The NFB: Stories to Tell
THE NFB IN 100 WORDS
THE NFB COMMISSIONER : CLAUDE JOLI-COEUR
Unique in the world, the NFB, a public producer and distributor, presents original Canadian perspectives through the thousands of films it makes and shares in collaboration with creators, communities and partners across the country and abroad. Renowned for its artistry, social impact, technological experimentation, and continuous innovation, the NFB has been embraced by Canadians as an iconic fixture in our public life. Its point of view documentaries, auteur animation, and ground-breaking interactive works reach millions each year and inspire conversation, learning and delight.
Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the NFB
- Claude Joli-Coeur has been an influential figure in the film and audiovisual industry throughout a career spanning more than 30 years. He is the 16th Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada. As Assistant Commissioner at the NFB (2007 to 2014), he headed Government Relations and Strategic Planning as well as Business Affairs and Legal Services.
- Mr. Joli-Coeur is known for his ability to motivate and inspire, a leadership style focused on results, and his strong commitment to Canadian communities. That commitment, combined with his interest in Canadian culture, has led him to undertake numerous initiatives, particularly with major national museums and cultural institutions. He has also supported many projects in French-speaking communities throughout Canada and other minority communities across the country, including the first multi-party agreement with English-speaking Quebecers.
- In March 2016, he made a strong commitment to parity: the NFB, already an industry leader in gender equity, will commit 50 percent of its production budget to films by women and at least half of its productions will be directed by women by 2019. In March 2017, this commitment to parity was broadened to include the goal of having women occupy 50 percent of the NFB’s key creative positions for animated, documentary, and interactive works in production in the year 2020.
- In June 2017, Mr. Joli-Coeur also announced a three-year plan to redefine the NFB’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. Guided by recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the plan outlines 33 commitments, such as allocating at least 15 percent of overall production spending to Indigenous-led production.
- A law graduate from the Université de Montréal and member of the Quebec Bar, Mr. Joli-Coeur has been an entertainment law expert in the private sector, where he contributed to several international co-productions with a number of European countries and held various leadership positions within the Astral Entertainment Group, Groupe Coscient (Motion International), TVA International, and Zone 3.
How well do you know the NFB?
As stipulated in the National Film Act of 1950, the person who holds the position of Government Film Commissioner is the head of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). As such, he or she is responsible for the administration of the Board, directs its activities and, subject to its by-laws, exercises in the Board’s name all the powers granted to the organization.
In addition to advising the Governor in Council on film matters, the Commissioner is mainly involved in the long-term planning of activities at the NFB, in developing its resources, clarifying its general policies and formulating its production policies.
The Commissioner is appointed for a five-year term, subject to removal for cause by the Governor in Council, upon the recommendation of the NFB.
The current Government Film Commissioner is Mr. Claude Joli-Coeur.
W. Arthur Irwin
Albert William Trueman
James de Beaujeu Domville
François N. Macerola
Sandra M. Macdonald
1. Canada’s one and only public producer and distributor
The keeper of Canada’s collective memory, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produces and distributes powerful documentaries, world-renowned auteur animation, participatory experiences, and bold interactive and immersive stories about Canada—works made by and for Canadians.
2. Demonstrating our creativity, from coast to coast
Every year across Canada, production teams work closely with hundreds of seasoned and emerging artists and creators from every field, reflecting our country’s rich diversity, from the East Coast to the West Coast, from the Great Lakes to the Arctic, and covering a wide spectrum of social issues and personal stories.
3. One of the largest online film collections in Canada
At NFB.ca/ONF.ca, curious minds can discover an array of experiences and unique Canadian perspectives on a variety of relevant, inspiring and touching topics.
4. Everywhere and at any time
Movie theatres, festivals, television, community centres, libraries and other public spaces, multiple platforms… so many places to discover our productions and co-productions, at home and abroad.
5. A huge and vibrant collection
The NFB preserves, restores and digitizes its works, archives and photographs to pass on this rich collective heritage to the Canadian public. A large number of films and interactive works have already been added to the NFB’s online collection, where Canadians can watch them free of charge in English and French.
6. Tackling topics from different points of view
NFB documentaries create dialogue and debate about issues at home and abroad, presenting original and compelling points of view that are often marginalized, but have been brought to light with the filmmakers’ insights. What better way to stimulate discussion and enrich social debates?
7. Driven by tradition and innovation
The NFB’s daring, innovative animated films continue the legacy of Norman McLaren—a long tradition of auteur filmmaking that’s been kept alive by artists experimenting with new techniques and technologies.
