October 31, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada returns to the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA) this year with five films, including a preview screening of the director’s cut of 1999 (Parabola Films, in co-production with Beauvoir Films and the NFB), a feature documentary by Acadian director Samara Grace Chadwick. A collective essay on how grief is internalized, the film focuses on an inspiring group of people who break their long silence 16 years after a wave of teenage suicides at a Moncton-area high school. This screening will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 20, at the Capitol Theatre, with the director in attendance. Also screening at this year’s festival, in competition, is Luc Bourdon’s feature documentary La part du diable (The Devil’s Share). This will be the film’s premiere screening in Acadie, following its world premiere in a packed theatre at Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma, where it received a standing ovation. The film offers a new and distinctive perspective on Quebec’s Quiet Revolution of the 1970s, using clips from NFB films. Three NFB shorts will also be screened at the festival, as part of its special animation program: Éléonore Goldberg’s Mon yiddish papi (My Yiddish Papi) (Picbois Productions/NFB); Patrick Péris’ Nadine; and Matthew Rankin’s TESLA: LUMIÈRE MONDIALE (THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT).
The screenings of NFB films at FICFA will take place at various locations in the Moncton area. For the complete schedule and details on the screenings, visit www.ficfa.com. The festival runs from November 16 to 24, 2017.
- 1999 by Samara Grace Chadwick (90 min) – director’s cut
Produced by Parabola Films (Selin Murat and Sarah Spring) in co-production with Beauvoir Films (Aline Schmid) and the NFB (Kat Baulu from the Quebec and Atlantic Studio and Jac Gautreau from the Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie).
- When death haunts a high school in the Moncton area in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle, prismatic film, Samara Grace Chadwick returns to the town she fled as a teen to re-immerse herself in the memories still lurking there, in its spaces and within the dusty boxes of diaries, photos and VHS tapes. 1999 is not a ghost story, but the ghosts are palpable at every turn. The snow-covered streets, the school’s hallways and lockers are preserved as in a dream. The absences left by the relentless teenage suicides still shimmer with questions, trauma and regret. Samara encounters people who are as breathtaking as they are heartbroken, and, finally, 16 years later, the community strengthens itself by sharing the long-silenced memories. Ultimately the film weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how grief is internalized—and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.
- Samara Grace Chadwick grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, and left the city at age 16. She earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and has spent more than 15 years working in the field of documentary film throughout Europe and North and South America, primarily as a filmmaker, editor, and festival programmer. She is currently a programmer for the Points North Institute and the Camden International Film Festival, and formerly worked with the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, the RIDM festival in Montreal, and Philip Groening Filmproduktion in Berlin.
Competition – Best Medium-Length or Feature-Length Documentary
La part du diable (The Devil’s Share) by Luc Bourdon (102 min) – Acadian premiere
Produced at the NFB by Colette Loumède
- La part du diable offers a new and distinctive perspective on Quebec’s Quiet Revolution of the 1970s. For this unique, poetic film, director Luc Bourdon worked closely with editor Michel Giroux to delve deeply into a key period of Quebec’s history. Deftly selecting clips from nearly 200 films from the NFB archives, Bourdon crafts, without voice-over commentary, a compelling look at a decade in which Quebec society was profoundly transformed—changes that were also echoed in Acadie. The film follows a powerful narrative thread. Highly evocative excerpts from films by acclaimed directors, including Denys Arcand, Pierre Perrault, and Anne-Claire Poirier, highlight the powerful on-screen presence of a range of well-known personalities, such as René Lévesque, Robert Charlebois, Michel Tremblay, Pauline Julien, and Jean Chrétien. The film invites each of us to become a committed observer of these events, and to lend an attentive ear to its passionate, lyrical statement on this momentous decade. The result is an exhilarating blend of sounds and images, a moving experience that also will inspire viewers to reflect.
- Luc Bourdon is one of the key figures in the art of videography in Canada. Over a period of more than 25 years, he has created some 50 works in a variety of genres—documentary, drama, experimental—with a focus primarily on the themes of history and memory. These themes are also central to The Memories of Angels and La part du diable, the two feature documentaries he directed at the NFB.
Special Animation Program
TESLA: LUMIÈRE MONDIALE (THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT) by Matthew Rankin (8 min)
Produced at the NFB by Julie Roy
- Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla writes to financier J.P. Morgan in this experimental animated film. Inspired by real events, this electrifying short is a spectacular burst of image and sound that draws as much from the tradition of avant-garde cinema as it does from animated documentary.
- The film had its world premiere at the 56th International Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival.
- Honourable mention ex-aequo at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, along with two awards at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
- A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Montreal-based Matthew Rankin studied Quebec history at McGill University and Université Laval before turning to film. This is his second NFB film, following The Radical Expeditions of Walter Boudreau (2015). His Mynarski Death Plummet took the 2015 “Off-Limits” Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Mon yiddish papi (My Yiddish Papi) by Éléonore Goldberg (7 min)
Produced by Karine Dubois (Picbois Productions) and Julie Roy (NFB), and executive produced by Roy.
- A young woman decides not to answer a phone call from her grandfather, unaware that it will be his last. When he dies, she is overwhelmed with guilt and regret and can’t sleep. But then she remembers a promise made long ago: to tell the harrowing story of his experiences in World War II and celebrate his life.
- The film had its world premiere at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and has been selected to screen as part of the international competition at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation, taking place at the Cinémathèque québécoise from November 22 to 26, 2017.
- Éléonore Goldberg is a Franco-Canadian filmmaker, animator and cartoonist. Her screenplay for My Yiddish Papi won the SODEC/SARTEC Award and the Special Jury Prize at the “Cours écrire ton court” contest. Her animated short Wandering was nominated for a Jutra and received awards at the Breakthroughs festival and Cinema on the Bayou. She has worked on Dominic Goyer’s L’origine des espèces (2016) and Cam Christiansen’s Wall (2017) and illustrated the graphic novel The Young Lady in White (2016).
Nadine by Patrick Péris (4 min 30 s)
Produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer
- Sam is studying quietly in the library when he’s suddenly distracted by the most beautiful girl in the world. When she takes a seat right in front of him, he is immediately bewitched. Who is she? And how should he go about approaching her? This shy adolescent with an overactive imagination has no choice but to find the courage within himself to talk to her before it’s too late.
- Quebec filmmaker Patrick Péris is a versatile, multidisciplinary artist and an accomplished and prolific director. He developed his signature look and mastered different animation techniques while working on various projects: music videos, commercials, short films (including Grenailles (2014) and Our Seasons (2013), both shown at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois), educational and corporate videos, and interactive artworks.
Tremplin Competition Reception at FICFA
- To mark the upcoming launch of the 10th-anniversary edition of the NFB’s Tremplin competition for emerging francophone filmmakers, the NFB will be holding a reception at FICFA from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18. Attending the event will be Dominic Desjardins, Executive Producer, Canadian Francophonie Studio, and Jac Gautreau, Producer, Canadian Francophonie Studio – Acadie. Filmmaker André Roy, one of the winners of last year’s Tremplin competition, will also be there to discuss his Tremplin experience and show the audience his second and most recent NFB-produced project, the 360-degree documentary short La 3e roue (The 3rd Wheel)
- The NFB Tremplin competition, organized in collaboration with Radio-Canada, is aimed at emerging French-speaking filmmakers outside Quebec. Competition winners are given the chance to direct a first or second documentary under professional conditions.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis:
My Yiddish Papi
THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT
Available in French only: La part du diable