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Pipelines, Power and Democracy

Olivier D. Asselin
2015 | 88 min 6 s

The film


Director’s Statement

Promotional Materials



Olivier D. Asselin
Photo : Ariane Blais-Ouellette

Olivier D. Asselin

Olivier D. Asselin studied film directing at the Institut national de l’image et du son (INIS) and served for many years as an assistant to the late documentary filmmaker Magnus Isacsson. He also holds a degree in screenwriting from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a master’s in communications, for which he undertook a project that combined both research and experimental media creation. Since then, he has gone on to direct or produce about 30 short- and medium-length films, including documentaries, experimental projects, and dramas. What links all of these diverse projects is his particular passion for engaging with social issues.

In 2005, Asselin was the recipient of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema award at the Caméra verte short film competition for Citoyens Inc., an art video about the survival of humanity and the power of dreaming to change the world. His 2008 film, Tout se tient, voices citizen opposition to a methane terminal in Quebec, and won two awards—best documentary and people’s choice—at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM).

In 2009, Asselin’s drama Les âmes en friche screened at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, and in each of the next three years his films would be shown at the Portneuf environmental film festival: Dr Fordenstein in 2010, En descendant la Châteauguay in 2011 and Le goût du métal in 2012.When the student-led Maple Spring protests burst forth in 2012, Asselin was on the scene. He would release several short documentaries on the subject (Les casseroles du Grand prix, Le fascisme à la carte and Sabotage libéral) along with a Web series (Poings de vue) on the Quebec student general strike.

While many of Asselin’s films focus on crucial local issues, he has also taken on the great global environmental challenges of our time with projects such as the Web series La Marche des peuples, whose final episode, L’arrivée, premiered at the 2014 Festival du nouveau cinéma.  Pipelines, Power and Democracyproduced in 2015 by the National Film Board of Canada, grew out of that experience. In documenting the fight against pipelines and hydrocarbons, the film raises questions about who wields political power and about the future of democracy.

In 2013 and 2014, Asselin served as filmmaker-mentor for the Taling Dialo initiative, which offers video production training to at-risk youth in underprivileged Montreal neighbourhoods. He has also served as a mentor for the Wapikoni Mobile project, which took mobile studios to First Nations communities in order to help young Indigenous people produce their own films, and is a member of several independent media collectives, including Courts Critiques, Médi@s Libres and the publication Journal Ensemble. Asselin founded the Masses et Médias event in 2013, with the goal of creating a network of links between independent media, citizens and community groups, and a focus on media tactics.

In addition, Asselin participates in a number of activities as a video jockey, creating live visual performances at venues such as the Société des arts technologiques (2012‒2013) and the Cinémathèque québécoise (2015).


Producer (NFB)
Photo : NFB


Denis McCready has been working in the Quebec film and television industry since 1996. He started off directing commercials for music channel MusiquePlus before becoming head of advertising for MusiquePlus, MusiMax, Super Écran and Canal Indigo. The early 2000s saw McCready working with independent production companies, where he gained experience as a production director, line producer, and producer of documentaries, documentary series, and dramas.

No stranger to technical and creative challenges, McCready has produced low-budget auteur documentaries on subjects as diverse as dance, music, the environment and child trafficking, as well as big-budget documentary series dealing with science, exploration, and war. He has overseen shoots both in Canada and abroad, many in locations that are hard to access (the Arctic, NASA, the Russian space program) or dangerous (the Atacama and Mojave deserts, the giant Cave of Crystals in Naica, Mexico). He oversaw the production of hundreds of special-effects sequences for the series Mars Rising and produced and wrote the serious game L’or du golfe for the ICI Radio-Canada website. McCready has delivered HD programs for major broadcasters, including National Geographic (US and international), Discovery (Canada, US, Latin America), History (Canada), ARTE (France/Germany), NHK (Japan), CBC, Radio-Canada, Canal D, and Télé-Québec. In addition, he’s worked on a number of official international co-productions (Canada-France, Canada-Mexico).

McCready won several awards as the producer of Chercher le courant (including the RIDM Audience Choice Award and Gémeaux Award for Best Documentary: Society) and Bas! Au-delà du Redlight (NFB Colin Low Award at DOXA). The films he’s produced have screened at many international festivals, including Hot Docs, Visions du réel, the International Festival of Films on Art, NXNE, DOXA, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), and the Vancouver International Film Festival. He has also produced two documentaries directed by Ian Jaquier: L’or du golfe, with Kevin Parent, and Kanata: Aujourd’hui la colonisation, as well as the powerful documentary MTL Punk: La première vague, by Érik Cimon and Alain Cliche.

