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Borealis

Kevin McMahon
2020 | 93 min 18 sec

Selections and Awards

  • Official SelectionHot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, Canada (2020)


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Kevin McMahon
Creative Director and Producer
Biography
Photo


Kevin McMahon

Kevin McMahon began his career as an investigative reporter before shifting to film in the 1980s. His critically lauded films are described as “visually stunning and brilliantly conceived” (The Globe and Mail); “they deal with important topics and never shirk the difficulties inherent in complex issues” (Take One magazine).

Kevin has directed more than 20 films and produced dozens of hours of non-fiction television. His work is focused on environmental themes, viewed explicitly—in subjects like Niagara Falls, the cod fishery and nuclear weapons—and obliquely—in stories about the guru Marshall McLuhan, Haida and Inuit communities, or the nature of human intelligence. Known for bringing unusual perspectives and personalities to documentary, Kevin has collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, rock musician Gord Downie, performance artist Laurie Anderson, comedian Mary Walsh and actress Sarah Polley.

Kevin has just completed Borealis, a feature documentary for TVO and the NFB. Most recently, he finished Equator 360, a 12-hour series and VR project for ZDF/ARTE, NHK, Discovery Canada and ZDF Enterprises.

Kevin’s work has garnered a variety of awards, including several Geminis, a top prize from the Canadian Centre for Investigative Journalism, a nomination for the Governor General’s Award in public-service journalism and honours from film festivals around the world. Kevin is also a frequent mentor to younger filmmakers; in 2006, he was the first Official Mentor at the Hot Docs festival. In 2011, he was named Canadian Eco Hero by the Planet in Focus film festival.

Filmography of feature documentaries :

Equator: A New World View (2018)
Spaceship Earth (2016)
The Polar Sea (2014)
National Parks Project (2011)(co-director)
Waterlife (2009)
The Face of Victory (2005)
Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii (2004)
McLuhan’s Wake (2002)
Cod (2000)
Intelligence (1998)
In The Reign of Twilight (1995)
The Falls (1991)


Kristina McLaughlin
Producer (Primitive Entertainment Inc.)
Biography
Photo


Kristina McLaughlin

Kristina McLaughlin has worked on some of the most critically acclaimed Canadian documentaries of the last two decades. Recently, she produced Coppers for TVO; the human-rights documentary In Search of a Perfect World for the CBC and ZDF/Arte; the multi-platform series Equator 360 for Japan’s NHK, ZDF/Arte and Discovery Canada; the feature documentaries Spaceship Earth and How to Build a Time Machine; The Polar Sea, a multimedia Arctic adventure for ZDF/ARTE, TVO and Knowledge Network; and Good Knight (aka batman), a BravoFACT short.


Justine Pimlott
Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Jennifer Rowsom


Justine Pimlott

Justine Pimlott is a multi-award winning Producer based at the National Film Board of Canada in the Ontario Studio. With over 20 years of experience in the industry Justine has a long history of bringing stories that are often marginalized to the screen. She was the co-founder of Red Queen Productions and a long time board member of the Inside Out LGBT Film & Video Festival.

Her NFB producer credits include: What Walaa Wants (Berlin, Hot Docs 2018 Jury Prize Best Canadian Feature Documentary, TIFF Top Ten Film, CSA nominee for Best Feature Length Documentary); A Better Man (Hot Docs 2017, Doc NYC 2017), the Legacies 150 interactive project Portrait of A Family, several Governor General Awards Shorts and the upcoming feature documentaries Inconvenient Indian & Borealis.

 


Jane Jankovic
Executive Producer (TVO)
Biography
Photo


Jane Jankovic

Jane Jankovic is Executive Producer of Documentaries at TVO. Priority commissions are social-issue and current-affairs documentaries and series that focus on contemporary social, political and cultural issues of direct relevance to Canadian audiences and promote citizen engagement. Recent examples include Prey (Audience Award, Hot Docs 2019); Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies (Hot Docs 2019); There Are No Fakes (Hot Docs 2019); The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution (Hot Docs opening gala 2018); and A Better Man (Hot Docs 2017). Jane has worked in television and media for more than 30 years, first as a magazine editor and then as a producer for several independent production companies on programming for CTV and CBCNN. She joined TVO in 1994 as senior producer of its Gemini Award-winning daily current-affairs program, Studio 2, and has been commissioning documentaries since 2007.


