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The Relay

Director Kimberley Ann Surin
Year 2021
Run Time 22min
Genre Documentary

Members of the 1996 Canadian Olympic relay team reflect on their historic gold medal-winning run, and what it meant both for them and for Canada as a whole.

Director

Kimberley Ann Surin

Writer

Kimberley Ann Surin

Producer

Kimberley Ann Surin

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Sports

Original Language

English

Wild Life

Directors Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby
Year 2011
Run Time 14min
Genre Animation, Drama
This Oscar-nominated animated short tells the story of a dapper young remittance man who is sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching in 1909. However, his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. A film about the beauty of the prairie, the pangs of homesickness and the folly of living dangerously out of context.

Directors

Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby

Producers

Marcy Page, Bonnie Thompson

Genres

Animation, Drama

Interests

Female Filmmaker, History, Newcomer Stories

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Canada: A People’s History

Year 2000
Run Time 150min
Genre Documentary

Dramatic and gripping, this popular series illustrates pivotal moments in Canada’s history, bringing a compelling intimacy to grand, historic developments. From the stories passed down through oral tradition to the first encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, through the battles that engulfed the continent and the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, to the modern era of feminism, multiculturalism and globalization, this captivating series brings to life the moments that have shaped our nation, telling Canada’s story through the eyes of the people who lived it.

Canada: A People’s History won the Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series and attracted over 14 million viewers. It is a collaborative production between the CBC and Radio-Canada and is available in both English and French.

Students can explore Canadian history further by delving into the series’ award-winning website (www.cbc.ca/history), which features behind-the-scenes footage, games, puzzles, lesson plans and links to other historical resources.

Each 105 minute episode is made up of several 10-to-15-minute segments, which can be shown independently. For a more detailed breakdown of the topics covered in each episode, please see www.cbc.ca/history.

 

SERIES 1: 15,000 B.C. to 1800 A.D. For centuries, the territory now known as Canada is home to over 50 Indigenous nations, each with unique traditions and culture. In the 16th century, European explorers arrive, creating Canada’s first colonies, and forever changing the landscape and the lives of the First Peoples.

SERIES 2: 1670 to 1873 By the 1800s, British exploration opens the West to settlement, laying the foundation of a new nation, but also displacing and devastating Indigenous inhabitants. Confederation soon follows, with the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

SERIES 3: 1873 to 1940 Canada’s early years are fraught with economic depression, rebellions and tension between English- and French-speaking Canadians. Immigration, rapid growth and sociopolitical change follow, ending abruptly with World War II, a pivotal moment in Canada’s quest for autonomy that comes at the enormous cost of 60,000 lives.

SERIES 4: 1940 to 1990 The end of the Great Depression and the flames and ravages of World War II give way to a new era of peace, progress and prosperity, as well as free trade, globalization, feminism, Indigenous land claims, multiculturalism, Québec nationalism and the explosion of computer technology.

Directors

Writers

Hubert Gendron, Mark Starowicz, Gene Allen

Producer

Mark Starowicz

Genre

Documentary

Interests

History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, French

Canadian Distributor

CBC

Nails

Director Phillip Borsos
Year 1979
Run Time 13min
Genre Documentary
This documentary explores the manufacturing of nails and the gulf between the skilled labour of traditional tradespeople and modern mechanization.

Director

Phillip Borsos

Borsos was a four-time Canadian Film Award, Genie Award winner, and an Oscar nominee. He released his debut feature, The Grey Fox, to much acclaim in 1982, at age 27. He also directed The Mean Season, One Magic Christmas, Bethune: The Making of a Hero and Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog, before his tragic death from leukemia at age 41.

Producer

John Taylor

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, History

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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Against The Grain

Director Curtis Mandeville (Métis)
Year 2009
Run Time 24min
Genre Documentary
Survivors of the Indian residential school system attempt to cope with its impact on their personal lives and communities. A good primer for discussions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

Director

Curtis Mandeville (Métis)

Writer

Curtis Mandeville (Métis)

Producers

Curtis Mandeville (Métis), Eileen McCord

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Winnipeg Film Group

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InukShop

Director Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)
Year 2009
Run Time 2min
Genre Documentary
What is the state of Inuit culture on screen? Inuk filmmaker Weetaluktuk mixes archival reels with new footage to make this commentary on cultural appropriation.

Director

Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)

Writer

Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)

Producers

Kat Baulu, Joe MacDonald, Vanessa Loewen

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

No Dialogue

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam

Director Ann Marie Fleming
Year 2003
Run Time 90min
Genre Documentary

A loving and entertaining portrait of the director’s greatgrandfather, a brilliant Chinese magician and acrobat.

Director

Ann Marie Fleming

Fleming is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer who has animated over 20 films, including the shorts Stories Sarah Tells, Big Trees and Heart. Her features include New Shoes, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam and The French Guy. Fleming has won nearly 20 awards for her films, including 10 for Window Horses. Most recently, she directed the shorts A Short Film About Tegan & Sara, Question Period, and Old Dog.

Writer

Ann Marie Fleming

Producers

Ann Marie Fleming, Svend-Erik Eriksen

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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Origin of the Dream Catcher

Director Donavan Vollant (Innu)
Year 2018
Run Time 4min
Genre Animation, Drama
In this beautiful animated short film we learn about the creation of the very first dreamcatcher.

Director

Donavan Vollant (Innu)

Genres

Animation, Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

Inuktitut

Language Version

EN Subtitles

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Short Film Programme

Director Various
Year 2022
Genre Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller
In addition to the feature films in this catalogue, we also offer a wealth of Canadian short films suitable for various grade levels. They cover a variety of themes and topics, and encompass fiction and documentary, live action and animation. For the full list, check out our Short Film Programme page, and use the filters at the top to find something that meets your needs. 

If you’d like to show several short films together as a programme, please feel free to get in touch for advice and tips on selecting the perfect combination for your needs. 

Director

Various

Genres

Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, BIPOC Stories, Bullying, Classics, Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Discrimination, Environment, ESL, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Literary Adaptation, Newcomer Stories, Social Justice & Politics, Sports, Strong Female Leads

Original Languages

English, French

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Sophie and Jacob

Director Max Shoham
Year 2020
Run Time 9min
Genre Drama

A moving animation based on the true story of two Romanian Jewish refugees who found each other and fell in love while fleeing the horrors of the Holocaust.

Director

Max Shoham

Writer

Max Shoham

Genre

Drama

Interests

Discrimination, Global Experiences, History

Original Language

English

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Continuous Journey

Director Ali Kazimi
Year 2004
Run Time 87min
Genre Documentary
In 1914, the SS Komagata Maru set out on a voyage to transport Indian immigrants to Canada. On May 23 of that year, the ship arrived in Vancouver with 376 Sikh, Muslim and Hindu passengers on board. Many of the men were veterans of the British Indian Army and believed that it was their right as British subjects to settle anywhere in the Empire they had fought to defend and expand. They were wrong – they were stopped from coming into Canada by the Continuous Journey Regulation of 1908, which excluded Indians and South Asians from being able to enter the country.  

This inventive docudrama explores the exclusionary politics, which kept the Indian passengers of the Komagata Maru sequestered at sea for over two months in this infamous standoff.  

A story of immigration and injustice, this beautifully crafted film shows historical footage in a way never seen before.

Director

Ali Kazimi

Writer

Ali Kazimi

Producer

Ali Kazimi

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Global Experiences, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

TVO

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Joe

Director Jill Haras
Year 2002
Run Time 8min
Genre Animation
An animated tribute to real-life African Canadian hero Joe Fortes, who overcame discrimination and prejudice to become a beloved member of the Vancouver community.

Director

Jill Haras

Genre

Animation

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Pour la suite du monde (For Those Who Will Follow)

Directors Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault
Year 1963
Run Time 105min
Genre Documentary
For centuries, the villagers of Île aux Coudres, a small island in the St. Lawrence River, hunted beluga whales by creating a sort of “fence” of saplings in shallow, muddy waters, trapping the mammals in low tide as they swim by.

In 1962, Michel Brault and a team of filmmakers travelled to the island to document the resumption of the practice decades after it had been abandoned, shedding light and wit on this “resourceful” tradition.

A balance of grace, humour, and up-close observation, Pour la suite du monde is known as a landmark achievement in documentary filmmaking and was screened at the Cannes film festival.

Directors

Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault

Writers

Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault

Producers

Jacques Bobet, Fernand Dansereau

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Classics, Environment, History

Original Language

French

Canadian Distributor

NFB

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The Creator’s Game

Director Candace Maracle (Mohawk)
Year 2011
Run Time 41min
Genre Documentary
After being denied entry into Europe because of their Haudenosaunee passports, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team are forced to forfeit their shot at the World Championship. A year later, we follow the team as they fight to bring the title and national sovereignty to their people.

Director

Candace Maracle (Mohawk)

Writer

Candace Maracle (Mohawk)

Producer

Candace Maracle (Mohawk)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics, Sports

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Vtape

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The Spirit of Annie Mae

Director Catherine Anne Martin (Mi’kmaw)
Year 2002
Run Time 73min
Genre Documentary

Annie Mae Pictou Aquash was a 30-year-old Nova Scotia-born Mi’qmaw woman and a prominent figure in the American Indian Movement (AIM) until her life was tragically cut short in 1975, when she was brutally murdered in South Dakota. Decades later, as the crime remains unsolved, her friends and family reflect on her life and what she meant to each of them. 

While remaining an intimate portrait of a loving mother and friend, The Spirit of Annie Mae also chronicles the history of AIM, and ways in which the government sought to destroy it from within.

Director

Catherine Anne Martin (Mi’kmaw)

Writer

Angela Baker

Producer

Kent Martin

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

NFB

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire

Director Peter Raymont
Year 2004
Run Time 90min
Genre Documentary
Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire was in command of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission to Rwanda in 1994 when a bloody genocide erupted. Over the course of 100 days, more than 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutus, the rival tribe in their country.

Dallaire attempted to stop the killing by alerting the world through the United Nations and the international media. Though his attempts were unsuccessful, Dallaire emerged as a hero. Ten years later, Dallaire returns to Rwanda to personally commemorate the anniversary of that holocaust.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005.

“Dallaire is not only the protagonist of Shake Hands with the Devil, he is a compelling reason to see it.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Director

Peter Raymont

Raymont has produced and directed over 100 documentaries, which have earned more than 50 international awards. His producing credits include West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson, Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr and Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. He recently directed the doc Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power, and produced Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On, which premiered at TIFF 2022.

Writer

Roméo Dallaire

Producers

Linda Lee Tracey, Peter Raymont

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, Discrimination, Global Experiences, History, Literary Adaptation, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

White Pine Pictures

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Sisters and Brothers

Director Kent Monkman (Cree)
Year 2015
Run Time 3min
Genre Documentary, Drama, Experimental
In a pounding critique of Canada’s colonial history, this short film draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison in the 1890s and the devastation inflicted on the Indigenous population by the residential school system. Part of the Souvenir series, it’s one of four films by First Nations filmmakers that remix archival footage to address Indigenous identity and representation, reframing Canadian history through a contemporary lens.

Director

Kent Monkman (Cree)

Producer

Anita Lee

Genres

Documentary, Drama, Experimental

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Languages

English, French

Canadian Distributor

NFB

RiP! A Remix Manifesto

Director Brett Gaylor
Year 2009
Run Time 87min
Genre Documentary
In this challenging and thought-provoking documentary, filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age and the crumbling barriers between users and producers.

The film centres on Girl Talk, a mash-up musician who tops the charts with his sample- based creations, provoking debate about ownership, copyright, piracy and what it means to be an artist in the 21st century.

Musicians, authors and pop culture critics all weigh in on the issues in this wildly innovative and experimental doc.

A great mix of compelling analysis and difficult questions, RiP! addresses issues of sampling, sharing, intellectual property and creative freedom with flair and style.

Director

Brett Gaylor

Writer

Brett Gaylor

Producers

Mila Aung-Thwin, Kat Baulu, Germaine Ying Gee Wong

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, History

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

KinoSmith

Vive la rose

Director Bruce Alcock
Year 2009
Run Time 6min
Genre Animation, Romance

Based on the last recording by one of Newfoundland's foremost traditional music performers, Emile Benoit's tender delivery of the 18th century French song is the heart of Vive la rose. The story of unrequited love and tentative obsession throughout the beloved's life, sickness and early death is the narrative focus, accompanied by an emotional interpretation of Benoit's strong Newfoundland French accent and wavering old man's voice. Vive la rose is animation on location, rooting the film in a location that evokes the past, and combines ink drawings with a variety of romantic and associative elements and objects.

Director

Bruce Alcock

Producers

Tina Ouellette, Annette Clarke, Michael Fukushima

Genres

Animation, Romance

Interests

Arts and Culture, History

Original Language

French

Language Versions

EN Subtitles, FR CC

Canadian Distributor

NFB

The Accountant of Auschwitz

Director Matthew Shoychet
Year 2018
Run Time 78min
Genre Documentary

This powerful documentary chronicles the trial of Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust and a former members of the SS. In 2015, the 94 year old was brought to trial for his role in the murder of 300,000 Jewish people.

This thought-provoking and insightful film explores his life and actions before, after and during the Second World War. An emotionally affecting and intellectually challenging look at responsibility, forgiveness, justice, and the role of an individual in one of human history’s greatest evils.

The runner-up for the audience award at the 2018 Hot Docs festival, this deeply affecting documentary has resonated with critics and audiences around the world.

Director

Matthew Shoychet

Writer

Ricki Gurwitz

Producers

Ric Esther Bienstock, Ricki Gurwitz

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, Global Experiences, History

Original Languages

English, Other Language

Language Version

EN CC

Canadian Distributor

Aqute Media