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An inspiring portrait of Quebec astrophysicist Laurie Rousseau-Nepton. Documentary series North Star (NFB), directed by Patrick Bossé, launching August 21 on nfb.ca


July 25, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The documentary series North Star by Patrick Bossé, streaming free of charge beginning August 21 on nfb.ca, immerses viewers in the remarkable daily life of Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, a young, Quebec-born Innu astrophysicist who’s leading a massive research project at the prestigious Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Breathtaking images captured in locations ranging from Ashuapmushuan Wildlife Reserve to Wendake, Mont-Mégantic and Hawaii help to chronicle her extraordinary journey.

In this inspiring and positive portrait, the astrophysicist openly discusses her life, demystifying for young audiences what it means to aspire to a career in astronomy and in the sciences in general. With equal parts honesty and optimism, she speaks out on the place of women and people of diverse backgrounds in STEM professions, deconstructing stereotypes about these fields. In introducing young people to Laurie’s amazing success, North Star preaches by example.

About the documentary series

North Star by Patrick Bossé (5 × 15 min) – WORLD PREMIERE
Producer: Pierre-Mathieu Fortin for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie & Acadian Documentary Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/north-star

North Star follows the exceptional journey of Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, a resident astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. As principal investigator for the facility’s SIGNALS project, she heads a team of some 60 researchers. Together, they’re attempting to unravel the mysteries of star formation and better understand the role that stars play in the Universe. From the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, Laurie scans the skies using state-of-the-art instruments. In five short episodes that combine human interest and science, we meet a determined young woman who excels in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field. A first-rate science communicator, Laurie conveys her passion for celestial objects and the importance of understanding where we come from to gain a better grasp of where we’re headed.

Episode 1: Observation
Episode 2: Research
Episode 3: Light
Episode 4: Collaboration
Episode 5: Origins

About the filmmaker

Montrealer Patrick Bossé has been working as a documentary screenwriter and director for 15 years. He’s also worked as a designer on a variety of projects that combine storytelling, immersion and interactivity. In addition to the documentary series North Star (2023), Bossé directed the immersive film Territoires des Amériques (2021), about René Derouin’s 60 years of artistic practice.

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French version here | Version française ici.

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  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries and auteur animation, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.