February 7, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) returns to the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (RVCQ) with 12 films, nine of which will be in competition. They include the animated short Vaysha l’aveugle (Blind Vaysha) by Theodore Ushev, nominated for an Oscar this year; the world premiere of the documentary short La dernière clé (The Last Key) by Julien Capraro, produced as part of the Tremplin competition by the NFB in collaboration with ICI Radio-Canada Télé; and the Quebec premiere of Simplement Viola (Uniquely Viola) by Rodolphe Caron. The NFB is also participating in the RVCQ’s Rendez-vous Pro event with the interactive documentary Streamers by Guillaume Braun, due for release in the coming months. The 35th RVCQ will take place from February 22 to March 4, 2017.
The event gives Montreal audiences the opportunity to experience on the big screen NFB films—documentaries and animation, shorts and features—that have had successful runs at festivals in Canada and abroad over the past year. The short films in competition—Blind Vaysha, Mobilize, Mamie, Oscar, J’aime les filles (I Like Girls), Dialogue(s) and Carrière (Stone Makers)—were selected from among the top 320 films produced in Quebec in 2016, as well as works produced in French elsewhere in Canada (represented by The Last Key and Uniquely Viola).
Two feature-length documentaries will screen out of competition: the latest film by acclaimed Indigenous director Alanis Obomsawin, We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, and Waseskun by Steve Patry, which is continuing its tour of Quebec. Also screening will be the short doc Une bonne récolte (A Good Harvest), directed by Bogdan Stefan.
For full details about these NFB films’ careers on the festival circuit, including prizes won, please refer to the various press kits available in the Media Space section of NFB.ca. Note that RVCQ will be showing the French versions of these films.
In competition – Best Animated Short Film
Vaysha l’aveugle (Blind Vaysha) by Theodore Ushev (8 min 15 s)
Nominated for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (the ceremony will be held on February 26)
- Vaysha is not like other little girls. Her left eye sees only the past; her right, only the future. “Blind Vaysha,” they call her. The film was produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand and executive producer Julie Roy, with the participation of ARTE France. Narrated by actress Caroline Dhavernas.
In competition – Best Franco-Canadian Film
La dernière clé (The Last Key) by Julien Capraro (24 min) – World premiere
- A young immigrant arrives in Canada from France, and among the belongings he has brought with him is a Citroën 2CV. The iconic post-war car stands out on the streets of Vancouver, and before long he meets up with a group of like-minded car buffs. Franck, Lionel, Harjeet and Johnny Mac, busy preparing for an upcoming antique car show, explain how these cars not only evoke nostalgia for a past era but are also a powerful marker of identity that represents a link between cultures. The director will attend the screening of his film, which will precede the documentary Police sous surveillance by Charles Gervais. La dernière clé will then embark on a cross-Canada tour as part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, from March 2 to 22. The short film was produced at the NFB by Dominic Desjardins, executive producer with the Canadian Francophonie Studio, as part of the Tremplin competition for emerging francophone filmmakers outside Quebec, in collaboration with ICI Radio-Canada Télé.
Simplement Viola (Uniquely Viola) by Rodolphe Caron (75 min 30 s) – Quebec premiere
- Eighty-five-year-old Viola Léger has been embodying La Sagouine, the famous character from Antonine Maillet’s eponymous 1971 play, for over 40 years. Filmmaker Rodolphe Caron follows the veteran Acadian actress as she prepares for a new series of performances, inviting her to talk about her long and successful career. The film was produced at the NFB by Jac Gautreau and Maryse Chapdelaine of the Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie, with executive producer Dominic Desjardins and the collaboration of Radio-Canada. The director will be present for the screening.
Other films in competition – Short films
Mobilize by Caroline Monnet (2 min 50 s)
- Mobilize takes viewers on an exhilarating journey from the Far North to the urban south, revealing the perpetual negotiation between the modern and traditional by a people always moving forward. Part of Souvenir, a four-film series that addresses Indigenous identity and representation by reworking material in the NFB’s archives. Produced and executive produced at the NFB by Anita Lee.