8. Interactive and immersive works, exploring unknown narrative territory
Our stories harness the full potential of new technologies and platforms, exploring new social currents engendered by new types of communication, to the benefit of all.
9. Education beyond classrooms
An invaluable partner to schools, the NFB provides adapted and enhanced content that’s innovative and timely. Take CAMPUS, an online media portal, and Ocean School, an immersive learning experience, two groundbreaking platforms that push teaching forward using new digital tools.
10. Representing Canadians and their diversity
The NFB has made firm, measurable and public commitments to represent the population of Canada in all its richness, as an employer, a producer and a distributor.
Did you know?
– Canadian directors Guy Maddin, Denis Villeneuve, Atom Egoyan, Sarah Polley, Don McKellar, Sudz Sutherland, Denys Arcand, and Robert Lepage have all made a film with the NFB.
– The NFB has worked with the voice talents of actors Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker, Christopher Plummer, Donald Sutherland, Leslie Nielsen, Richard Burton, Xavier Dolan, and Caroline Dhavernas.
– George Lucas was famously inspired to create “the Force” in Star Wars after watching Arthur Lipsett’s 21-87. There are two nods to this NFB film in the Star Wars series: Princess Leia’s cell number in A New Hope and ex-Stormtrooper-turned-Rebel-hero Finn’s First Order name, FN-2187.
– Roman Kroitor and Colin Low’s NFB film Universe was a key source for Stanley Kubrick’s vision of space in his masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick also cast Douglas Rain, the narrator of Universe, to voice the hostile AI, HAL 9000.
– Every director selected to represent Canada at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film has previously worked with the NFB.
PROJECTS IN PRODUCTION
– …won the first-ever Oscar® for best documentary in 1941, with Stuart Legg’s Churchill’s Island.
– …was where the foundations of Direct Cinema were developed in 1958 and expanded upon by legendary documentarians like Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault, Gilles Groulx, and Marcel Carrière.
– …produced the first Canadian feature film selected to screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival: Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault’s Pour la suite du monde.
– …helped pioneer technology at Expo 67 that would eventually become IMAX®.
– …has invented and pioneered animation technologies and techniques that are still used today, including stereoscopy, pixilation, and SANDDE.
– …created one of the first-ever computer-animated films in the world: Peter Foldès’s Oscar-nominated Hunger.
– … created an all-female-led production studio called Studio D in 1974. Women held every key creative and technical position within the studio, whose films would go on to win three Oscars.
– … created, on the French production side, the En tant que femmes program in 1972, where films were produced and directed by women, notably Anne Claire Poirier. In 1986, the Regards de femmes Studio, led by Josée Beaudet, was founded.
– … has proudly created programs and grants for more than 20 years—such as the Filmmaker Assistance Program, Aide au cinéma indépendant du Canada (ACIC), Stories from Our Land, Doc Lab Saskatchewan, and the Tremplin and Cinéaste recherché(e) competitions, among others—aimed at encouraging up-and-coming, emerging, or developing directors from all walks of life in Canada.
– … has the largest online collection of Indigenous-directed films in the world. In 2018, it launched its Indigenous Cinema web page, which features more than 300 titles by and about Indigenous creators.
– … received its 75th Academy Award® nomination in 80 years, for Animal Behaviour, directed by Alison Snowden and David Fine.
WOMEN AT THE NFB
The NFB’s English Program is a unique creative laboratory. Our producers work with creators from across Canada— filmmakers and other media artists — in the production of POV documentaries (more than 50% of our work), auteur animation and original interactive digital content for all platforms.
Here is an overview of upcoming productions from our studios across the country.
The NFB’s French Program supports French-language auteur cinema (including digital and interactive productions). It produces and co-produces works in a variety of formats and using a broad range of approaches: social issue documentaries, auteur animation and bold interactive productions. Its productions deal with major social and cultural issues affecting Francophones in Quebec and Canada.
Here is an overview of upcoming productions from our studios across the country.
The mission of the Institutional Program is to create new financing, production, distribution and exploitation opportunities for innovative works with traditional and non-traditional partners. The objectives are to imagine, develop, finance, produce and distribute works in new formats, genres and markets.
In the Institutional Program, innovation is achieved through close collaboration among the various NFB departments and programs, as well as with such partners as Space for Life, the Ville de Montréal, Parks Canada, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and NHK.
