

Will Prosper

A visionary filmmaker and fiction screenwriter, Will Prosper is renowned for his artistry and unique approach to cinema, which vividly brings to life underrepresented communities and Afro-descendant cultures. His acclaimed NFB feature documentary, Kenbe la, jusqu’à la Victoire, showcases his narrative genius. He’s currently developing a groundbreaking documentary project that integrates elements of fiction to convey a compelling story. His latest film, Northern Beats, selected for TIFF 2023, further cemented his status as a masterful cinematic storyteller.

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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.