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First Photo Here

Joella Cabalu and Kindred & Scout

Long Synopsis




Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Debbie’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Mayumi’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Nadim’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Clare’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Souk’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Gary and Linda’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Ivan’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Joyce’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Narendra and Chandra’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Neha’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Ornella’s photo
Image from First Photo Here (NFB) – Thomas' photo


Joella Cabalu
Photo : Krista MacMillan

Joella Cabalu

Joella Cabalu is a Filipino-Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. It Runs in the Family (2015), her first mid-length documentary as a producer and director, received Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Since then, she has developed a track record as a creative and collaborative producer working with emerging women directors on compelling short documentaries, including FIXED! (2016), Do I Have Boobs Now? (2017), Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (2019), and On Falling (2019). She is currently producing her first feature documentary, Back Home, with support from the Telefilm Talent to Watch Program, and leading the curated photography project First Photo Here with the NFB Digital Studio.

Kindred & Scout
Creative Direction

Kindred & Scout

Kindred & Scout is a creative services studio. The team brought together for First Photo Here is made up of Aiken Lao, Amy Jones, Annie Chen, Carson Ting, Eric Wada, Hubert Kang, Leah Gregg, and Mike Southworth.

Nicholas Klassen
Photo : Emily Cooper

Nicholas Klassen

Nicholas Klassen is a Producer with the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio. He works with artists and media makers of all stripes to produce interactive storytelling projects that push the boundaries of story, form and platform. His projects have been recognized by the Webbys, FWA, Communication Arts, World Press Photo, and Columbia University’s Digital Dozen Breakthroughs in Storytelling. Recent examples include Un/Tied Shoes60 Day CycleRoundup and First Photo Here. Prior to his work at the NFB, he co-founded the online strategy and design agency Biro Creative, and served as Senior Editor at Adbusters magazine.

Rob McLaughlin
Executive Producer
Photo : Emily Cooper

Rob McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin is the Executive Producer and Head of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver where he leads in the development of digital programming strategy, interactive and immersive documentary work. Rob has produced many of the NFB’s pioneering experimental projects since establishing the studio in 2008 including Bear 71, Welcome to Pine Point and Biidaaban: First Light VR

Prior to the NFB, Rob was a senior executive at Canada’s largest newspaper chain, responsible for leading staff through a time of radical transformation in the newspaper industry. Rob also worked for 10 years as a producer and executive at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation developing online audio-visual projects designed to attract new audiences for public broadcasting.


Joella Cabalu

Nicholas Klassen

Senior Production Coordinator
Jasmine Pullukatt

Production Assistant, Illustrator, Graphic Designer
Aiken Lao

Leah Gregg

Creative director, art director and illustrator
Carson Ting

Illustrator, Graphic designer
Annie Chen

Video Director
Hubert Kang

Video Producer
Amy Jones

Editor, Sound Mix & Master
Mike Southworth

Eric Wada

Gabrielle Lisa Collard

Outreach Coordinators
Ana Maria Carrizales
Elizabeth Mudenyo
Gabrielle Lisa Collard
Victoria Evans

Executive Producer
Rob McLaughlin

Studio Operations Managers
Janine Steele
Camille Fillion

Studio Administrators
Victoria Angell
Carla Jones

Marketing Managers
Laurianne Désormiers
Gabrielle Harvey

Marketing Coordinator
Stéphanie Quevillon

Katja De Bock

Social Media
Hannah Martin
Mélissa Sauvé

Legal Counsel
Christian Pitchen

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.