Who gets to tell stories matters. A pioneer in the empowerment of women filmmakers for decades—including, as home of the world’s first women’s production unit, the legendary Studio D—the NFB has spurred world cinema to do more, by doing more itself, boldly. In a 2016 commitment to gender equality that brought international acclaim and has demonstrated how creative change can be made to happen quickly, the NFB pledged that by the year 2019, at least half of its productions will be directed by women and 50 percent of all production spending will be allocated to films directed by women.
By the year 2018, the NFB had already come close to achieving this goal. But films are made by teams, not just directors, and now the NFB, in a transformative initiative, will institute more comprehensive gender parity by 2020, in key creative positions for animated, documentary and interactive works. Women have long been underrepresented in many vital filmmaking roles, and their growing contributions in editing, cinematography, sound, and animation and interactive technologies will decidedly enhance the NFB’s responsibilities as a public producer that reflects Canada’s best talents, and enrich its creative work.
- Women have been directing films at the NFB for over 75 years.
In 2016, the NFB made a commitment to achieving gender parity in its directing/technical positions and in its allocation of production funds. This announcement came well before Hollywood debates over gender and parity.
- Legendary NFB filmmaker Evelyn Lambart was the first female animation director in Canada.
- In 1974, the NFB created an all-female-led production studio called Studio D. Women held every key creative and technical position within the studio, whose films would go on to win three Oscars.
- On the French production side, the NFB created the En tant que femmes program in 1972, where films were produced and directed by women, notably Anne Claire Poirier.
THE BIRTHPLACE OF QUEBEC’S CINEMA
The NFB has produced more than 300 works by First Nations, Métis and Inuit filmmakers—an unparalleled collection that pushes past dominant narratives and provides Indigenous perspectives to Canadian and global audiences. An early voice, now revered as the world’s most prolific and influential Indigenous filmmaker, is the NFB’s Alanis Obomsawin, who, at 86, recently completed her 50th film in 50 years—a half-century of sharing her people’s stories with urgency, compassion and cinematic power.
Building on these important creative histories and guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the NFB is undertaking a three-year plan to renew and expand its relationship with Indigenous peoples, which includes a commitment to have Indigenous-led production represent a minimum of 15 percent of the NFB’s total production spending. By doing so, the NFB will be benefiting from a vibrant creative force in Canada while promoting greater understanding and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
GROUNDBREAKING ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRODUCTION
As a Quiet Revolution transformed Quebec society, the Montreal studio became the focal point for the birth of Quebec’s cinema.
Under leaders like Guy Roberge, the NFB’s first francophone commissioner, from 1957 to 1966 – as well as pioneering figures lire Jacques Bobet and Pierre Juneau – the NFB brought together a critical mass of young visionary francophone Quebec filmmakers.
Hubert Aquin, Denys Arcand, Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Gilles Carle, Gilles Groulx, Claude Fournier, Claude Jutra, Pierre Perrault
Landmark Quebec films such as :
- Les Raquetteurs, 1958, d. Michel Brault and Gilles Groulx
- Golden Gloves, 1961, d. Gilles Groulx
- À St-Henri le cinq septembre, 1962, d. Hubert Aquin
- La Lutte, 1961, d. Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier and Claude Jutra
- À tout prendre, 1963, d. Claude Jutra
- Pour la suite du monde, 1963, d. Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière and Pierre Perrault
- Le chat dans le sac, 1964, d. Gilles Groulx
- La vie heureuse de Léopold Z, 1965, d. Gilles Carle
- Mon oncle Antoine, 1970, d. d. Claude Jutra – widely regarded as the greatest Canadian film of all time (SG1)
Link: Explore films by director
MONTREAL AS A WORLD CENTRE FOR ANIMATION
Originally formed in 1948, the pioneering ‘’Unit B’’ arrived in Montreal with producer Tom Daly heading a talented team that of cinematic innovators: Norman McLaren, already a legend in his own right, alongside such greats as Colin Low, Roman Kroitor, Terence Macartney-Filgate, Stanley Jackson, Robert Verall and prolific composer Eldon Rathburn, to name but a few.
- Candid Eye, 1958, d. Terence Macartney-Filgate, 1958
Building on NFB breakthroughs in light-weight film technology, and influenced by the work of French photographer and Henri Cartier-Bresson, the Candide Eye series was one of the NFB’s very first experiments in cinema vérité and has been credited as helping to inspire a revolution documentary storytelling.