Anita Lee
Executive Producer (NFB)
Biography
Photo
Photo : NFB


Anita Lee

Anita Lee is Executive Producer and Head of Studio in Toronto for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) where she helms the programming and production of Ontario projects including Canadian and international co-productions, and forges key strategic partnerships. A multi-award-winning producer, Lee produced some of the most critically acclaimed works in NFB history, including Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, named Best Documentary Feature by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, and Best Canadian Film by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The Apology was awarded a Peabody in 2019 and a 2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton. Recent projects as Executive Producer include: Stateless; The Book of Distance (Sundance 2020); This is not a Movie (TIFF 2019); What is Democracy (TIFF 2018); What Walaa Wants (Berlin 2018, Hot Docs Jury Prize Best Canadian Feature Documentary, TIFF Top Ten Film, CSA nominee for Best Feature Documentary); Unarmed Verses (Hot Docs 2017 Best Canadian Feature Documentary, TIFF Top Ten, CSA nomination for Best Feature Documentary); A Better Man (Hot Docs 2017, Doc NYC 2017) and Draw Me Close (Tribeca, Venice 2017).  Lee established NFB’s Creative Non-Fiction Immersive Lab which partnered with the CFC and Ford Foundation on Open ImmersionVR, Creative Doc VR Lab with National Theatre (UK), and Otherly, a non-fiction Instagram Stories Lab in partnership with POV Spark (PBS). Lee is the Founder /Advisory Chair of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Michael McMahon
Producer, Executive Producer (Primitive Entertainment Inc.)
Biography
Photo


Michael McMahon

Michael McMahon oversees Primitive Entertainment’s selection of projects and focuses on the company’s many relationships with broadcasters, distributors, co-production partners, industry organizations and government agencies. With 30 years’ experience producing premium non-fiction content, Primitive Entertainment has earned more than 40 awards worldwide.

Films produced by Michael have screened at festivals and venues around the world, including Hot Docs, the Berlin International Film Festival, SXSW, TIFF, the Sydney Film Festival, the Tokyo International Film Festival, IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOXA and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Michael’s latest project is Borealis, a feature documentary by Kevin McMahon for TVO, ZDF/Arte, NHK, Knowledge Network and the NFB; The Yes Men Build a Wall for ZDF/Arte and CBC; and Writing the Land for CBC and ZDF/Arte.

Michael was the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Hot Docs from 2003 to 2018 and is the former Co-Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), an industry group representing documentary filmmakers across Canada.

Credits

The National Film Board of Canada, TVO & Primitive Entertainment present

A

PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT

and

NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA

Co-Production

IN ASSOCIATION WITH
ZDF/ARTE and NHK

BOREALIS

FEATURED VOICES
DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER – BOTANIST
STAN BOUTIN – POPULATION ECOLOGIST
ROGER BRETT – FOREST HEALTH TECHNICIAN
ISABELLE DESROCHERS-STEIN – HERBALIST
NADIR ERBILGIN – FOREST ENTOMOLOGIST
MIKE FLANNIGAN – PROFESSOR OF WILDLAND FIRE
ERIN FLEMING – FIRE SMART SUPERVISOR
CHRISTINE GODWIN – BIOLOGIST
TED HOGG – RESEARCH SCIENTIST
SAM HUNTER – CLIMATE CHANGE MONITOR
EDMUND METATAWABIN – INNINO AUTHOR
BEN MIRRAN – TRAPPER
ROBERT PARTRIDGE – FORESTER
TUUKKA PETÄJÄ – ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST
JESSICA PIERCEY – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST
DAVID PRICE – RESEARCH SCIENTIST
GERRY RACEY – ECOLOGIST
DAVID SCHINDLER – AQUATIC ECOLOGIST
THOMAS SCOTT – FORT ALBANY COMMUNITY MEMBER
SANDY SMITH – PROFESSOR OF FOREST HEALTH

BOREAL ECOLOGY GUIDE
GERRY RACEY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
FELICITY JUSTRABO

ORIGINAL MUSIC
JUSTIN SMALL & OHAD BENCHETRIT 

SOUND DESIGN
GRANT EDMONDS

EDITOR
NATHAN SHIELDS

VISUAL EFFECTS
MARK ALBERTS

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
JOHN MINH TRAN

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
JOSHUA SEE
HUGO KITCHING

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
MICHAEL MCMAHON (PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT)
ANITA LEE (NFB)
JANE JANKOVIC (TVO)

PRODUCERS
KRISTINA MCLAUGHLIN (PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT)
KEVIN MCMAHON (PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT)
MICHAEL MCMAHON (PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT)
JUSTINE PIMLOTT (NFB)

DIRECTOR
KEVIN MCMAHON

Story Producer
JAMES BROADLEY

Researcher
NIKITA TAKKAR

Visual Researcher
ANITA TURCOTTE

Featured Voices
DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER
Author, Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet 

STAN BOUTIN
Canadian Mountain Network Co-Research Director
University of Alberta

ROGER BRETT
Forest Health Supervising Technician, Northern Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada

ISABELLE DESROCHERS-STEIN
Herbalist

NADIR ERBILGIN
Professor, Forest Entomology & Chemical Ecology
University of Alberta

MIKE FLANNIGAN
Director, Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science
University of Alberta

ERIN FLEMING
FireSmart Supervisor, Regional Emergency Services
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

CHRISTINE GODWIN
Manager, Ecology Group
Owl Moon Environmental Inc

TED HOGG
Research Scientist, Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada

