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The NFB at RIDM 2018’s UXdoc Space. Lisa Jackson’s VR experience Biidaaban: First Light, a recent award winner at imagineNATIVE, making its Quebec and French-language premieres in Montreal.


October 25, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Fresh from its win for Best Interactive Work at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Biidaaban: First Light will be shown at the UXdoc Space of the 2018 Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal(RIDM), taking place November 8 to 19. This will be Biidaabans Quebec premiere in English and its world premiere in its French-language version. Montreal audiences will have the opportunity to view this interactive virtual reality work at last, following its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and appearances in Toronto and Vancouver. BiidaabanFirst Light offers a fascinating exploration of Indigenous futurism anchored in ancestral heritage, and features the languages of the land’s first peoples: Wendat, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Anishinaabe (Ojibway). It was created by award-winning Anishinabe artist Lisa Jackson, 3D artist Mathew Borrett, digital design and experience agency Jam3 and the NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver. Lisa Jackson will be offering a live assisted projection of the VR work for members of the public on Sunday, November 11, at 8 p.m. at the UXdoc Space.

Biidaaban: First Light (6–8 min)
Synopsis, biographies, images: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/biidaaban/

About the experience

Toronto is flooded. Its infrastructure has merged with the local fauna; mature trees grow through cracks in the sidewalks and vines cover south-facing walls. People commute via canoe and grow vegetables on skyscraper roofs. Urban life is thriving—and so are the languages of the Wendat, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Anishinaabe (Ojibway), this land’s first peoples.

About the artist and the producers

It’s the first interactive, room-scale VR work by Jackson, whose award-winning fiction and documentary films have screened widely at festivals such as Berlin, Hot Docs, SXSW and London BFI, and earned a Genie Award. Lisa’s upcoming projects include an IMAX film as well as more traditional film and TV work. Biidaaban: First Light is produced by Dana Dansereau and Rob McLaughlin from the NFB. The executive producer is Rob McLaughlin, head of the Digital Studio in Vancouver.

Screening history 

Biidaaban: First Light had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival followed by an installation at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, where it was experienced by 2,200 visitors in less than a week. It has also been featured at VIFF Immersed, a public exhibit that was part of the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the most recent edition of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, where it won an award.

Biidaaban: First Light at RIDM

  • Lisa Jackson will take part in the Talent Lab at Doc Circuit Montréal, the festival’s forum for industry professionals, on Sunday, November 11, at 10 a.m.
  • The assisted projection by Lisa Jackson will be held live at UXdoc Space on Sunday, November 11, at 8 p.m. Admission: $12.
  • Other than assisted projections, access to UXdoc Space is free. The space is in the Salle Raoul-Barré at the Cinémathèque Québécoise and is open daily from noon to 7 p.m., November 9 to 17. NB: UXdoc Space will be closed on November 14 from noon to 3:30 p.m.


Promotional Material

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Biidaaban First Light

Associated Links

UXdoc Space
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the world’s leading digital content hubs, creating groundbreaking interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations and participatory experiences. NFB interactive productions and digital platforms have won over 100 awards, including 21 Webbys. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.