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Education

January Film List

New Year, New Films!

Happy 2023! We’re shaking off the old and starting the New Year fresh, by highlighting some of the latest films to join our REEL CANADA catalogue.

L’Arracheuse de temps (The Time Thief)

(105 Min)

In this quirky tale full of magic and wonder, the small town of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton decides to eliminate death once and for all. When the character of Death arrives in their village seemingly determined to take their souls, the extraordinary townsfolk decide to fight against their mortality as best as they can. In this story, death is not an end, but just the beginning of a fantastic legend.

 

Based on the acclaimed novel by Fred Pellerin, L’Arracheuse de temps was a box office success and received 5 Canadian Screen Award nominations, including for Pellerin’s screenplay.

Black Liberators WWII

(66 Min)

Black Liberators WWII tells the heroic stories of Black Canadian and Caribbean soldiers who served in the Canadian Army during World War II. These little-known war stories reveal the amazing acts of bravery and patriotism of these soldiers, all while they faced the harsh realities of racism both at home and on the battlefield.

Director Adrian Callender invites audiences to uncover this history while paying homage to the individuals who fought for their country and their freedom. This ground-breaking documentary is an essential piece of Canadian history, ensuring that the sacrifices of these veterans are never forgotten.

Night Raiders

(101 Min)

A compelling and propulsive dystopian thriller, Night Raiders follows Niska (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), a Cree mother, as she travels across a war-torn Turtle Island (North America) in a desperate attempt to save her daughter from a forced re-education camp. Niska joins forces with a group of underground resistance fighters seeking to free their children and save their future.

Anchored by an incredible lead performance from Tailfeathers along with a stellar supporting cast, this powerful and heartfelt debut feature from Danis Goulet premiered at TIFF in 2021 and was nominated for Best Canadian Film by the Toronto Critics’ Association.

Night Raiders should become the most talked-about Canadian film of the year. And for good reason.” – Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Pachamama

(72 Min)

Ten-year-old Teplupai has always wanted to be a spiritual leader, but nobody will take him seriously. When a tax collector takes away his village’s sacred treasure, he sets off on a quest to find and reclaim it. However, when he arrives in the big city, his world is forever changed as he witnesses the first arrival of Europeans to the continent, and the devastation that follows.

This beautifully animated adventure set hundreds of years ago in the Andean region is a thrilling and moving story that has resonated with young audiences around the world, and was nominated for a César award for Best Animated Film.
 

The Porter

(45 Min)

Shining a light on a rarely discussed chapter of Canadian history, The Porter tells the story of Junior (Ameen) and Zeke (Rowe), two railway porters and best friends whose lives diverge following a tragedy. Inspired by the real stories of railway porters following the First World War, and culminating in the establishment of the first Black union in North America, this incredible historical drama is both thrilling and eye-opening.

This acclaimed eight-episode series won a Directors Guild of Canada award for Charles Officer, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
 

Portraits From a Fire

(92 Min)

Tyler (Lulua), a young aspiring filmmaker, spends his days comedically documenting life on the Tl’etinqox Reserve where he lives, but everything changes when he meets the mysterious Aaron (Koostachin) who encourages him to tell a new kind of story. What starts out as a personal project about his family soon leads to the reveal of a shocking secret that threatens to unravel his life. 

A coming of age story that is often funny and surreal, this debut feature from director Trevor Mack is also a poignant look at the importance of family and being in touch with one’s ancestry.

Portraits from a Fire boasts some superb production values… wrapped around a simple, heartfelt tale that is clearly close to the heart of its 29-year-old director.” – Chris Knight, The National Post

Run Woman Run

(100 Min)

Single mother Beck (Hebert) finds her life upended when she faces a health scare and is forced to make big changes to the way she lives. Beck decides to start training for a marathon to prove to herself and her family that she’s able to get back on track.

Guided by the ghost of her ancestor, legendary long distance runner Tom Longboat (Koostachin), she sets out on a journey that is both emotional and inspiring. Told in a lighthearted and charming way, Run Woman Run is a feel-good anti-rom-com about a woman who has to tackle the ghosts of her past before she can run toward a better future. Winner of the Audience Choice Award and Moon Jury Prize at imagineNATIVE.

