The National Film Board: Dreaming, learning, inspiring, acting, speaking

office national du film

I’m a Francophone film fan, so of course I was delighted to watch the RVF’s five film programs, curated by the National Film Board (NFB). This is the 15th year of this partnership, which makes French-language films available to Canadians online and at screenings in more than 70 Canadian communities (*note: some events may be cancelled due to COVID 19) from March 1 to 31st.

Here are this year’s five thematic programs:

PROGRAM ONE: The Huge Gap between Dreams and Reality: Ages 8+

  • Point d’équilibre (A Delicate Balance) Filmed at a child’s height, Quebec-born director Christine Chevarie-Lessard’s first feature documentary provides a window into the lives and dreams of four young students at the École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

PROGRAM TWO: Inspiring Stories and Being Inspired:

These films, produced at the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Moncton, NB, centre on happiness and inspiration.

  • Le bonheur de Lucien (Lucien’s Happiness) Lucien Comeau is an "everyday philosopher" and musician from Tracadie-Sheila, NB. Living a life of “voluntary simplicity”, he invites us to discover the small and great pleasures of his everyday life. This is director Nathalie Hébert's first short film.

  • Les artisans de l’atelier (The Artisans) For more than three decades, L'Artisan workshop in Memramcook, NB has been a place where workers with intellectual disabilities create and find fellowship and personal fulfillment. Acadian filmmaker Daniel Léger introduces us to 14 of these craftspeople.

PROGRAM THREE: Little Lessons Lead to Big Things: (Ages 6+)

Short films for kids of all ages that focus on learning from each other. My favourite:the animated short At Home with Mrs. Hen. It may be the funniest thing you see today..

  • Freaks of Nurture (Dir: Alexandra Lemay)

  • Mamie et Mia (Granny and Mia) (Dir: Émilie Villeneuve)

  • Tzaritza (Dir: Theodore Ushev)

  • Maq and the Spirit of the Woods (Dir: Phyllis Grant)

  • Chez madame Poule (At Home with Mrs. Hen) (Dir: Tali)

  • Wapos Bay – Raiders of the Lost Art (Dirs: Daniel Frenette, Dennis Jackson)

PROGRAM FOUR: When Awareness Sparks Action: (Ages 12+)

Four protagonists become aware of a need in their communities and take action to meet that need. I especially enjoyed 360 Degrees, a short film about Sébastien Aubin, a French-speaking member of Manitoba's Opaskwayak Cree Nation, who is apprenticing in traditional Indigenous medicine with healer Mark Thompson.

  • Emma fait son cinéma (Emma Makes Movies) (Dir: Mélanie Léger)

  • Le chemin rouge (Red Path) (Dir: Thérèse Ottawa)

  • Mes réseaux sociaux et moi (Social Me) (Dir: Katia Café-Fébrissy)

  • 360 degrés (360 Degrees) (Dir: Caroline Monnet)

PROGRAM FIVE: French Spoken Loud and Clear: (mature language)

French can be part of a community in many ways. In this program, French comes to us through the language of theatre, the language of feminism and the language of the deaf. Meet actor Françoise Faucher, who has brought life to some of the greatest roles in French literature. Meet Montreal-born Louky Bersianik, poet and fiction writer. Discover the Langue des signes québécoise (Quebec Sign Language).

  • La sentinelle (The Sentry) (Dir: Claude Guilmain)

  • Les terribles vivantes (Firewords – Part 1) (Dir: Dorothy Todd Hénaut)

  • Les mots qui dansent (The Dance of Words) (Dir: Yves Étienne Massicotte)

Enjoy your viewing and tell a friend or two about the films!

Catherine Fisher, blogger