Posts written by Philip Lewis
 

On the Trail of Canada’s Black Pioneers

Production

Growing up in Calgary Cheryl Foggo looked forward to the annual Stampede with excitement, but began wondering why her own ancestors, African-American homesteaders on the Canadian Prairies, were absent from Alberta’s foundation myth. With John Ware Reclaimed, she’s shining a light on the underwritten history of Alberta’s Black pioneers and the remarkable life of John Ware.

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Throat | Tanya Tagaq Meets Dolby Atmos

Production

Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq possesses one of the fiercest and most arresting voices in contemporary music. Occupying a sonic universe all her own, somewhere between wolf and human, she infuses the throat-singing tradition of her people with fearless new urgency, leaving audiences and critics in a state of gobsmacked awe.

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True North: Ryan Sidhoo Explores Canada’s New Game

Production

Toronto’s red-hot youth basketball scene is profiled in True North, an upcoming web series by Ryan Sidhoo.

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Ariel Nasr Unspools Afghanistan’s Forbidden Reel

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The headquarters of Afghan Film occupy unassuming premises, one of many bullet-scared structures in central Kabul, with little indicating its vital role in Afghanistan’s cultural history. Yet it was from this modest two-story building that ‘Engineer’ Latif Ahmadi and his peers brought forth a vibrant cinema culture in one of the most underdeveloped societies on

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Animation News: Sharp Shorts for a New Millennium

Production

The idea that animation can serve as a vehicle for important public messages is embedded in the very foundations of the NFB animation tradition. Back in 1941, when John Grierson hired his first staff animator, a gifted New York-based Scottish artist by the name of Norman McLaren, his most pressing assignment for the wildly inventive

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Alanis Obomsawin’s Hopeful New Opus

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Words have always been precious to Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin who routinely begins production on a film by simply listening, recording quiet conversations with her main subjects. Much of this original audio later occupies a central place on her final soundtrack.

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Jay Cardinal Villeneuve Tackles Unholy History

Production

Jay Cardinal Villeneuve got the idea while working with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Cree/Métis filmmaker had been hired by the Commission to record testimony from adult survivors of Canada’s residential schools system and among those who came forward to tell their stories was Lena Wandering Spirit.

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Western Gaze: 4 to Watch from North West Studio

InteractiveProduction

The little-known story of Alberta’s Black pioneers, a darkly entertaining animation about the Hudson’s Bay Company and an interactive story shot in Cambodia are among projects currently in the works at Edmonton’s North West Studio. Here are four titles to watch for in the coming months. Skin for Skin: Heritage Moment Goes Gothic As the governor-in-chief

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What is Democracy? Astra Taylor’s Necessary New Doc

Production

Discover Astra Taylor’s latest project — a documentary essay currently in postproduction at the Ontario Studio under the ambitious title: What is Democracy?

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Freaks of Nurture: Alexandra Lemay in the Dollhouse

FilmsProduction

Alexandra Lemay has a full line of creative hats in her artistic wardrobe — but ‘art director’ is one she wears with particular style and confidence. Currently at work on Freaks of Nurture, a new stop-motion animation inspired by her own unorthodox upbringing, she’s designed an extraordinary miniature set — a scaled down version of

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New Voices, Necessary Stories: NFB at Hot Docs 2017

Production

Documentary is Canada’s national art form because the history of our cinema — and, in important ways, the history of our country — has been written in documentary. If you want to understand the Canadian psyche, you have to watch Canadian documentaries. So states Marc Glassman, editor of POV Magazine, writing in a special spring

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NFB & UK’s National Theatre Collaborate on VR Doc

InteractiveProduction

Among the productions premiering in the 2017 edition of Storyscapes – the Tribeca Festival’s showcase of new immersive media – is Draw Me Close, a striking hybrid of creative non-fiction VR and live performance from Jordan Tannahill, one of the most inventive voices in contemporary Canadian theatre.

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