1. Media Space

  2. Press Kit

Far Away From Far Away

Bruce Alcock and Jeremy Mendes
2020 | 25 min

Selections and Awards

  • Official SelectionIDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling, Amsterdam (2019)

Technology and user experience

The National Film Board and Fogo Island – A brief history



Zita Cobb is a Canadian entrepreneur who grew up on Fogo Island during a time of radical transformation in the fishing industry. After completing high school on the island, Cobb went on to study business to gain a better understanding of the global economic systems that had disadvantaged Fogo Island and other small communities. In 2005, she returned to the island with the goal of giving back to the place that had given her so much. Together with her brothers, she founded Shorefast, a registered charity that owns associated social business and artistic ventures, including a residency-based art venue called Fogo Island Arts. It also operates various businesses, a microlending fund and several environmental projects. Under the Shorefast banner, Cobb also opened the Fogo Island Inn, an innovative inn boasting world-class sustainable design. In 2016, she was awarded the Order of Canada. ©David Howells 2018 www.davehowellsphoto.com


Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey is an award-winning poet and writer, born in 1965 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. His distinct lyrical prose has moved the hearts of many Canadians, delving deeply into the stories of Newfoundland history and culture. After obtaining a BA in English from Memorial University, he earned his master’s at Queen’s University. He immediately dove into his writing career. His novels include Sweetland, The Wreckage and the Giller Prize-nominated River Thieves. His most recent novel, The Innocents, was also nominated for the Giller Prize, in 2019. Works of poetry include Under the Keel, Savage and Hard Light, which was made into a feature film of the same name with the National Film Board of Canada.

Bruce Alcock
Creative Director

Bruce Alcock

Newfoundland-born, Vancouver-based Bruce Alcock is an award-winning multimedia filmmaker and creative director. Fascinated by animation since he was a young boy, Alcock started making short films in his teens. Throughout his education, he explored many artistic interests, including music and art. He studied Music in Performance at the University of Toronto in 1985, then completed a BA in Literary Studies in 1990, but in the end returned to his true love, animation. In addition to films like Impromptu, 54 Hours and At the Quinte Hotel, Alcock has also directed more than 500 commercials and co-founded three animation studios: Cuppa Coffee (Toronto), Tricky Pictures (Chicago), and Global Mechanic (Vancouver). Working in a mix of all physical and digital techniques, Alcock is above all an experimental artist. He enjoys pushing the boundaries, trying new things, and creating meaningful new work.

Jeremy Mendes
Creative Director
Photo : Adam Gilmer

Jeremy Mendes

Jeremy Mendes is an artist focusing on interactive design, storytelling and creative conceptual work. He is also skilled in information design, motion design, brand development and advertising. A graduate of Emily Carr University, he specializes in art direction, creative design, design and illustration. A multiple Webby Award winner, he has enjoyed much success with several interactive projects produced by the NFB, including The Seven Digital Sins (with The Guardian), The Last Hunt, The Devil’s Toy Redux and This Land.

Annette Clarke
Producer and Executive Producer
Photo : Dave Howells

Annette Clarke

An accomplished producer committed to collaborating with artists to craft transformative stories,  Annette’s select producer credits include The Boxing Girls of Kabul (2011, IDFA and CSA for best documentary short), Hard Light (2012, FIFA Jury Award), Danny (2014, Hot Docs Big Ideas series), 54 Hours (2014, Yorkton Founder’s Award), Gun Runners (2015, Hot Docs), Theater of Life (2016, Berlin), Hand. Line. Cod. (2016, TIFF), Love, Scott (2018, Hot Docs, BFI Flare, Inside Out, One World) and Assholes, a theory (CPHDOX). In addition to Conviction, her current productions reflect on the human condition through the eyes of a twelve year old Yazidi boy arriving in Canada, and inside the lives of resilient women along the Brazilian Amazon. As executive producer for NFB’s Quebec Atlantic studio, Annette envisions a potent and ambitious slate of short form and feature documentaries, animation, and interactive story telling across a rich and large territory.

Rob McLaughlin
Executive Producer

Rob McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin is a Canadian producer and journalist most known for his work in digital media. He is currently the Executive Producer and Head of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver. From 2008 to 2011, he was the Director of Digital Content and Strategy at the NFB, where he led the development of the institution’s digital programming strategy and pioneering interactive documentary work, including Welcome to Pine Point and Bear 71. His most recent credits include the VR projects Homestay and Biidaaban: First Light.

From 2011 to 2015, he was an editor, publisher and senior executive at Canada’s largest newspaper chain, responsible for leading newsroom staff through a time of radical transformation in the newspaper industry.

Prior to working at the NFB, Rob was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There he focused on developing new forms of audiovisual content designed to attract new audiences for public broadcasting, including the interactive radio service CBC Radio 3. He also served as the CBC’s director of digital programming, responsible for the creative development of digital platforms in the areas of documentaries, arts and entertainment shows for television and network radio programming.

A former tree planter and fishing guide from small-town Saskatchewan, Rob now lives in North Vancouver with his wife and the world’s two most brilliant girls, aged 10 and 14.


Written by
Michael Crummey

From conversations with Zita Cobb

Creative Direction
Bruce Alcock and Jeremy Mendes

Interactive Programming

Narrated by
Ruby Joy

Sound Design
Shawn Cole

Director of Photography
Justin Simms

Sound Recording
Shawn Cole
Sacha Ratcliffe

Portrait Photography
David Howells

Additional Cinematography
Bruce Alcock
Bradley Broders
Liam Neil
Boyce Reid
Jessica Reid
Yassine Ouhilal

UX and Visual Design
Global Mechanic

Navigation Design
Denman Digital

Featuring Music by
Daniel Byrne
Shawn Cole
Erin Donovan

Footage from the installation,
From the Lion’s Den,
appears courtesy of
Will Gill

Annette Clarke
Rob McLaughlin

Line Producer
Camille Fillion

Associate Producer
Kelly Davis

Studio Operations Manager
Janine Steele

Senior Production Coordinator
Jasmine Pullukatt

Production Coordinator
Cheryl Murgatroyd

Production Assistants
Bradley Broders
Fraser Carpenter
Liam Neil
Jessica Reid

Production Supervisor
Roz Power

Technical Coordinator
Christopher MacIntosh

Studio Administrators
Victoria Angell
Camila Blos
Carla Jones
Leslie Anne Poyntz

Marketing Managers
Gabrielle Harvey
Johanna Lessard

Jennifer Mair

Marketing Coordinator
Sophie Thouin

Information Technology
Bruno Gervasi
Sergiu Raul Suciu

Legal Services
Christian Pitchen

Social Media
Hannah Martin
Mélissa Sauvé

Additional Programming
Vincent McCurley
Ash Mishra

Additional Video Editing
Alida Horsley

Executive Producers
Annette Clarke
Rob McLaughlin

Executive Directors
Michelle van Beusekom
René Bourdages

Special Thanks to
Zita Cobb
The Cobb Family
Paddy Barry
Chris Brodie
Marlene Cahill
Frank Comden
Susan Cull
Pete Decker
Chloe Fiset
Sebastien Fiset
Will Gill
Emily Gorner
Holly Hogan
Jasmine Lane
Alexandra McIntosh
Jon Montes
Tina Ouellette
Pauline Payne
Andrew Pike
Cheryl Penton
Boyce Reid
Amy Rowsell
Tamara Segura
Iris Stünzi
Glen Tilley

Bangbelly Café
Fogo Island Arts
Fogo Island Central Academy
Lane House Museum
Mary Queen of the World
Shorefast Foundation
The generous people of Fogo Island

Press 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.