Mamie by Janice Nadeau (6 min 15 s)
- Mamie lives as a recluse in Gaspésie, in a house that faces away from the sea. Her granddaughter often wonders: “Why isn’t Mamie interested in anything I do?” Co-produced by Corinne Destombes for France-based Folimage and Marc Bertrand for the NFB. Executive produced by Julie Roy (NFB). Narrated by Quebec actress Isabelle Blais.
Oscar by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (12 min)
- Mixing animated sequences and archival footage, this short paints a heartfelt portrait of virtuoso pianist Oscar Peterson, looking back on his beginnings as a young prodigy and meditating on the impact of his exceptional career on his family life. Co-produced by MJSTP Films (Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre and Jocelyne Perrier) and the NFB (Marc Bertrand), in collaboration with Télé-Québec. Executive produced by Julie Roy (NFB).
J’aime les filles (I Like Girls) by Diane Obomsawin (8 min 10 s)
- Endearing anthropomorphic figures tell real-life stories, revealing the nitty-gritty about the first loves of four women who share funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression. Produced by Marc Bertrand (NFB) and executive produced by Julie Roy (NFB). The director will be present for the screening.
Dialogue(s) by Philippe David Gagné (5 min)
- Air force pilots, a heavy metal band and two fans of modified cars are the unlikely focus of a deadpan film essay on language. Through a clever, unpredictable edit, the director takes great delight in revealing the strange ways that men communicate. From the second edition of the 5 Shorts Project, produced by Denis McCready and Colette Loumède (NFB) and Claudia Chabot (La bande Sonimage). The director will be present for the screening.
Carrière (Stone Makers) by Jean-Marc E. Roy (5 min)
- A routine workday in a granite quarry turns into a captivating industrial symphony. While men work in the background, various pieces of equipment and machines perform for the camera as if they were dancers in a contemporary ballet. From the second edition of the 5 Shorts Project, produced by Denis McCready and Colette Loumède (NFB) and Claudia Chabot (La bande Sonimage). The director will be present for the screening.
We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice by Alanis Obomsawin (160 min)
- The film documents a nine-year legal battle in which Indigenous Canadians took on the Canadian government to secure equal services for their children. Produced at the NFB by Alanis Obomsawin; executive produced by Annette Clarke.
Waseskun by Steve Patry (80 min)
- The Waseskun Healing Center is an alternative detention centre run by Indigenous people for members of Indigenous communities. Each scene of the film draws us into the unvarnished daily realities of life for these men, as they struggle—sometimes with themselves—to overcome their own suffering and history and find balance in their lives. Produced at the NFB by Nathalie Cloutier and Denis McCready; executive produced by Colette Loumède.
Une bonne récolte (A Good Harvest) by Bogdan Stefan (5 min)
- In a rural setting, the bleeding of a pig is depicted plainly, as an autumn ritual. A just and moving tribute to the handing down of actions that, shared across families and generations, also perpetuate true social solidarity. From the second edition of the 5 Shorts Project, produced by Denis McCready and Colette Loumède (NFB) and Claudia Chabot (La bande Sonimage). The director will be present for the screening.
- Part of the RVCQ, the Rendez-vous Pro is a networking event that brings together industry professionals. This year’s edition takes place in Montreal from February 28 to March 3.
- Streamers is an interactive documentary project by Guillaume Braun of creative studio Akufen, with the collaboration of Marie-Ève Tremblay and Hervé Baillargeon, produced at the NFB by Louis-Richard Tremblay. Braun along with Marie-Ève Tremblay and Louis-Richard Tremblay will present the project on March 1 at 4 p.m. in the main screening room of the Cinémathèque québécoise. Set for release in the next few months, the interactive work takes a documentary approach to exploring the community of “streamers” and their desire to exist in today’s hyperconnected era, broadcasting themselves as they play video games in real time.
Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois
ICI Radio-Canada Télé
La bande Sonimage
5 Shorts Project