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Seven NFB films presented at Cinéfest Sudbury in September. Outstanding National Film Board of Canada documentaries and animation.


August 26, 2021 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Seven acclaimed National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary and animated works from across the country will screen at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival (September 18 to 26)—including Canadian and Ontario premieres.

Cinéfest Sudbury is presenting two award-winning feature-length NFB documentaries:

  • Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy (Seen Through Woman Productions/NFB), directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, a Vancouver-based filmmaker and actor, and member of the Kainai First Nation in southern Alberta and the Sámi in Norway.
  • Someone Like Me by the Vancouver filmmaking team of Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams.

Plus three NFB short docs:

  • Evan’s Drum by Montreal-based Inuk journalist Ossie Michelin, from North West River, Labrador, produced through the NFB’s Labrador Doc Project for Inuit creators from Nunatsiavut and Labrador.
  • Into Light, shot in Yellowknife by West Vancouver’s Sheona McDonald, a Canadian Screen Award-winning director, writer and producer.
  • PEI director and author Susan Rodgers’ Then Sings My Soul.

NFB auteur animation is also screening, with two acclaimed shorts:

Cinéfest Sudbury will present screenings both in theatre and online, with virtual screenings geo-restricted to Ontario.

More on the films

Feature-length documentaries

  • Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (125 min)

Co-writer and co-director of the acclaimed 2019 feature The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, Tailfeathers creates an intimate portrait of her community and the impacts of the substance use and overdose epidemic. Witness the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction in the Kainai First Nation.

Awards: Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award and Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs 2021; Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director, DOXA 2021.

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy is produced by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Lori Lozinski (Seen Through Woman Productions) and NFB producer and executive producer David Christensen (North West Studio), with the participation of Telefilm Canada and the assistance of the Hot Docs CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund.

  • Someone Like Me by Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams (80 min)

Drake, a young gay man from Uganda, leaves behind everything he knows to attain the universal freedoms everyone deserves: to be who he is and love whomever he chooses without fear of discrimination, persecution, or violence. A group of queer strangers unite to resettle Drake in Vancouver, but they are tasked with a year-long commitment to someone they’ve never met, and struggle with the challenging conditions of this support.

Awards: Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs 2021; Grand Prize, Alternative Spirit Award (Documentary), 2021 Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival

Produced by Teri Snelgrove and Shirley Vercruysse, and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the BC & Yukon Studio.

Short docs

  • Evan’s Drum by Ossie Michelin (14 min) | ONTARIO PREMIERE

Ossie Michelin follows a young boy and his mother, who share a passion for Inuit drum dancing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. After generations of silence, the rhythm of the traditional Inuit drum has returned to Labrador, and seven-year-old Evan is part of the new generation that will keep its heartbeat strong.

Produced for the Labrador Doc Project by Latonia Hartery, Rohan Fernando and Kat Baulu, with Annette Clarke as executive producer for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

  • Into Light by Sheona McDonald (19 min)

When a child reveals who they truly are on the inside, how does a parent set aside their own expectations to help them become their most authentic self? Set against the northern landscape of Yellowknife, Sheona McDonald’s new documentary captures a season of change as a mother and child navigate the complexities of gender identity together.

Produced by Teri Snelgrove and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the BC & Yukon Studio.

  • Then Sings My Soul by Susan Rodgers (15 min) | ONTARIO PREMIERE

Prince Edward Island singer and part-time fisherman Chad Matthews is a hardworking father of four and a Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute artist. In a rural town where making a living means only earning minimum wage, PEI director and author Susan Rodgers follows Chad as he reaches for a guitar to help ease the pain.

Produced by Rohan Fernando and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Animated shorts

  • Bad Seeds (Mauvaises herbes)by Claude Cloutier (6 min 22 s) | ONTARIO PREMIERE

Bad Seeds deftly connects growth with rivalry and evolution with competition, crafting an increasingly shocking duel that’s peppered with allusions to the western, the Cold War, board games, and much more.

Award: Prix du public de la Compétition international, 2021 Sommets du cinéma d’animation, Montreal

Produced by Production Galilé Marion-Gauvin (L’Unité centrale) and Julie Roy (NFB).

  • The Hangman at Home by Michelle and Uri Kranot (14 min) | CANADIAN PREMIERE

Inspired by the 1922 Carl Sandburg poem of the same title, The Hangman at Home invites audiences into five interwoven stories featuring people caught in a pivotal moment, in a film about the awkward intimacy that comes with being human, and the connection between spectator, witness, and accomplice.

Awards: Golden Dragon Grand Prize for Best Film, Int. Shorts Competition, 2021 Krakow Film Festival; Special Mention, 2021 Supertoon International Animation and Comics Festival, Šibenik, Croatia

The Hangman at Home is produced by Lana Tankosa Nikolic (Late Love Production), Avi Amar and Katayoun Dibamehr (Floréal Films), Emmanuel-Alain Raynal and Pierre Baussaron (Miyu Productions), and Marc Bertrand (NFB). Julie Roy is the executive producer for the NFB’s French Animation Studio.  

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Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailer, synopses: Bad Seeds | Evan’s Drum | Into Light | Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy | Someone Like Me | The Hangman at Home | Then Sings My Soul

Associated Links

Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival
Late Love Production
Floréal Films
Miyu Productions
Telefilm Canada
CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund
L’Unité centrale

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.