1. Media Space

  2. Press Kit

A Return to Memory

A Return to Memory
Donald McWilliams
2024 | 116 min
Feature Documentary

Short Synopsis

Long Synopsis

About the Women

Q&A with director Donald McWilliams



Red Burns at the 4 Days in May Event 1975

Introduction to NFB women hired from 1939-1945

Margaret Coventry reminisces about her first impression of the NFB


Still of Dancing Negative Cutter, animation by Eva Cvijanovic and Fred Casia. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Marion Leigh examining film. Original image by Andrew Leigh. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Interview Gudrun Parker from The Idealist. Image from the film, courtesy of Nina Beveridge.

Scene from 4 Days in May original footage. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Evelyn Spice Cherry and camera. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Women join the war effort in the 1943 film Wings on Her Shoulder. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Alma Duncan, Audrey McLaren and a Mitchell camera. Image from the film, courtesy of the Alma Duncan catalogue Ottawa Art Gallery.

Evelyn Lambart making dolls for stop-motion animation. Image from the film, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

Isobel Kehoe and Ron Alexander filming St Lawrence Seaway. Image from the film, courtesy of Isobel Kehoe.


Donald McWilliams


Kat Baulu

Photo : NFB

Ariel Nasr
Producer (NFB)

Photo : Kiana Hayeri

Annette Clarke
Producer and Executive Producer

Photo : Dave Howells

Rohan Fernando
Executive Producer

Photo : Meghan Tansey Whitton

Nathalie Cloutier
Executive Producer

Photo : Valérie Sangin


Written, Directed and Edited by
Donald McWilliams

Original Idea
Script and Editing Consultant
Michelle van Beusekom

Graphic Design and Animation
Mélanie Bouchard

Alison Burns
Donald McWilliams

Photographic Research
Josée Laliberté

Melissa Hui

Sound Design
Sacha Ratcliffe

Additional Music
Phyllis Gummer

Clare Coulter
Donald McWilliams

Voice and Music Recording
Geoffrey Mitchell
Luc Léger
Bernard Belley

Jean-Paul Vialard

Online Editor
Serge Verrault

Four Days in May
Group Discussion Leader
Susan Schouten

Nesya Shapiro

Sound Recording
Ingrid Cusiel

Technical Coordinator
Daniel Lord

Digital Editing Technicians
Marie-Josée Gourde
Albert Kurian
Pierre Dupont
Patrick Trahan

Annette Clarke
Ariel Nasr
Katherine Baulu

Marching the Women inspired by
Animated by GUY GLOVER

Dedicated to the NFB Women with a special tip of a Top Hat to their families & friends

Carleen Baily
Christina Benseler
Nina Beveridge
Heather Brinkman
Barbara Burns
Michael Burns
Catherine Lloyd Burns
William Cherry
Laverne Cherry
Jennifer Crawley
Sandy Crawley
David Crone
Robert Crone
Vi Crone
Mark Connell
Julia Elton
Rebecca Fitzsimons
Leanna Griffiths
Judith Hammill
Ruth Hawthorne
Alexandra Jacobs
Laura Kutnick
Andrew Leigh
Jacob Leigh
D’Arcy Mars
Jessica Marsh
Anne McLaughlin
Deidre Newman
Dan O’Sullivan
Peter Osberg
Julia Parker
Martha Parker
Doreen Player
Bob Rae
Roslyn Rosenfeld
Nora Spence
James Spottiswoode
Maria Turtschaninoff
Robert Verrall
Tamarack Verrall
Margaret Waggoner
Monika Wagner

Philip Pocock
Getty Images
Reginald Balch
Ottawa Art Gallery
Periscope Film, LLC
BFI National Archive
National Gas Archive
Nova Scotia Archives
Beevision Productions
Estate of Alma Duncan
Mary Pickford Foundation
National Gallery of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
John Maltby / RIBA Collections
GP archives – collection Gaumont
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
United Nations Audiovisual Library
Chuck Painter Stanford News Service
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
University of Stirling – Grierson Archive
Yves Lapointe McGill Rare Books Library
Yle – The Finnish Broadcasting Company
Hazen Sise/Library & Archives Canada/PA-151359
Arthur Roy Library & Archives Canada Lynn Lafontaine
New York University Oral History Project (NYU Media Production)
Film and Its Techniques Raymond Spottiswoode/University of California Press

Gudrun Bjerring Parker Interview
Directed by Nina Beveridge
Interviewer Kirwan Cox

Arla Saare from Gamla Karleby
Directed by Christine Sarrukka

Laura Boulton
filmed with the Inuit on & around Southampton Island, Baffin Island, Coats Island, Chesterfield, Baker Lake and Fort Churchill.
And with the Haida
In Masset, Skidegate, and Lax Kw’alaams, B.C.

The Magical Eye
Directed by Terence Macartney-Filgate
National Film Board of Canada & Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Krystina Marcoux, percussion
Andrew King, trumpet
Jeffrey Stonehouse, flute
David Potvin, piano
Stéphanie Bozzini, viola
Isabelle Bozzini, cello
Clemens Merkel, violin
Alissa Cheung, violin

Additional Music
Kevin Dean Melancholy Memoir
Kevin Dean Since 1954
McGill Records

Les Biches
Francis Poulenc
Ireland RTE National Symphony Orchestra
Jean-Luc Tingaud, conductor
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.

Quattro Versioni Originali Della Ritirata Notturna
Written by Luigi Boccherini
Arranged by Luciano Berio
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu, conductor
Courtesy of Concord Music Group Inc.

The Fifth Province -Theme
Pierre Béluse Percussion
Christopher Best Cello
André Moisan Clarinet
Denise Lupien Violin
Florence Mallette Violin
Francine Lupien Viola

Dancing Negative Cutter
Eva Cvijanovic
Fred Casia

Additional Research
Nancy Marcotte
Katherine Kasirer
Claire Gray
Louise Moyes
Asia Mason

Archival Clearances
Elizabeth Klinck
Alison Burns
Nancy Marcotte

Music Rights Clearance
John Ciccone

A Tip of a Hat to
Terre Nash
Torill Kove
Olga Denisko
Donna Read
Anthony Kent
Parissa Mohit
Martha Moore
Hannele Halm
Dorothy Henaut
Donna Dudinsky
Adam Abouaccar
Jérôme Bretéché
Robert McLaughlin
Joanne Robertson
Alison Reiko Loader
Karina Garcia Casanova
Jennifer Vanderburgh

Director of Photography – Development
Michael Yaroshevsky

Head Technical Resources
Sylvain Desbiens

Coordinators Technical Resources
Isabelle Painchaud
Antonia Gueorguieva
Martin Forget

Marie-France Rousseau and all her team at
NFB Conservation and Digitization

André D’Ulisse and all the team at
NFB Institutional Archives

Archival Sound Digitization
Pierre St-Germain (Bidou)

Colourist and Timer
Sylvie Marie Fortier

Lori Heath

Additional Technical Coordination
Christopher MacIntosh
Luc Binette

Production Supervisor
Roz Power

Senior Production Coordinator
Cheryl Murgatroyd

Production Coordinators
Yanis Ait Mohamed
Christine Williams

Associate Producer
Kelly Davis

Studio Administrator
Leslie Anne Poyntz

Marketing Manager
Jamie Hammond

Marketing Coordinators
Jolène Lessard
Harmonie Hemming

Osas Eweka-Smith

Legal Counsel
Dominique Aubry

Executive Producers Quebec Atlantic Studio
Annette Clarke
John Christou
Rohan Fernando
Nathalie Cloutier

  • 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.