Other landmark works
- Lonely Boy, 1962, d. Wolf Koenig and Roman Kroitor – a cinéma vérité look at Canadian teen idol Paul Anka that was a substantial influence on Peter Watkins and his 1967 film about a fictional popstar, Privilege.
- Universe, 1960, d. Colin Low and Roman Kroitor – which was an important influence for Stanley Kubrick on 2001, including the use of film’s narrator, Canadian actor Douglas Rain, as voice of HAL.
- City of Gold, 1957, d. Colin Low and Roman Kroitor – whose innovative use of animation camera and archival photographs became an inspiration for U.S. documentarian Ken Burns.
- Experimental Montreal filmmaker Arthur Lipsett began working with the NFB in 1958, going to create pioneering collage films such as Very Nice, Very Nice (1961) and 21-87 (1963) – work that would have an influence on a young California film student named George Lucas.
Link: Explore films by director
IN THE LABYRINTH, THE BIRTH OF IMAX
Fittingly, for a building named for the legendary Norman McLaren, 3155 Cote de Liesse has been home to decades of animation excellence, with two Oscar – winning animation studios that have helped to establish Montreal as a world-class centre for groundbreaking auteur animation.
- McLaren’s first film in the new Montreal studio was the acclaimed pixilation film Il était une chaise (1957), a collaboration with Claude Jutra that underscored the greater opportunities offered for new collaborations between English Canadian and francophone Quebec filmmakers, in the NFB’s new home.
- In 1966, the McLaren Building became home to the NFB’s new French Program animation studio, under the leadership of René Jodoin:
- Jodoin produced two Academy Award-nominated animated shorts : La faim, by Peter Foldes and Monsieur Pointu, by André Leduc and Bernard Longpré, as well as Balablok by Bretislav Pojar, winner of the Grand Prix du Festival for Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival.
- The Studio would also produce such works here as Co Hoedeman’s 1977 Oscar winner Le château de sable.
- NFB English Program’s animation studio in Montreal has produced or co-produced seven Academy Award winning films: Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon Special Delivery (1978), Eugene Fedorenko’s Every Child (1979), Alison Snowden and David Fine’s Bob’s Birthday (1994), Chris Landreth’s Ryan (2004), and mostly recently, Torill Kove’s The Danish Poet (2006).
CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE
When Montreal played host to the world at Expo 67, the NFB’S groundbreaking multi-screen presentation In the Labyrinth at the Labyrinth pavilion was one of the star attractions at the world’s fair, attracting over 1.3 million visitors in 1967.
- Co-directed by Roman Kroitor, Colin Low and Hugh O’Connor, In the Labyrinth helped set the stage for the development of the Canadian IMAX giant-screen film format, with Kroitor leaving the NFB to work on his new company.
- The NFB’s Montreal studio would continue to make giant-screen motion picture history with such films as Transitions (1986) the first full-colour 3D IMAX film and Momentum (1992), the first 48fps IMAX HD film.
The History of the NFB
An NFB participatory film and video project originally created for Canada’s Centennial year, Challenge for Change/Société nouvelles created a new model of community-based media, from its base in Montreal. In total, the program would lead to the creation of over 200 films and videos: approximately 145 works in English and more than 60 in French, from 1967 to 1980.
Includes such works as:
- Colin Low’s 27 Fogo Island films, 1967-1968
- Saint-Jérôme, 1968, d. Fernand Dansereau
- VTR St-Jacques, 1969, d. Bonnie Sherr Klein – a pioneering community video project
- La noce est pas finie, 1971, d. Léonard Forest
- En tant que femmes, 1972, d. Anne Claire Poirier – a landmark series broadcast on SRC
- Working Mothers Series, 1974-1975, d. Kathleen Shannon
NFB Headquarters, from Ottawa to Montreal
Churchill’s Island by Stuart Legg wins an Oscar®, the first to be awarded to a Canadian film.
Neighbours, Norman McLaren’s pixillation masterpiece, earns the NFB its second Oscar in the Best Documentary (Short Subject) category.
NFB wins its first Palme d’Or (Short Film) at the Cannes Film Festival. Norman McLaren’s Blinkity Blank, an animated work engraved on film and accompanied by a jazz score, claims the honour.
