|Press Release: |
Seven National Film Board of Canada (NFB) short films celebrating Canadian performing arts excellence premiered online yesterday Saturday, May 27, immediately following the 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) Gala at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. For 15 years, the NFB has sought out accomplished Canadian directors to find the right combination of filmmaker, concept and laureate, producing portraits of distinguished Canadians that also stand on their own as innovative short works of cinema. The NFB’s GGPAA film collection now totals 112 shorts produced since 2008, via a partnership with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation. The films Michel Marc Bouchard: Speaking Out is a window onto the world of a theatre giant, and an opportunity to discover the man behind the words. Michel Marc Bouchard discusses his youth and talks candidly about what has motivated him over the years to speak out and share his concerns, which resonate here at home and across the globe, in this portrait directed by Quebec filmmaker Martin Talbot and produced by Marc Bertrand for the French Program Animation Studio.
Raised in the wings of the theatre, it is perhaps no surprise that Molly Johnson was destined to become one of Canada’s greatest voices. Directed by Molly’s brother—actor and director Clark Johnson—Molly Movie is as much a tribute to Molly’s singer-songwriter career as it is a testament to the communities she supports and the philanthropic work that drives her. The film is produced by Kate Vollum for the Ontario Studio.
After a lifetime in ballet, dancer, choreographer and professional breadmaker James Kudelka wonders, “What’s this all about?” In The Kudelka Method, he reflects on his relationship with ballet as a subversive art and an approach to life, examining his artistic practice as it changes in time and form. Directed by Toronto-based filmmaker Yung Chang and produced by Maral Mohammadian for the Animation & Interactive Studio.
Sharing Lyric Art showcases the unique talent of soprano Rosemarie Landry. Her love of song and the French language has not only taken her on travels around the world—it’s also given her opportunities to share her passion with younger generations in every corner of the globe. Directed by Acadian filmmaker Renée Blanchar and produced by Christine Aubé for the Quebec, Canadian Francophonie & Acadian Documentary Studio.
k.d. lang shares her perspective on preferring silence and listening to making noise in Calgary filmmaker Laura O’Grady’s k.d. lang: songs & silence. A musician, 2SLGBTQI+ activist, daughter and icon, lang transcends categorization. Here, she delves into the essence and significance of musical expression, examining its emotional impact on both the performer and the audience, in a film produced by Chehala Leonard for the North West Studio.
This year’s recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, John Kim Bell reflects on his formative years, which influenced him to become the first Indigenous person in North America to lead a classical orchestra. In this short film he elaborates on his trailblazing work, including founding the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, known today as Indspire. John Kim Bell: Born to “Indspire” is directed by Roxann Karonhiarokwas Whitebean, a media artist from the Mohawk Territories of Kahnawà:ke and Akwesasne, and produced by Amanda Roy for the Quebec & Atlantic Studio.
In The Unboxing of Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, National Arts Centre Award winner Paul Sun-Hyung Lee shares his love of family, acting and toys in this special episode of his Funboxing Sundays YouTube show. Okay, see you! Directed by Kathleen Jayme, a Filipina-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, and produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the BC & Yukon Studio.