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NFB selection at the Atlantic International Film Festival brings personal, powerful stories to the screen from the Maritimes and around the world. Six films featured including two world premieres, three Atlantic premieres and a classic of Nova Scotia cinema.


(Images provided by the NFB)

August 15, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada

There’s an impressive selection of six National Film Board of Canada (NFB) films at the 2018 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival (September 13 – 20).

Two world premieres lead the way for the NFB: Halifax filmmaker Andrea Dorfman’s The Girls of Meru, about Kenyan girls leading a fight for justice; as well as PEI director Millefiore ClarkesThe Song and the Sorrow, exploring the bonds of blood, music and struggle linking singer Catherine MacLellan and her father, songwriting legend Gene MacLellan.

A journey of healing and the transformation from here in Nova Scotia, Laura Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott is one of three Atlantic premieres at the festival, along with Velcrow Ripper and Nova Ami’s sweeping environmental doc Metamorphosis (Clique Pictures/Transparent Film/NFB), and The Subject, the latest stop-motion marvel from Quebec animator Patrick Bouchard.

John Walker’s multi-award-winning 2003 Cape Breton classic Men of the Deeps (John Walker Productions/Picture Plant/NFB) is being presented as part of a special program of Atlantic productions marking the 35th anniversary of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

World premieres

The Girls of Meru (88 min.)
Sunday, September 16, 1:30 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 4

Halifax filmmaker Andrea Dorfman follows a remarkable collaboration over five years to tell the heartbreaking yet uplifting story of the girls of Meru and their brave steps toward meaningful equality for girls everywhere.

In Kenya, one in three girls will experience sexual violence before the age of 18, yet police investigations into the crime are the exception rather than the rule, leading to a culture of impunity around rape. But a courageous group of girls has helped set a legal precedent for child protection worldwide. In The Girls of Meru, a multinational team led by Canadian lawyer Fiona Sampson and Tumaini Shelter head Mercy Chidi Baidoo builds the case of 11 girls to pursue an unheard of legal tactic. They challenge the Kenyan government to uphold its highly praised constitution and to hold police accountable.

It’s the third NFB film for Dorfman, whose 2010 animated documentary Flawed earned a News & Documentary Emmy nomination. The Girls of Meru is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

The Song and the Sorrow (42 min.)
Saturday, September 15, 4 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 7

PEI musician Catherine MacLellan—daughter of singer/songwriting legend Gene MacLellan—grew up surrounded by her father’s music, including such classics as “Snowbird” and “Put Your Hand in the Hand.” He died from suicide when she was 14 and now, two decades after his loss, Catherine is finally ready to confront the hurtful mystery of her absent parent and embrace his musical legacy.

In The Song and the Sorrow, PEI filmmaker Millefiore Clarkes follows Catherine as she journeys to understand her father and face her own struggles with mental illness. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with friends, family members, and musicians who knew and played with Gene—including Anne Murray, Lennie Gallant, and the late Ron Hynes—the film reveals a troubled and loving man who was never at ease with fame or money. The land and people of Prince Edward Island inspired Gene MacLellan’s music and are a vibrant presence in Clarkes’ documentary, which is produced by Rohan Fernando and Paul McNeill and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Atlantic premieres

Love, Scott (75 min.)
Monday, September 17, 6:30 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatres 7 & 8

While walking one night in New Glasgow, Scott Jones, a gay musician, is attacked by a stranger he encountered earlier that evening and becomes paralyzed from the waist down—what follows is a brave and fragile journey of healing and the transformation of this young man’s life. Directed by his close friend, Laura Marie Wayne, making her feature documentary debut, Love, Scott was filmed over three years, from Scott’s very first raw moments in the hospital to a trip back to the place he was attacked, as he’s faced with the choice of losing himself in grief or embracing love over fear.

Set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós, Love, Scott was named Best Canadian Feature (Narrative or Documentary) at the Toronto LGBT Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at its U.S. premiere at the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, along with a Special Mention at Ireland’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival.

Love, Scott is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Metamorphosis (85 min.)
Thursday, September 20, 4 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 3

With every day bringing new and alarming headlines about climate change and environmental catastrophes, it’s easy to become pessimistic and lose hope. Yet hope is at the heart of Velcrow Ripper and Nova Ami’s visually stunning feature documentary Metamorphosis—a cinematic poem for our planet, produced by Clique Pictures, Transparent Film and the NFB.

Metamorphosis takes the pulse of our Earth and bears witness to a moment of profound change: the loss of one world, and the birth of another. The film captures the true scale of the global environmental crisis. Forest fires consume communities, species vanish, and entire ecosystems collapse. Economic growth, tied to increased speed of resource extraction, has created a machine with the capacity to destroy all life. But this crisis is also an opportunity for transformation. Through a tidal flow of stunning images, Metamorphosis carves a path from the present to the future and offers a bold new vision for humanity and the world.

Metamorphosis is produced by Lauren Grant (Clique Pictures), Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper (Transparent Film) and Bonnie Thompson and David Christensen (NFB). The executive producers are David Christensen (NFB North West Studio) and John Bain.

The Subject (10 min.)
Wednesday, September 19, 6:10 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 2

The act of creating is about delving into the deepest part of one’s self. Artists engage in a process of introspection from which they never emerge unscathed—digging and searching within themselves, seeking the source of their fears and, in so doing, yearning to find liberation.

In The Subject, stop-motion master Patrick Bouchard dares to place himself on centre stage, confronting his alter ego in the form of a life-size cast of his own body—beginning a physical confrontation between human and clay puppet. Pierced, slashed, chiselled, the body yields its secrets, revealing itself to be an intricate mechanism as it disgorges various objects: a microscope affording views of coursing vital fluids, or a fantastical merry-go-round evoking pleasure and ecstasy—but also fear.

Selected for the 50th Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, The Subject is the fifth NFB film by Bouchard, who’s a three-time winner of Quebec’s Prix Iris, for The Brainwashers (2003), Dehors novembre (2005) and Bydlo (2013). The Subject is produced and executive produced by Julie Roy for the NFB’s French Animation Studio in Montreal.

35th Anniversary of DOC

Men of the Deeps (52 min.)
Saturday, September 15, 6:10 p.m.
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane, Theatre 2

Men of the Deeps is a moving portrait of the Men of the Deeps chorus, a group of former Cape Breton miners gathered together by their love of song, whose performances of traditional and contemporary songs evoke their working lives as miners.

Winner of seven awards including the Gemini Award for Best Performing Arts Program or Series, the Award of Excellence for Documentary Cinematography from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards and the Audience Award at Hot Docs, Men of the Deeps was produced by Terry Greenlaw (Picture Plant), Kent Martin (NFB) and John Walker.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Love, Scott | Men of he Deeps | Metamorphosis | The Girls of Meru | The Subject | The Song and the Sorrow

Associated Links

FIN Atlantic International Film Festival
Clique Pictures
John Walker Productions
Picture Plant
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane

Media Relations

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