Rohan Fernando – Photo by Holly Crooks
July 12, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Nova Scotia filmmaker Rohan Fernando is the National Film Board of Canada’s newest producer, joining the NFB’s Quebec Atlantic Studio in Halifax, executive producer Annette Clarke has announced.
Born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Rohan is an award-winning documentary and fiction filmmaker whose roots at the NFB go back to his professional film debut in 2002, the autobiographical NFB/Triad Films co-production Cecil’s Journey, named Best Atlantic Short Film at the Atlantic Film Festival.
“Rohan brings enormous expertise in storytelling and creative producing to the studio. He has deep roots in the Atlantic filmmaking community and is strongly committed to stories that represent who we are as a nation. We’re thrilled to welcome him,” said Clarke, a veteran NFB producer.
After Cecil’s Journey, Rohan would go on to direct NFB documentaries on a wide range of topics, including Trudeau’s Other Children (2005), exploring the genesis and impact of Pierre Trudeau’s multiculturalism policy for culturally diverse Canadians like himself, followed by Blood and Water (2007), chronicling one man’s search for meaning after losing his family to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Premiering at Hot Docs, Rohan’s 2010 NFB feature doc The Chocolate Farmer took audiences inside a year in the life of a cacao farmer and his family in Belize.
Most recently, Rohan has had key creative roles in two pioneering, Halifax-produced NFB interactive experiences: Space School (2013) and the upcoming Ocean School. Also soon-to-be-released for Fernando is Becoming Labrador, an NFB documentary about a Filipino community taking root in Goose Bay, Labrador, which is co-directed with Justin Simms and Tamara Segura, in a collaboration with writer Michael Crummey.
Rohan burst onto the film scene straight out of film school in 1999 with Shelter, the pilot for a supernatural TV show for CTV, which he wrote and directed based on his own graphic-novel series, published by NBM Comics. He then wrote, directed and produced Fade to Black, a 2003 feature drama broadcast on IFC and Showcase. His next dramatic feature, Snow (2010), was the opening night film at the Reelworld Film Festival and won the best music award at the Atlantic Film Festival.
NFB’s Quebec Atlantic Studio