Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The NFB will be back in force at Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) with six productions and co-productions. The lineup includes the world premiere of Perfecting the Art of Longing by Montreal filmmaker and photographer Kitra Cahana and the Quebec premiere of Nalujuk Night by Inuk visual artist Jennie Williams. Besides the two documentary shorts—both of which will screen in competition—the animated short Le bourreau chez lui (The Hangman at Home) by internationally acclaimed filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot will also have its Quebec premiere, screening in competition. The interactive story Far Away From Far Away by Bruce Alcock and Jeremy Mendes, and Otherly, a series of documentary shorts on Instagram made by multiple filmmakers, will feature in FNC Explore. Matthew Rankin’s THE Tesla WORLD LIGHT will also screen, highlighting the 60th anniversary of Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique. The FNC takes place from October 6 to 17, 2021, as a hybrid festival, with some works screening in Montreal theatres and others streaming online and available across Canada.
Perfecting the Art of Longing by Kitra Cahana
(NFB, 12 min 13 s) – WORLD PREMIERE
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/perfecting
Cut off from his loved ones due to the pandemic lockdown, a quadriplegic rabbi in a long-term-care facility in Montreal is filmed remotely by his daughter. Offering powerful meditations on love and hope, the film shows us what it means to be alive in a state of profound isolation.
The film will have its world premiere with French subtitles on Thursday, October 7, 2021, 8:30 p.m., at Montreal’s Cinéma du Musée, and will be accessible online until October 31.
Filmmaker Kitra Cahana is also an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Colors Magazine and The New York Times.
Nalujuk Night by Jennie Williams
(NFB, 13 min 7 s) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/nalujuk-night
Run as fast as you can, the Nalujuit are here! The filmmaker brings us the story of an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying Nunatsiavut tradition, plunging audiences directly into the action of a winter night like no other.
The film will have its Quebec premiere with French subtitles on Sunday, October 10, 2021, 9:20 p.m., at Montreal’s Cinéma du Musée, and will be accessible online until October 31.
Nalujuk Night had its world premiere at the 2021 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, where it won the Best Atlantic Short Documentary Award.
Jennie Williams is an Inuk visual artist and throat singer from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. As a professional photographer, she creates powerful images that convey the cultural landscape and lived experience of Inuit. Her stirring photography has received national acclaim.
Les nouveaux alchimistes Competition
Le bourreau chez lui (The Hangman at Home) by Michelle and Uri Kranot
(Late Love Production/Floréal Films/Miyu Productions/NFB, 14 min) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-hangman-at-home-vr/#Film_section
Inspired by the 1922 Carl Sandburg poem of the same title, The Hangman at Home explores themes of acknowledgement and participation.
The film will have its Quebec premiere at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 10, 2021, in the main screening room of the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal, and will be accessible online until October 31.
Awards: Golden Dragon Grand Prize for Best Film, Int. Shorts Competition, 2021 Krakow Film Festival; Special Mention, 2021 Supertoon International Animation and Comics Festival, Šibenik, Croatia.
Last year as part of FNC Explore, the filmmakers gave an extremely popular online master class where they discussed the virtual reality component of this project, an award winner at Venice.
Far Away From Far Away by Bruce Alcock and Jeremy Mendes
(NFB, 25 min)
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/faraway
Far Away From Far Away is an interactive story inspired by the early life of visionary Zita Cobb. Written by Michael Crummey, it’s about a young girl growing up on Fogo Island with her father during the 1960s and ’70s.
The work had its world premiere in 2019 at the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) DocLab competition.
Far Away From Far Away will be available online in the FNC Explore section of the festival’s website.
Otherly by various directors
(NFB/POV Spark, series of short documentaries)
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/otherly
Otherly is a series about finding one’s place in the 21st century. Using universal themes like love, inclusion, and loss as entry points, the seven creators have crafted films that are at once timeless and yet by definition of their form, ephemeral.
The FNC will screen the four shorts in the series whose directors are Canadian: Parked: Seeking Refuge in Our Cars by Mirusha Yogarajah, Papier Accordéon by Grace An, Love Is the First Sacred Lesson by Jess Murwin and A Portrait of Tracy by Joanne Lam.
The four short films will be available in English as “stories” on the FNC’s Instagram page starting October 12 at 5 p.m.
Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique x FNC
THE Tesla WORLD LIGHT by Matthew Rankin
(NFB, 8 min 18 s) – selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival’s Semaine de la Critique in 2017
Press kit (synopsis, biographies, images and credits): mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-tesla-world-light/
New York, 1905. Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla makes one last appeal to J.P. Morgan, his onetime benefactor. Inspired by real events, this electrifying short is a spectacular burst of image and sound that draws as much from the tradition of avant-garde cinema as it does from animated documentary.
The animated short will screen at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 15, at the Cinémathèque québécoise during a jointly programmed special event celebrating two milestones: the Semaine de la Critique’s 60th anniversary and the FNC’s 50th anniversary.
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Online Screening Room: NFB.ca
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