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Six NFB films showcased at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. Great new feature docs and animated shorts from Canadian women filmmakers.


September 20, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada

A world leader in women’s filmmaking, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (October 17 to 21) with an acclaimed six-film lineup of feature-length documentaries and animated shorts.

NFB long-form docs at the festival chronicle young people facing life’s biggest challenges head-on, with Laura Marie Wayne’s Atlantic production Love, Scott, a brave and fragile journey of healing and transformation for a gay man after he’s attacked and left paralyzed; and Christy Garland’s What Walaa Wants (Murmur Media/NFB/Final Cut for Real), in which a young woman is determined to serve in the Palestinian Security Forces—not easy for a girl who breaks all the rules.

Four dazzling new NFB animated shorts will also be at the St. John’s fest:

Alexandra Lemay’s Freaks of Nurture and Oscar winner Torill Kove’s Threads offer two very different portraits of the mother-daughter relationship. Inuit artist Asinnajaq plunges audiences into a sublime imaginary universe in her award-winning Three Thousand. In Winds of Spring, her first professional film, Chinese-born Keyu Chen explores a young girl’s decision to leave home.


Love, Scott (75 min)

While walking one night in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Scott Jones, a gay musician, is attacked by a stranger he encountered earlier that evening and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. What follows is a brave and fragile journey of healing and the transformation of this young man’s life. Directed by his close friend, Laura Marie Wayne, making her feature documentary debut, Love, Scott was filmed over three years, from Scott’s very first raw moments in the hospital to a trip back to the place he was attacked, as he’s faced with the choice of losing himself in grief or embracing love over fear.

Set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós, Love, Scott was named Best Canadian Feature (Narrative or Documentary) at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at its U.S. premiere at the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, in addition to receiving a Special Mention at Ireland’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival.

Love, Scott is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

What Walaa Wants (89 min)

Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in an Israeli prison, Walaa is determined to become one of the few women in the Palestinian Security Forces—not easy for a girl who breaks all the rules. Following Walaa from the age of 15 to 21, Toronto filmmaker Christy Garland uses an intimate POV to tell the compelling story of this defiant young girl, who navigates formidable obstacles and disproves the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.

What Walaa Wants had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival and its Canadian premiere at Hot Docs, where it received the DGC Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary.

The film is produced by Matt Code and Christy Garland (Murmur Media; Canada), Anne Köhncke (Final Cut for Real; Denmark) and Justine Pimlott (NFB; Canada). The NFB executive producer is Anita Lee.

Animated shorts

Threads (8 min)

Torill Kove’s latest Mikrofilm AS/NFB co-production Threads explores the beauty and complexity of parental love and the bonds that we form. A film without words, Threads speaks volumes about the attachments we crave and sometimes grieve as we evolve in ways that can leave us feeling lonely or left behind—in a work that features Kove’s signature style of minimalistic characters and simple line drawings.

Named one of Canada’s top 10 films of the year by TIFF, Threads is the fourth NFB-co-produced animated short for Kove, winner of the Academy Award for The Danish Poet (2006) and an Oscar nominee for My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts (1999) and Me and My Moulton (2014). Threads is produced by Lise Fearnley and Tonje Skar Reiersen for Mikrofilm AS and Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English Animation Studio.

Three Thousand (12 min)

In Three Thousand, Inuit artist Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella-Rose Weetaluktuk, plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe: 12 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the past, present and future of Inuit in a radiant new light. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she dives into the NFB’s vast archive to parse the complicated cinematic representation of Inuit, conjuring up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.

Produced by Kat Baulu and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the Quebec and Atlantic Studio, Three Thousand has garnered three awards to date: the Kent Monkman Award for Best Experimental Work at the imagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, the International Indigenous Award at New Zealand’s Wairoa Maori Film Festival and the Best Global Indigenous Short Film Award at the Skábmagovat Film Festival in Finland.

Freaks of Nurture (6 min 30 s)

Alexandra Lemay’s stop-motion animated short about a neurotic mother-daughter relationship is inspired by the filmmaker’s own unorthodox upbringing with her single-parent mom. Up against a tight deadline and desperate to vent, a young filmmaker calls her mother (voiced by Emmy and Tony award winner Amanda Plummer) in search of support. Her mother, raising her biological children along with a handful of foster kids and adopting any animal that crosses her path, is literally stretched to her limits—and in utter denial about it.

Freaks of Nurture is produced by Maral Mohammadian and executive produced by Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English-language Animation Studio.

Winds of Spring (6 min)

Unfolding with the rhythm of the seasons, Winds of Spring tells the tender story of a young girl who, driven by the irrepressible need for self-fulfillment, decides to leave the family nest. Keyu Chen employs her signature style of fluid transitions and fine, spare lines inspired by Chinese ink painting in her delicately crafted first film. The winner of the 21st edition of the NFB’s Cinéaste recherché(e) competition, Keyu left her native China to come to Canada, and now works and lives in Montreal.

The film was originally produced in French as Un printemps by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer for the NFB’s French-language Animation Studio.


Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, videos, information: Freaks of Nurture | Love, Scott | Threads | Three Thousand | What Walaa Wants | Winds of Spring

Associated Links

St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
Murmur Media
Final Cut for Real

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.