SAM HUNTER
Climate Change Monitor
Weenusk First Nation

KAJAR KÖSTER
Academy Research Fellow, Department of Forest Science
University of Helsinki

EDMUND METATAWABIN
Co-Author Up Ghost River
Fort Albany First Nation

BEN MIRON
Trapper

ROBERT PARTRIDGE
Forester

TUUKKA PETÄJÄ
Professor, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research
University of Helsinki

JESSICA PIERCEY
Environmental Scientist
Syncrude Canada

DAVID PRICE
Research Scientist, Integrated Modelling of Climate Change Impacts
Natural Resources Canada

GERRY RACEY
Resource Management Specialist (Retired)
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

DAVID SCHINDLER
Professor Emeritus, Biological Sciences
University of Alberta

THOMAS SCOTT
Fort Albany First Nation

SANDY SMITH
Director of Forestry Programs
University of Toronto

CHRISTIAN WIRTH
Head, Department of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity
German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research

Production Coordinator
MAEVE KERN

Production Support
CAROLIN NEUBAUER

Aerial Photography
CHRIS GOLL
JOSHUA SEE

Additional Photography
CHRISTIAN SCHIDLOWSKI

Camera Assistants
CHRIS GOLL
ALEX MACPHAIL
JORN MEYER

Helicopter Pilot
RJ PRICE

Firebox Footage
DAN JIMINEZ
US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Missoula Fire Science Laboratory

Parks Canada Fire Management Supervisors
STEPHANIE KOROSCIL
BEAU MICHAUD

Location Sound
MIKE FILIPPOV
SANJAY MEHTA
CHRIS GOLL 

Translators
STEFAN RANDSTROM
STEPHANIE WEIMAR

Transcribers
AVA HARNESS
GINGER HOWARD
CAMRYN KERN
ROSANA KHABBAZ DIAZ
GABRIELA SALON

Post-Production Coordinator
JORDAN SCHINKEL

Dialogue Editors
MIMI SCOWEN
PATIENCE BRADFORD

Sound Effects Editor
MARC CHIASSON

Re-Recording Mixer
GRANT EDMONDS

Post-Production Picture
JAXX

Finishing Editor
DIPESH MISTRY

Digital Colourist
DAVID ST. LOUIS

Data By
THE MATRX

“Oh Evergreen”
Music: TRADITIONAL
Words by KEVIN McMAHON
Arranged by DAVEED GOLDMAN
Performed by CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR!
Choir Co-directors: NOBU ADILMAN, DAVEED GOLDMAN

Singers:
STEPHANIE BRAITHWAITE
RENÉE GOMES
LAURA HAYWARD
SHAMA JOSHI
PIPER MacFADYEN
LYNNE PROVENCHER
SUSAN K. ROBERTSON
MIRA SHENKER
SHOSHANA WASER
MASON WRIGHT

Boreal Songbird Field Recordings
ALBERTA BIODIVERSITY MONITORING INSTITUTE

ABDI Coordinator
ALEX McPHAIL

Archival Footage
52 MEDIA INC
GETTY IMAGES
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Legal Counsel
DUNCAN MORIN LLP

Insurance
FRONT ROW INSURANCE BROKERS INC.

For the National Film Board of Canada

Studio Operations Manager
MARK WILSON 

Studio Administrators
PATRICIA BOURGEOIS
STEFANIE BRANTNER 

Production Supervisor
MARCUS MATYAS

Production Coordinator
ANDREW MARTIN-SMITH

Technical Coordinator
KEVIN RILEY

Marketing Manager
KELLY FOX

Publicist
JENNIFER MAIR

Filmed with permission on the territories of:
FORT ALBANY FIRST NATION
WEENUSK FIRST NATION

Filmed with permission of the Parks Canada Agency at:
BANFF NATIONAL PARK
JASPER NATIONAL PARK
WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK

Filmed with permission of Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks in:
ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK
QUETICO PROVINCIAL PARK
WABAKIMI PROVINCIAL PARK
WOODLAND CARIBOU PROVINCIAL PARK

PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH TVO

Independent Production Officer, TVO
LINDA FONG

VP Of Current Affairs And Documentaries, TVO
JOHN FERRI

PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH ZDF/ARTE, NHK, AND THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

Commissioning Editor, ARTE
MARITA HÜBINGER

Senior Producer, NHK
TAKAHIRO HAMANO

PRODUCED WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE CANADA MEDIA FUND

PRODUCED WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF ROGERS DOCUMENTARY FUND

PRODUCED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE ONTARIO CREATES FILM FUND

and THE ONTARIO CREATES FILM AND TAX CREDIT

A PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA COPRODUCTION.

www.nfb.ca

©2020
PRIMITIVE ENTERTAINMENT INC., 2627543 ONTARIO INC., AND THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA.

     



Press Relations

  • About Primitive Entertainment

    Primitive Entertainment is an Emmy nominated, Webby award-winning producer of documentary feature films, television series and digital media. With 30 years experience producing premium non-fiction content, their work has earned more than 40 awards world-wide.

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.