1950s and 1960s
NFB is at the leading edge of developments in documentary cinema.Quebec filmmakers Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Gilles Groulx and Pierre Perrault make important contributions to the Direct Cinema movement with such iconic films as Les raquetteurs (Gilles Groulx and Michel Brault, 1958), whose aesthetic is considered a precursor to the Direct Cinema style. The film establishes a new way of representing reality and foreshadows the approach taken by the NFB’s French filmmaking team, which will be deployed in the 1960s, in the heat of an emerging Quebec cinema and assertion of identity. Iconic films are made during this period, including Pour la suite du monde (Of Whales, the Moon and Men)by Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault, La Lutte (Wrestling)by Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier and Claude Jutra, Golden Gloves by Gilles Groulx, Bûcherons de la Manouane by Arthur Lamothe and À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre (September Five at Saint-Henri), a group project by the NFB’s French team led by Hubert Aquin, as well as the fiction film Le chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag) by Gilles Groulx, which uses Direct Cinema techniques.
NFB produces Universe, a short documentary by Roman Kroitor and Colin Low, which explains the workings of the universe and, a few years later,is included in the American astronaut training program.
The film was also a key source for Stanley Kubrick’s vision of space in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Pour la suite du monde (Of Whales, the Moon and Men) by Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault (produced by Fernand Dansereau; with sound by Marcel Carrière) is the first Canadian feature film to be screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
NFB releases its first English fiction feature: Drylanders by Don Haldane.
The NFB’s French Program is created.Up until then, French productions had been developed and managed within the English production unit.This confirms the institution’s commitment to establishing a distinct identity for francophone cinema at the NFB. The same year, the NFB releases its first French-language fiction feature, Le chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag) by Gilles Groulx.
The NFB’s Challenge for Change program—whose French-language counterpart Société nouvelle would be launched in 1969—sparks a whole new kind of participatory cinema experience, aimed at entire communities.
The NFB takes immersive storytelling to a new level with its landmark multi-screen experience In the Labyrinth, shown at Montreal’s Expo 67, which in turn leads to the birth of the IMAX®format and a string of giant-screen firsts. The experimental film draws more than 1.3 million people.
NFB launches a training program for Indigenous filmmakers, in collaboration with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Claude Jutra creates his masterpiece Mon oncle Antoine for the NFB, which garners a Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and First Prize for Feature Films at the Canadian Film Awards.
Studio D is created within the English Program. It’s the first studio dedicated to films made by and about women, from which would emerge such landmark works as Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography by Bonnie Sherr Klein (1981) and If You Love This Planet by Terre Nash (1982). The studio would earn a total of three Oscars, for I’ll Find a Way (1979), If You Love This Planet and Flamenco at 5:15 (1983).
NFB blazes a trail in computer animation when René Jodoin produces one of the first short films made solely using computer animation, Peter Foldès’s La faim (Hunger), which wins a Special Jury Prize at Cannes and receives an Oscar nomination.
NFB produces the official film of the XXI Olympiad, under the supervision of Jean-Claude Labrecque (32 teams, 168 people, 100,000 metres of film).
J.A. Martin photographe (J.A. Martin Photographer) triumphs at Cannes. Monique Mercure receives the Palme d’Or for Best Actress, and the film wins the Prix du jury œcuménique. The same year, the film wins the award for Best Feature Film at the Canadian Film Awards.
Produced by the NFB for the Canada Pavilion at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and made using the IMAX process, Transitions, the first full-colour IMAX film created entirely using stereoscopic computer animation, draws 1.7 million viewers at Vancouver’s world exposition.
The French Program animation studio opens the Centre d’animatique to continue to push boundaries in the emerging field of computer animation, carrying the art and science of animation to the cutting edge of the 20th century. The team includes Daniel Langlois, founder of Softimage.
October: NFB launches its CineRobotheque, a centre for cutting-edge media technology, comprising a videotheque and movie theatre. It contains the first large audiovisual server in Canada, capable of responding to some 50 requests simultaneously from both inside and outside the centre. Kodak Canada awards it the Prix Livernois, underscoring the NFB’s innovative leadership in the field of imaging. The CineRobotheque serves as the model for the creation of the NFB Mediatheque in Toronto in 2002, establishing the NFB’s position very early in the dawning era of digital film distribution.
NFB launches NFB.ca| ONF.ca, its acclaimed online screening room, the first fully bilingual and bicultural audiovisual site, in January.
NFB quickly follows the launch of its web portal with the first in a family of popular mobile apps, the NFB iPhone app, which was named one of the top apps of 2009 by iTunes Canada and hailed by CNETas “ingenious” and “pure iPhone gold.”
