The Best NFB Films of the 1980s

Films

With 3000+ films that you can stream for free, picking a starting point can be tricky!

Enjoy a (subjective) list of the 10 best NFB films from the 1980s!

Flamenco at 5:15

Be mesmerized by a group of young ballet dancers as they learn the centuries-old art of flamenco from icons Susana and Antonio Robledo. This short won the 1984 Best Short Documentary Oscar®.

Flamenco at 5:15, Cynthia Scott, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Peep and the Great Wide World

Hop along for a series of wild adventures with these 3 short films featuring Peep the chicken, Chirp the robin and Quack the duck. Narrated by Peter Ustinov.

Peep and the Big Wide World, Kaj Pindal, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Shipbuilder

Watch this short re-enactment about Tom Sukanen, a Finnish immigrant who settled in Saskatchewan in the 1920s and spent 10 years building an iron ship to carry him back to Finland. (Hint: It didn’t quite work out).

Shipbuilder, Stephen Surjik, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Big Snit

Hilarious and poignant, this Oscar® nominated short by Richard Condie depicts the high-voltage intersection between a domestic quarrel and global nuclear war.

The Big Snit, Richard Condie, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Cat Came Back

You know the plot: the cat just keeps on coming back. But the zany details of this oppressed cat-owner’s efforts to get rid of his scheming pet are absurdly hilarious every time.

The Cat Came Back, Cordell Barker, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Defender

Take a wild ride with Bob Diemert, a Manitoban man with a dream to build the world’s next great fighter plane for only $25,000. Can he do it?

The Defender, Stephen Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Devil At Your Heels

Some people are content leading placid lives; others only feel alive building rocket-powered cars to jump across mile-wide stretches of the St. Lawrence River. Ken Carter belonged to the latter category.

The Devil at Your Heels, Robert Fortier, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Great Buffalo Saga

Watch this compelling combo of live-action footage, eyewitness accounts and archival photos depicting the story of the buffalo’s revival on the North American plains.

The Great Buffalo Saga, Michael McKennirey & Boyce Richardson, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Sweater

A young Canadiens fan mistakenly gets a Leafs jersey… and it feels like the end of the world! Based on The Hockey Sweater, a book Wayne Gretzky used to read to his children.

The Sweater, Sheldon Cohen, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Waterwalker

Join naturalist Bill Mason on a journey by canoe that begins on Lake Superior and explores winding river waters to the meadowlands of the river’s source.

Waterwalker, Bill Mason, provided by the National Film Board of Canada