“It’s one of the year’s best” – Alex Heeney, Seventh Row

 

Superfan: The Nav Bhatia Story

(44 Min)

If you’ve ever watched the Toronto Raptors, chances are you’ve seen Nav Bhatia (aka the “Raptors Superfan”), stationed in the seat he’s sat in for every home game in the franchise’s history. Superfan explores how Nav found a home in Toronto, fell in love with the Raptors, and grew to be so beloved that he became the first fan ever to receive an NBA championship ring, as part of the 2019 championship Raptors team.

Featuring interviews with comedian Russell Peters, Vince Carter, Isiah Thomas, and Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, this compelling doc tells Nav’s inspiring story of perseverance, passion, overcoming adversity and ultimately finding success and joy. 

Bell Let's Talk

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about mental health, especially in the classroom. In preparation for Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 25th, we’re offering teachers a selection of films to help start the conversation with their students.

De père en flic (Fathers and Guns)

(107 Min)

Jacques (Côté) and Marc (Houde) are father-and-son cops who don't exactly get along, but when a fellow officer is kidnapped by a biker gang, they're forced to partner up in order to save his life.

The pair infiltrates an outdoor camp for fathers and sons to snag Charles Bérubé (Girard), the biker gang's lawyer. As Jacques and Marc try to locate their missing colleague, they find the camp's bonding activities are having an emotional and hilarious impact on their own relationship.

De père en flic is the highest-grossing French-language film in Canadian history.

"A can't-miss buddy comedy about a pair of dysfunctional father-son cops who are forced to go undercover at a touchy-feely bonding retreat…a genuinely amusing hybrid." — Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter

The Grizzlies

(106 Min)

Based on an inspiring true story, The Grizzlies is a powerful film about the determination and resilience of a group of Inuit youth struggling with the legacy of colonization.

When Russ Sheppard (Schnetzer) moves to Kugluktuk, NU, to be a teacher, he is shocked by the challenges facing the community, most especially the ongoing epidemic of teen suicide. Russ introduces a lacrosse programme and gradually wins the trust of his students. Together, the youth find a sense of pride and purpose in themselves and their community.

The Grizzlies was called “transcendently moving” by The Hollywood Reporter and has won multiple awards and been screened to acclaim at film festivals around the world. Cast members Paul Nutarariaq and Anna Lambe earned Canadian Screen Award nominations for their performances.

* Please note that this film has Indigenous producers, but not an Indigenous director. imagineNATIVE defines an Indigenous-made film as one directed or co-directed by an Indigenous person.
 

Away From Her

(110 Min)

Based on Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” this moving film tells the story of Fiona (Christie) and Grant (Pinsent), a couple who have been married for over 40 years. As Fiona’s “forgetfulness” grows worse, the couple are forced to come to terms with the fact that it is actually Alzheimer’s, and she is placed in a new nursing home.

At the end of the difficult 30-day “no visitor” policy, Grant comes to visit Fiona, except there are some wrinkles: Fiona remembers little of the life they shared, and has found a new partner in the home. Beginning a journey that will test the bond they’ve shared for decades, Grant must draw upon his deep love for Fiona in order to adjust to this reality, and help ensure her continued happiness and support.

An enduring love story with a powerful message about friendship, generosity and devotion, Away From Her was nominated for two Oscars and won over 39 other awards. It won seven Genies, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, among others.

Portraits From a Fire

(92 Min)

Tyler (Lulua), a young aspiring filmmaker, spends his days comedically documenting life on the Tl’etinqox Reserve where he lives, but everything changes when he meets the mysterious Aaron (Koostachin) who encourages him to tell a new kind of story. What starts out as a personal project about his family soon leads to the reveal of a shocking secret that threatens to unravel his life. 

A coming of age story that is often funny and surreal, this debut feature from director Trevor Mack is also a poignant look at the importance of family and being in touch with one’s ancestry.

Portraits from a Fire boasts some superb production values… wrapped around a simple, heartfelt tale that is clearly close to the heart of its 29-year-old director.” – Chris Knight, The National Post