October 31, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Olivier D. Asselin’s feature documentary Pipelines, pouvoir et démocratie (Pipelines, Power and Democracy) will be available across Canada in download-to-own (DTO) and video-on-demand (VOD) formats at NFB.ca and the iTunes Store starting November 1. DVD copies can also be purchased at NFB.ca or by phone at 1-800-267-7710. The film has screened in theatres as well as at Canadian and European festivals, and has been enjoying a highly successful tour throughout Quebec since February 2016 (more than 100 screenings in 35 cities to date). Produced at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) by Denis McCready and executive producer Colette Loumède, the documentary was shot over two and a half years, from fall 2012 to spring 2015, capturing an important moment in the social struggles marking Quebec’s recent history: the plan to bring unconventional oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Quebec via two pipelines.
This hard-hitting, moving doc is the director’s first feature-length work. While the film focuses on the decision to abandon a plan to construct a petroleum terminal in Cacouna, on the St. Lawrence River, pipelines very much remain in the news, and crucial decisions are still being weighed.
“Pipelines, Power and Democracy is a captivating and masterfully crafted work by a documentary filmmaker with a flair for storytelling.”
‒ Nathalie Petrowski, La Presse
“A scathing commentary on Quebec’s many democratic deficits.”
‒ Ismaël Houdassine, Huffington Post Québec
Pipelines, Power and Democracy had its world premiere at the 2015 Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and was released in Montreal and Quebec City theatres in December 2015. In February 2016, the film began an extensive and ongoing tour throughout the province of Quebec. Audiences continue to attend screenings and actively participate in discussions with guests afterward. The documentary also screened at the Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois, the Outaouais Film Festival, and the justREEL series presented by the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival in Calgary, as well as in France (Paris International Environmental Film Festival and Cevennes International Documentary Film Festival) and Austria (Crossroads Festival for Documentary Film).
About the film
Where does the power in our democracies truly lie? By documenting the fight against the oil sands industry’s expansion projects—in particular, the opposition to the construction of pipelines in Quebec and the plan to build a tanker terminal in Cacouna—Pipelines, Power and Democracy appeals to the conscience of citizens at a time when the planet is facing major challenges.
- Daniel Breton, former environment minister in the Pauline Marois government (electoral politics)
- André Bélisle, co-founder of the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (environmental lobbying)
- Mikaël Rioux, environmental activist (direct action)
- Alyssa Symons-Bélanger, activist (the art of social intervention)
About the director
Olivier D. Asselin served as an assistant to Magnus Isacsson for many years, studied film directing at INIS, and holds a degree in screenwriting and a master’s in experimental media from UQAM. As a socially engaged filmmaker he has directed or produced about 30 short- and medium-length films, including documentaries, experimental projects, and dramas. Citoyens Inc. was an award winner at the 2005 Caméra verte competition, while Tout se tient won two awards at the 2008 RIDM festival. His drama Les âmes en friche screened at the RVCQ festival in 2009 and three of his films were on the program at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Portneuf Environmental Film Festival. Asselin also creates live video mixes and is a member of several independent media collectives, including Courts Critiques, Médi@s Libres and Journal Ensemble.
Documentary’s Facebook page (in French)