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Selection of NFB titles by acclaimed women creators includes St. John’s filmmaker Jordan Canning’s new film. Jordan Canning and Howie Shia’s 4 North A, Robin McKenna’s Thanadoula and Catherine Lepage’s The Great Malaise screening at St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

PRESS RELEASE
05/10/2020

October 5, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The hometown premiere of 4 North A, the first collaboration between St. John’s director Jordan Canning and Saskatoon-born filmmaker Howie Shia, headlines a rich selection of three short works, produced or co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), at the 2020 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (October 14–18).

Also coming to St. John’s is Toronto-based director Robin McKenna’s first animated documentary, Thanadoula (Gaudete Films/NFB), featuring the art direction of Elise Simard, as well as The Great Malaise, by Quebec animator and illustrator Catherine Lepage.

Film synopses:

4 North A by Jordan Canning and Howie Shia (11 min)

A woman sits in a hospital room, alone with her dying father. As the constant din of antiseptic hospital noises pushes her to confront her inevitable loss, she escapes into a series of lush childhood memories.

4 North A is produced by veteran Newfoundland filmmaker Annette Clarke and executive produced by Annette Clarke (NFB Quebec and Atlantic Studio) and Michael Fukushima (NFB English Animation Studio), and was developed in association with The Newfoundland & Labrador Film Development Corporation.

Thanadoula by Robin McKenna, with art direction by Elise Simard (6 min 38 s)

“I could have been there with her…” Two sisters entwined by love. When Annie disappears, her younger sister, Natalie, seeks her out in an unconventional way: as a thanadoula, accompanying the dying in their final stages. Between their slow and final breaths, Natalie finds a bridge between life and death and, ultimately, a pathway to her sister.

Produced by Robin McKenna (Gaudete Films) and Jelena Popović (NFB), and executive produced by Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English Animation Studio in Montreal. Produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) and completed with the support of RiverStyx Foundation and Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program.

The Great Malaise by Catherine Lepage (5 min 19 s)

A young woman describes herself and her life in glowing terms, but the visual narrative tells a different story: with heart-rending power it illustrates the heavy burden of anxiety carried by this worried overachiever. Winner of the People’s Choice Award and Jury’s Special Mention/Canadian Competition at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal.

Produced by Marc Bertrand and executive produced by Julie Roy for the NFB’s French Animation Studio.

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Associated Links

St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
Gaudete Films
bravoFACT
RiverStyx Foundation
Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

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    The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 27 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.