NFB launches the web documentary Waterlife, whichearns the organization its second Webby, for Documentary: Individual Episode, as well as many other honours, including Best Multimedia Feature Presentation at the Online Journalism Awards.
Home of the largest collection of Inuit films in the world, the NFB releases the landmark compilation Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories.
Sarah Polley directs Stories We Tell at the NFB. The film breathes new life into the doc genre and becomes one of the biggest critical and commercial successes of all time in Canadian documentary, earning 11 awards and honours (as of June 2018).
During the NFB’s 75th-anniversary celebrations, NFB.ca and its partner platforms topped 50 million views, and NFB interactive productions and digital platforms were showered with more than 100 awards, including 10 Webby Awards.
On September 25, the NFB announces that its headquarters will be moving to Îlot Balmoral, in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles.
NFB collaborates with international partners in the digital field: “Created in collaboration with Google’s Chrome and VR teams, the IDFA DocLab, and Sound and Vision, Bear 71 VR was shown by the NFB as a VR installation at the IDFA DocLab, and by Google at the 2017 Sundance Festival’s New Frontier VR Bar” (Annual Report 2016–2017).
On March 8, NFB announces its firm commitment to achieving gender parity. Its goals are to have 50% of its productions made by women and 50% of its production budget devoted to films made by women by 2019. The results of its gender-parity initiative will be made public and shared each year.
Theodore Ushev’s Blind Vaysha is a hit, receiving 28 awards and honours.
On March 7, the NFB takes another step forward in its commitment to gender parity, aiming for parity by 2020 in key creative positions for animated, documentary and interactive works in production. The targeted positions include editing, cinematography, screenwriting and musical composition, as well as other creative roles associated with animation and immersive storytelling.
On June 20, the NFB announces its three-year plan to redefine its relationship with Indigenous peoples. Key commitments: achieving equitable representation such that 4% of NFB staff identify as Indigenous by 2025; devoting a minimum of 15% of overall spending to works made by Indigenous artists; and creating protocols and guidelines for the production, distribution and use of archives.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the World Expo in Montreal, the NFB presents the giant-screen Expo 67 Live installation, in conjunction with other events celebrating Montreal’s 375th anniversary.
Eva Cvijanović’s Hedgehog’s Home wins 32 awards and honours.
There were 68 million views of NFB productions or installations in total, including via mobile devices, in theatres, and online.
NFB productions won a record 154 national and international awards.
There were 1.2 million views of NFB productions at public screenings in Canada and abroad.
Launch of the Indigenous Cinema web page on NFB.ca, which features films by and about Indigenous creators. The NFB has also adopted the Indigenous Materials Classification Schema to catalogue these works, the largest online collection of Indigenous-directed films in the world.
Fall: NFB headquarters moves to Îlot Balmoral, in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles.
Îlot Balmoral, the NFB’s new home
1939: NFB headquarters is founded in Ottawa, located at 25 John Street and in nine other buildings.
1956: There is a need to integrate all NFB activities under the same roof, in keeping with the highest standards of the film industry. NFB headquarters relocates to Montreal, to 3155 Côte-de-Liesse Road, which at the time was a brand-new, world-class, fully integrated motion-picture studio, the only one of its kind in Canada. Being in Montreal also allowed the NFB to recruit new talent from the city’s pool of creators, including more francophone artists.
The NFB’s new headquarters is located in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles, at 1501 De Bleury Street. You’ll find everything the NFB’s famous for under one roof, occupying six of the building’s 13 floors. The office will have a public space and a high-tech 135-seat screening room, both slated to be ready in 2020. As of today, it houses:
● More than 400 employees, experts, artists and creators;
● Dedicated spaces to produce animation, documentaries, interactive and immersive works;
● Post-production facilities for mixing and editing;
● A laboratory for experimenting with new technologies;
● A library, a photo library, and archives;
● The combined expertise of staff working to promote NFB works and develop and maintain technical infrastructures (festivals’ office, national and international sales, legal services, communications and marketing, audience development, technical services, IT, research and development, etc.).
Îlot Balmoral, owned by the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM), revolves around two architectural structures separated by an oblique fault line. It’s a place where its tenants’ creativity, innovation and vitality converge. Designed by the architectural firm of Provencher_Roy, the building is a candidate for LEED Gold NC 2009 certification.
In the fall of 2019, the NFB’s conservation and digitization rooms will be moving to a new building at 4725 Cousens Street, in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent.
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.