October 25, 2016 – Moncton – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) presents the world premiere of veteran director Rodolphe Caron’s new film, Simplement Viola (Uniquely Viola), which opens the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA). The documentary screens on November 10 at 8:00 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre with the director present, along with NFB Chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur and the great Viola Léger herself.
Also premiering at this 30th edition of FICFA is André Roy’s short film Partie de moi (A Part of Me), made through the 2016 Tremplin competition (NFB in collaboration with Radio-Canada). The director and the film’s protagonists will be in attendance. In addition, the FICFA program includes three animated shorts from the NFB: Vaysha l’aveugle (Blind Vaysha) by Theodore Ushev; Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes) by Franck Dion; and Oscar by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre.
NFB films at FICFA will be shown at various locations in the Moncton area. Complete scheduling information and details on all screenings can be found at www.ficfa.com. The festival runs from November 10 to 18, 2016.
- Simplement Viola (2016, 79 min), by Rodolphe Caron
Simplement Viola paints a tender and delicate portrait of 85-year-old actor Viola Léger, who has embodied La Sagouine—the famous character from Antonine Maillet’s eponymous 1971 play—for over 40 years. With a new series of performances about to begin, she has a case of the jitters as she contemplates stepping out onto the stage again. Filmmaker Rodolphe Caron follows Léger closely in the days leading up to the performance, giving her full rein to voice her hopes, doubts, and fears.
Produced by Jac Gautreau at the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie, the film will be broadcast on Radio-Canada Acadie in spring 2017.
Born in Lac Baker, New Brunswick, filmmaker Rodolphe Caron has directed more than a dozen shorts and medium-length and feature-length documentaries.
His documentary Léonard Forest, Filmmaker and Poet (Productions Appalaches and NFB) won the award for best Acadian work at FICFA in 2006.
- Partie de moi (2016, 23 min), by André Roy
Partie de moi looks at a little-understood subject: hair loss among women. The documentary follows Karène, the filmmaker’s wife, who suffers from alopecia and is ready to do just about anything to regain her self-confidence and sense of her own beauty. Three other women also tell their stories of coming to terms with hair loss: Madeleine, 17; Jenny, 30; and Marie-Claire, who is 60.
This second documentary from André Roy deals with beauty, desire, self-acceptance and social acceptance by taking us into the daily lives of women from three different generations.
Produced by Jac Gautreau at the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie.
André Roy holds two bachelor’s degrees from Université de Moncton, in information/communications and dramatic arts. In addition to making films, this talented emerging artist wears many hats in the world of theatre and is also a humorist. Two of his films were featured at FICFA in 2015: the drama Un dîner de Noël pas comme les autres and the documentary L’humour c’est secondaire. The latter was broadcast as a two-part series by the UNIS network during the winter of 2016.
Partie de moi was made as part of the 2016 Tremplin competition and is produced by the NFB in collaboration with Radio-Canada. It will be screened in November 2016, and will be broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé in 2017.
The Tremplin competition initiative reflects the NFB’s mandate to discover and showcase the talent of emerging Canadian francophone documentary filmmakers. By offering hands-on film production experience, Tremplin provides an essential step in the process of launching a film career. For its part, Radio-Canada believes in the importance of broadcasting these documentaries by young francophone Canadian filmmakers, whose work reveals the major issues of our time through the full range of human experience.
- Vaysha l’aveugle (8 min, 15 s), by Theodore Ushev
Vaysha is not like other young girls: her left eye sees only the past, her right eye only the future—and she is unable to see the reality that exists in the present. Narrated by Caroline Dhavernas, this short film is adapted from a philosophical short story by Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov.
Theodore Ushev is a regular at FICFA, where his film Sonámbulo screened in 2015. Now he is back with Vaysha l’aveugle. The film is coming off a triumphant European festival run, which began with its world premiere at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and continued with the film winning the Jury Award and Junior Jury Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, in addition to garnering other honours.
It was also shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and recently received awards for Best Narrative Short Animation and Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
Vaysha l’aveugle is produced for the NFB by Marc Bertrand, with the participation of ARTE France. Julie Roy is the executive producer.
- Une tête disparaît (9 min, 30 s), by Franck Dion
Jacqueline isn’t quite in her right mind anymore, but she decides to take a train ride to the seashore all by herself—just like a big girl!
Franck Dion takes us inside the faltering, fragile mind of a woman living with dementia who is determined to take the train to the seaside, as she does every summer.
Une tête disparaît won the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s prestigious Cristal Award—the festival’s highest honour—for best short film this year.
The film is co-produced by Franck Dion and Richard Van Den Boom for Papy3D, by Julie Roy for the NFB, and by Hélène Vayssières for ARTE France.
- Oscar (12 min), by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre
Oscar masterfully blends animated sequences and archival footage in its touching portrait of virtuoso pianist Oscar Peterson, as he wistfully meditates on the price of fame and the impact of an artist’s life on relationships with family members at the twilight of an exceptional career.
The film had its world premiere at LA Shorts Fest (September 1 to 8, 2016).
Oscar is produced by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre and Jocelyne Perrier for MJSTP Films and Marc Bertrand for the NFB, with the collaboration of Télé-Québec.
Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie
Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie