May 2, 2019 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Launching May 2 at NFB.ca/supremelaw and Hot Docs, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) interactive documentary Supreme Law by acclaimed director Katerina Cizek will give Canadians a fresh new perspective on the Canadian Constitution—exploring the incredible stories behind the 1982 patriation and how they continue to resonate in our country to this day.
Made in partnership with the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta, Supreme Law brings together Canadian YouTube stars, constitutional scholars, historic video clips, and meticulously researched background on one of the most important and dramatic political events in Canada of the 20th century.
Supreme Law explores the drama behind the 1982 patriation, guided by an all-star cast of Canadian social media stars, each representing a different perspective on the shaping of the Canadian Constitution. JusReign takes the prime minister’s POV. Rachel David is a voice for women largely left out of the constitutional patriation process. The Baker Twins recount Indigenous peoples’ fight to make sure the Constitution recognized their rights. And Emma Bossé reps Quebec, while Alayna Joy is a voice for the West—both regions with serious grievances and concerns.
The period leading up to patriation was pivotal, with the results still felt today. Women insisted their voices be heard. Indigenous people joined together on the Constitution Express to demand recognition for treaty and inherent rights. Quebec felt betrayed, and several provinces fought the plan in court.
Produced for the NFB by Bonnie Thompson and David Christensen, Supreme Law is wrapped in a brilliantly retro visual aesthetic with a soundtrack of tunes that rocked the country during the ’80s.
Supreme Law’s videos are breezy, informative—and hilarious. While watching them, you can seamlessly switch between points of view at any time. If something grabs your interest and you want to read more, the intuitive interface offers easy access to “deep dives”: bios of the amazing cast of political players, archival documents, and more detailed background by top experts.
Live event at DocX
Supreme Law’s online launch kicks off May 2 in Toronto with a special event at DocX, a program of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Taking part in this live event:
- Katerina Cizek, Supreme Law director
- JusReign, YouTuber, writer, social media influencer
- Rachel David, YouTuber, writer, social media influencer
- Hugo Cyr, Dean, Faculty of Political Science and Law, UQAM, and author of the Quebec viewpoint, deep dive and YouTuber script
- Ardith Walkem, lawyer, writer, author of the Indigenous deep dive segment
- Mildred Poplar, formerly with the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, who helped to organize the 1982 Constitutional Express, featured in the Indigenous video
- Bonnie Thompson, producer
About the filmmaker
Katerina Cizek is a Peabody and Emmy award-winning documentarian working across emergent media platforms. Over a decade at the National Film Board, she has helped redefine the NFB as one of the world’s leading digital storytelling hubs through her multi-award-winning projects Filmmaker-in-Residence and HIGHRISE. Cizek currently leads a new initiative at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab called the Co-Creation Studio, where she is completing a field study entitled Collective Wisdom: Co-creating Media within Communities, across Disciplines and with Algorithms, funded by the Ford Foundation.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopses: Supreme Law
Centre for Constitutional Studies
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival