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Quebec

Quarantaine

“Marlene Millar and Philip Szporer's marvelously entertaining multi-disciplinary take on the male mid-life crisis. Mixing solo dance, collective scat, humour and pathos, Victorian gothic animation and great music, this Montreal stage adaptation is never less than fiercely alive.” John Griffin-The Gazette

St-Henri, the 26th of August

On August 26th, 2010, fourteen filmmakers recorded multiple stories in the Montreal neighbourhood of Saint-Henri. The resulting film is a touching, funny and fascinating day-in-the-life of an eclectic community. Doris roams the streets collecting bottles; Belinda is a vibrant hair stylist from Togo; Babyface, the fifteen-year-old Canadian featherweight boxing champion, prepares for a match; Robert and Edmée enjoy their golden years together; and urban explorer Danielle scales abandoned buildings and descends into Saint-Henri's sewers. These are just a few of the characters we follow in St-Henri, the 26th of August, a film that explores what community means to us today, and how we inhabit our neighbourhoods. Inspired by the 1962 NFB film "À Saint-Henri, le cinq septembre", this unique collaborative project brings together some of the brightest talents in Montreal’s contemporary documentary scene to capture these compelling stories.

Twice Upon A Garden

Created during the 1930s, not far from the 49th parallel, Les Jardins de Métis are unlike any other. Situated at the confluence of the Mitis, the legendary salmon river, and the majestic St. Lawrence estuary, they are protected by the site's unique geography and microclimate. This botanical paradise stems from the labours of Elsie Reford, who in 1926 decided to transform her Gaspé fishing camp into gardens. Today, they display some 3,000 species and varieties of indigenous and exotic plants along a kilometre and a half of pathways. Every year, tens of thousands of visitors come to see Elsie's gardens, which have constantly evolved over the past eighty years, as well as the International Garden Festival, which was founded by her great grandson Alexander, and which celebrated its 10th edition in 2009. A film on both the art of nature and the nature of art, Il était deux fois un jardin provides an inside look at these gardens and their growers. We see the plants throughout the seasons: during a memorable winter blizzard, in torrential rain, in serene summer nights, in the last rays of autumn sunsets. We also get a glimpse of several artists as they set up their installations for the festival.

Mes Soeurs musulmanes

Asmaa Ibnouzahir et Geneviève Lepage, deux jeunes Québécoises engagées, indépendantes d’esprit et éduquées, sont également des femmes voilées. Geneviève s’est convertie à l’islam en 2001, à la suite des événements du 11 septembre. Musulmane d’origine, Asmaa a décidé en 2004 de pratiquer sa religion « comme elle a été prescrite », après avoir vécu les déchirements classiques des enfants d’immigrés.

La femme qui ne se voyait plus aller

Pourquoi une femme qui a tout en veut-elle davantage? Comment expliquer qu’une brillante chef d’entreprise, fleuron de la couronne Québec Inc., ait détourné des millions de dollars? L’histoire de Micheline Charest est celle d’un destin en dents de scie, fait de grandes victoires comme de grandes chutes, de confort comme d’indifférence. Le film de 52 minutes trace l’extraordinaire trajectoire de l’ex-PDG de Cinar, jusqu’à sa mort surprise en avril 2004, en interrogeant au passage l’énorme silence qui s’est fait autour de ce scandale, et en posant la question : pourquoi une femme comme elle a-t-elle senti le besoin de tricher?

Stunt People

Lois Siegel is a filmmaker, casting director, writer, photographer, professor, and musician. She lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her film STUNT PEOPLE (featuring four generations of the Fournier family) won a 1990 Genie Award: Best Short Documentary from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. She teaches Video Production at the University of Ottawa. She also teaches “Calling the Shots” video and animation workshops in the Ottawa public schools.

Junior

There's no margin for error, getting drunk or breaking curfew in the high-stakes game stickhandled by the coaches, agents, trainers, owners and shareholders of junior hockey. Direct cinema and dramatic editing capture the joys and the anguish of young Baie-Comeau players throughout an entire season. The team isn't doing well and the pressure to win is intense. As players autograph their pictures for teenage girls after a game, managers and owners meet behind closed doors to decide their fate. In one brutal scene, a player is "fired" minutes before the team photo shoot. In another, a player is told he's been traded and has 30 minutes to catch a bus to a different city to play that night-or his hockey career is over. Junior has no actual hockey scenes, but superb filmmaking and the boys' rough and tumble passage to manhood take this film beyond a typical sports documentary. In French and English with English subtitles.

Referendum Take 2

October, 1995. The most important political event in recent Canadian history, the Quebec vote on sovereignty, is about to unfold. During the tense days leading up to the referendum for independence, 23 filmmakers from the NFB's English and French documentary studios take their cameras into the streets and homes of Quebeckers. Culled from 250 hours of footage, Referendum is an emotional portrait of a profoundly divided society. In a collage of powerful moments, the video recaptures the emotions of that time and measures them against today's political agenda. Implicit is the question: What next? With English and French subtitles.

Power

When Hydro-Québec announced its intention to proceed with the enormous James Bay II hydroelectric project, the 15,000 Cree who live in the region decided to stand up to the giant utility. With unprecedented access to key figures like Cree leader Matthew Coon Come and American environmental activist Robert Kennedy Jr., Power is the compelling, behind-the-scenes story of the Cree's five-year battle to save the Great Whale River and their traditional way of life.
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