May 17, 2018 – Moncton – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
After a special community screening at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA), Samara Grace Chadwick’s feature documentary 1999 played at festivals in other Canadian cities (Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma in Montreal and Hot Docs in Toronto) and abroad (Visions du réel in Nyon, Switzerland). Now the film, which is co-produced by Parabola Films, Beauvoir Films and the National Film Board of Canada, is back in Acadie. It will have two free screenings at the Cinéma du Centre de Caraquet, on Monday, May 21, at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, May 23, at 6 p.m., followed by a broadcast on Radio-Canada Acadie, on Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m. The documentary features an original score by Swiss-Canadian musician Cyril Hahn as well as Acadian musicians Gabriel Malenfant of the group Radio Radio and Vivianne Roy of Hay Babies.
When death haunts a high school in the Moncton area in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle, moving film, Samara returns to the town she fled as a teen to re-immerse herself in the memories still lurking there, in its spaces and within the dusty boxes of diaries, photos and VHS tapes. 1999 is not a ghost story, but the ghosts are palpable at every turn. The snow-covered streets, the school’s hallways and lockers are preserved as in a dream. The absences left by the relentless teenage suicides still shimmer with questions, trauma and regret. Samara encounters people who are as breathtaking as they are heartbroken, and, finally, 16 years later, the community grows stronger after sharing the long-silenced memories. Ultimately, the film weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how grief is internalized—and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.
1999 is produced by Parabola Films (Selin Murat and Sarah Spring) in co-production with Beauvoir Films (Aline Schmid) and the NFB (Kat Baulu from the Quebec and Atlantic Studio and Jac Gautreau from the Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie), in collaboration with Radio-Canada Acadie (Marie-Claude Dupont), CALQ, and SODEC, and supported internationally by Eurimages through Telefilm Canada.
About the filmmaker
Samara Grace Chadwick grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, and left the city at age 16. She earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and has spent more than 15 years working in the field of documentary film throughout Europe and North and South America, primarily as a filmmaker, editor, and festival programmer. She is currently a programmer for the Points North Institute and the Camden International Film Festival, and formerly worked with the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, the RIDM festival in Montreal, and Philip Groening Filmproduktion in Berlin.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: 1999