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The NFB makes a strong showing at FNC 2020 with five innovative productions and co-productions. Bold works that use new technologies to push the boundaries of storytelling.


October 1, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Five productions and co-productions from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have been selected for the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) in Montreal, which will be held online from October 7 to 31, 2020, across Canada. Acclaimed on the international festival circuit, these works by artists of exceptional talent are now accessible to the Canadian public: Agence by Pietro Gagliano, The Book of Distance by Randall Okita, The Hangman at Home – VR by Michelle and Uri Kranot (screening in competition in the FNC Explore section, available October 7 to 18), and the animated short Altötting by Andreas Hykade (screening in competition in the Nouveaux alchimistes section); and the Motto Live performance by Vincent Morisset and Studio AATOAA, a must-see event. Artists Michelle and Uri Kranot will also give a virtual master class at the FNC.

The NFB at FNC 2020

FNC Explore – Horizon competition

These three remarkable works showed at the prestigious Venice festival as part of its Venice VR Expanded section at Montreal’s PHI Centre in September. The FNC is now giving audiences worldwide a chance to (re)discover them free of charge through the Viveport platform from October 7 to 18.

    • Agence places the fate of artificially intelligent creatures in your hands. Will you help to maintain their peaceful existence, or throw them into a state of chaos? A dynamic film that merges cinematic storytelling, artificial intelligence, and user interactivity, Agence is never the same twice.
    • The work had its world premiere at Venice.
    • In addition to being accessible at the FNC, Agence is also available on all platforms (VR, PC, mobile).
    • In 1935, Yonezo Okita left Hiroshima to begin a new life in Canada—then war and state-sanctioned racism changed everything. Three generations later, his grandson leads us on an interactive virtual pilgrimage to recover what was lost.
    • In addition to being accessible at the FNC in English (voiced by Colm Feore) and in French (voiced by Marc-André Grondin), The Book of Distance will also be available free as of October 8 on the main VR app distribution platforms (Steam, Oculus, Viveport).
    • A resounding success, The Book of Distance was presented at Venice after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequent invitations to Tribeca Immersive, CannesXR, Hot Docs and SIGGRAPH.
    • “What does the hangman think about when he goes home at night from work?” Inspired by the iconic Carl Sandburg poem, this VR single-user immersive experience explores the awkward intimacy that comes with being human, and the connection between spectator, witness and accomplice.
    • The experience is accessible at the FNC in French (voiced by Anne Dorval), English and Danish.
    • The work was recently awarded the Grand Jury Prize (Best VR Immersive Work) at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, where it made its world premiere.
    • As part of the FNC, Michelle and Uri Kranot—consummate artists who create contemporary experiences by fusing traditional animation with new technologies—will also host a virtual master class on October 17 at 10 a.m. (EDT). Characterized by a poetic sensibility and fragmented narratives, their work straddles past and present, fact and fiction.

FNC Explore – live broadcast event

  • Motto Live – North American premiere
    An AATOAA production, Motto Live is a performance based on the interactive work Motto.io created by Vincent Morisset, Sean Michaels, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit and Caroline Robert, developed by Studio AATOAA and produced by the NFB.
    Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/motto
    • The special event will be broadcast live (in French) at 4 p.m. on October 15 from Vincent Morisset’s studio and a handful of streets in Montreal’s Petite-Patrie district. Actress Marie Brassard and author Sean Michaels will narrate, with live music and sound by Philippe Lambert.
    • The performance is free, but reservations are required.
    • Motto.io is a playful, one-of-a-kind adventure that uses interactive storytelling and thousands of tiny videos to tell the thousand-year tale of a kindhearted spirit named September. Part ghost story, part scavenger hunt, it finds a way to be both documentary and fiction
    • Motto Live premiered at the UK’s Electric Dreams Festival.

Les nouveaux alchimistes – one work in competition

    • “You know, when I was a boy, I fell in love with the Virgin Mary. It happened in a little Bavarian town called Altötting.” A mesmerizing, haunting and deeply personal coming-of-age story about love, faith, mortality and shattered illusions.
    • The animated short made its world premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and has since screened at festivals worldwide, including Ottawa.

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Associated Links

Festival du nouveau cinéma
Transitional Forms
Late Love Production
Floréal Films
Miyu Productions
Studio Film Bilder
Ciclope Filmes

Media Relations

Marie-Claude Lamoureux
NFB Publicist
C.: 514-297-7192
m.c.lamoureux@nfb.ca | @MC_ONF

For The Hangman at Home – VR
Sophie St-Pierre
Communications Mingotwo
sophie@mingo2.ca | twitter.com/MelMing

For Motto Live
Nadine Viau
NFB Publicist
C.: 514-458-9745

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
C.: 514-296-8261

French version here | Version française ici.

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.