Images provided by the NFB

Four powerful NFB films premiering at TIFF 2022

World premieres of Brian D. Johnson’s The Colour of Ink, Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan’s Ever Deadly, and Nisha Pahuja’s To Kill a Tiger, plus the North American debut of Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s The Flying Sailor

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) selection at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), taking place September 8 to 18, will feature compelling documentary and animated storytelling from some of Canada’s most distinguished creators.

Three feature-length documentaries will premiere at TIFF:

  • Brian D. Johnson’s Sphinx Productions/NFB co-production The Colour of Inkuncovers the medium’s mystery and power through the eyes of Jason Logan, a visionary Toronto inkmaker; 
  • Ever Deadly, an immersive, visceral music and cinema experience featuring avant-garde Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, created in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan;
  • Nisha Pahuja’s Notice Pictures/NFB co-production To Kill a Tiger, in which a farmer in Jharkhand, India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the victim of a brutal gang rape.

TIFF is also presenting the North American debut of Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s animated short The Flying Sailor, the latest by this Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning duo, inspired by the remarkable true account from the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

Premiering in TIFF Docs

The Colour of Ink by Brian D. Johnson

  • Working with ingredients foraged in the wild—weeds, berries, bark, flowers, rocks, rust—Toronto inkmaker Jason Logan makes ink from just about anything. Jason sends custom-made inks to an eclectic range of artists around the world, from a New Yorker cartoonist to a Japanese calligrapher.
  • As the inks take on a life of their own, his playful alchemy paints a story of colour that reconnects us to the earth and returns us to a childlike sense of wonder.
  • Brian D. Johnson is a Canadian writer, filmmaker and cultural commentator. He is best known for his three decades as film critic and senior arts writer at Maclean’s magazine, where he remains a Contributing Editor. In 2015 he produced and directed Al Purdy Was Here, a documentary feature about the legendary Canadian poet, which premiered at TIFF and was runner-up for the TIFF Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.

Ever Deadly by Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan 

Produced by Lea Marin, Anita Lee and Kate Vollum for the Ontario Studio in Toronto

  • Ever Deadlyexplores Tagaq’s transformation of sound with an eye to colonial fallout, natural freedom and Canadian history. We witness Tagaq’s intimate relationship with the Nuna—the Land—a living, breathing organism present in all forms of her improvised performances. 
  • This feature doc weaves concert footage with stunning sequences filmed on location in Nunavut, seamlessly bridging landscapes, stories and songs with pain, anger and triumph—all through the expressions of one of the most innovative musical performers of our time.
  • Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and author from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuuttiaq), who now divides her time between Nunavut and Toronto. A member of the Order of Canada, a Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner and recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, Tagaq is an original disruptor, a world-changing figure at the forefront of seismic social, political and environmental change.
  • Toronto filmmaker Chelsea McMullan creates documentary, experimental narrative, and hybrid films that explore the work of leading international artists. McMullan’s first documentary feature, My Prairie Home, about pioneering transgender musician Rae Spoon, screened at Sundance 2014 and was named Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver Film Critics Association Awards.

To Kill a Tiger by Nisha Pahuja

Produced by Cornelia Principe and Nisha Pahuja for Notice Pictures; David Oppenheim for the NFB

  • In a small Indian village, Ranjit wakes up to find that his 13-year-old daughter has not returned from a family wedding. A few hours later, she’s found stumbling home. After being dragged into the woods, she was raped by three men. Ranjit goes to the police, and the men are arrested. But Ranjit’s relief is short-lived, as the villagers and their leaders launch a sustained campaign to force the family to drop the charges.
  • With tremendous access, the film follows Ranjit’s uphill battle to find justice for his child, charting the emotional journey of an ordinary man facing extraordinary circumstances. A father whose love for his daughter forces a social reckoning that will reverberate for years to come.
  • Nisha Pahuja is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker based in Toronto and Bombay. Her credits include Diamond Road (2007 Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series), the NFB production Bollywood Bound (2001 Gemini nominee) and the award-winning The World Before Her (2012; Best Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival; Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs; TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten; Sundance Film Forward Program; Best Documentary nominee, CSAs; Emmy nominee).

Premiering in Short Cuts

The Flying Sailor by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis

Produced by David Christensen for the North West Studio in Edmonton

  • Two ships collide in a harbour, an explosion shatters a city, and a sailor is blasted skyward. With ears ringing, blood pulsing and guts heaving, he soars high above the mayhem and towards the great unknown.
  • Inspired by an incredible true story of a man who was blown two kilometres through the air by the Halifax Explosion, the animated short The Flying Sailor is at once a bold blend of comedy, suspense and philosophy and an exhilarating contemplation of the wonder and fragility of existence.
  • The Flying Sailor is making its North American premiere at TIFF following its world premiere at the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, which took place June 13 to 18.
  • Calgary-based animators Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis met at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, where they studied film, video and animation. Each went on to create their own works with the NFB (Wendy Tilby’s Strings and Jan Padgett’s The Reluctant Deckhand, animated by Amanda Forbis) before co-directing When the Day Breaks, which received an Oscar nomination and more than 30 international awards, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes. In 2012, their animated short film Wild Life received an Academy Award nomination, among other honours.