McCready is currently Executive Producer for the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio. Previously, he worked on many NFB short and feature-length documentaries and interactive projects as a producer for the Documentary Studio and the Institutional Program.

Colette Loumède
Executive Producer (NFB)
Photo : NFB

Colette Loumède

Colette Loumède began her career at the Coop Vidéo de Montréal, a group that has had a significant impact on Quebec cinema. Alongside Robert Morin, Lorraine Dufour, Jean-Pierre St-Louis, Louis Bélanger and others, she learned every aspect of the film trade long before becoming the veteran producer she is today.

Currently the head of the French Program Documentary Studio at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Loumède is known for producing documentaries that stand out for both their subject matter and artistry. Her productions have screened at many of the world’s top festivals, including Hot Docs, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Berlin International Film Festival, Visions du réel, Sundance, and the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM).

Loumède’s work is driven by a desire to produce films with meaningful content by auteurs intent on addressing the important issues of the day. She has worked with Serge Giguère, Richard Desjardins, Patricio Henriquez, Hugo Latulippe, Benoît Pilon, Sophie Deraspe, Zaynê Akyol, Claude Demers, Jean-François Caissy and many other contemporary Quebec directors.

Over the course of her career, Loumède has collaborated with a wide range of groups and people. She was responsible for analyzing documentary projects for SODEC, Quebec’s public film-financing body, and founded and led the documentary program at the Institut national de l’image et du son de Montréal (INIS), Quebec’s foremost professional cinema training institute. She is actively involved with the Documentary Network, RIDM and other festivals across multiple genres, and has regularly served on panels, juries, and many domestic and international platforms devoted to promoting auteur documentary.



With the participation of
Daniel Breton
André Bélisle
Alyssa Symons-Bélanger

Mikaël Rioux

Directed by
Olivier D. Asselin

Research and Script
Olivier D. Asselin
Santiago Bertolino

Director of Photography
Olivier D. Asselin

Boban Chaldovich

Original Music
Claude Fradette

Location Sound
Santiago Bertolino
Stéphane Barsalou
Simon Van Vliet
Ariane Lorrain
David Widgington

Sound Design
Patrice Leblanc

Developed by

Productions Multi-Monde Inc.
Lucie Pageau
Malcolm Guy

With the participation of
Michel Bélanger
Émeraude Boisvert
Patrick Bonin
Mike Bonnano
Jacqueline Breton

Alain Brunel
Kim Cornelissen
Pierre-Luc Demers-Hébert
Jean-Marie Dion
Philippe Dumont
Paul Dupuis
Claudie Gagné
Patrick Givre
Steven Guilbault
Olivier Huard
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine
Lucie Lacoursière
Jessica Lambert Massicotte
Philippe Landry
Julie Leblanc
Sophie-Anne Legendre
Luc Lemoine
Shaun Lovejoy
Sébastien Mariel
Guy Marsil
Eric Michaud
Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
Marie-Philip Ouellet
Nicholas Ouellet
Gilles E. Pelletier
Karine Péloffy
Martin Poirier
Geneviève Puskas
Sylvie Robert
François Saillant
Christian Simard
Corinne Trubiano
Marius Vigne

Additional Camera
Nicolas Falcimaigne
Santiago Bertolino
Ariane Lorrain
Matias Ollivier
Stéphane Groleau
Mathieu LeBlanc


Technical Support ‒ Editing
Pierre Dupont
Isabelle Painchaud
Patrick Trahan

Translation ‒ Subtitling

Titles and Infographics
Jacques Bertrand Simard
Cynthia Ouellet

Online Editor
Denis Pilon

Alexis Farand

Serge Boivin

Claude Fradette
Guitars, bass, keyboard and percussion
Robin Boulianne

Music Recording
Studio Frad.

Additional Music
Lost For Ever”, composed and performed by ACT (Kristian Aduriz)

Press Relations
Marie-Claude Lamoureux

Marketing Manager
François Jacques

Assisted by
Theodora Kolovos

Sia Koukoulas


Production Coordinator
Chinda Phommarinh

Administrative Assistant
Pascale Savoie-Brideau

Technical Coordinator
Mira Mailhot

Associate Producer
Mélanie Lasnier

Denis McCready

Executive Producer
Colette Loumède


Press Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.