Education

CanFilmDay Special Programming

K-8 Programming

Screen Tia and Piujuq, an uplifting, magical-realist fable about friendship and discovery, on National Canadian Film Day. Then, hear from the director, Lucy Tulugarjuk, actress Nuvvija Tulugarjuk, and students nationwide as part of a brand-new interactive discussion resource!

Prompts throughout the 20-minute discussion, will spark meaningful dialogue with your students on the themes of friendship, cross-cultural connection, and finding belonging.

To celebrate CanFilmDay, we’ve created a list of ten great feature films for younger viewers. We’re sure you’ll find something your students will love!

Avril et le monde truqué (April and the Extraordinary World)

(105 Min)

It’s 1941 in an alternative history of Europe, where pollution has ravaged the world and technology has not progressed since the steam engine. A brilliant teenage girl named April (voiced by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard), who lives on the streets of Paris, has been trying to find her parents, scientists who disappeared while working on a top secret project. Her search lands her deep in a sinister criminal plot. Luckily, she is joined on her adventure by her grandfather, her talking cat Darwin and a mysterious boy named Julius. Together, this band of unlikely heroes might just save the world.

Crafted in stunning animation, this imaginative adventure story will thrill audiences of all ages.

“The movie so teems with delightful detail and has such an exuberant sense of play that it feels entirely fresh” – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Ballerina

(89 Min)

Eleven-year-old orphan Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream: to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), a highly imaginative boy, has a dream of his own: to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But there’s a catch —Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to get into a prestigious ballet school, where she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by Camille le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) and her wicked mother, Régine (Julie Khaner).

Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, helps her reach for the stars.

A Bear Named Winnie

(90 Min)

Based on the true story behind author A.A. Milne's beloved character, Winnie the Pooh, this is a tale of the remarkable friendship between a Canadian soldier and the cub that stood as a symbol of friendship and hope in a world plagued by war.

It was during the early days of World War I that veterinarian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn (Michael Fassbinder) purchased a small bear cub and named her Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. As the specter of war looms heavy in the conscience of the citizens and children of London, Winnie becomes the star attraction at the zoo. When a man named A.A. Milne brings his young son to visit the zoo, the story of the bear and her friendship with a far away soldier inspires him to create one of the most beloved characters in the history of children's literature.

Breakaway

(101 Min)

Rajveer Singh (Virmani) is struggling to balance the wishes of his traditional Sikh family and his own true passion for hockey. Raj and his friends play only for fun, held back by the prejudice and mockery of other teams as their turban-clad crew steps onto the ice. Enter Coach Dan Winters (Lowe) and soon the Speedy Singhs are competing in a real tournament, while Raj is falling in love with the coach’s beautiful sister, Melissa (Belle).

A cross-cultural story of self-discovery, Breakaway is a heartwarming, action-filled comedy, bringing a dash of Bollywood to Canada’s favourite sport. With a hilarious supporting cast including comedian Russell Peters, and a special appearance from Drake, Breakaway will have you cheering for its unlikely heroes.

La course des tuques (Racetime)

(89 Min)

Racetime is the sequel to the highly successful animated film Snowtime!, which was the highest-grossing film in Canada in 2015.

This fun and action-packed sequel is a wild romp through the trials and tribulations, passionate joys and little victories of childhood. Frankie and Sophie are teaming up for a spectacular sled race through the village, and this time they’ve got some new friends along for the ride, including the mysterious Zac and his musical cousin Charly.

Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure

(80 Min)

Franklin, a young and inquisitive turtle, finds his visit to his grandmother’s house disrupted by his new cousin Sam who he instantly butts heads with. Their rivalry is put on hold, however, when Granny Turtle becomes ill and the family bands together to care for her. When she tells the kids a story about a time capsule at Turtle Lake that she buried when she was a child, Franklin and Sam devise a plan. The two cousins set out with some friends to find the buried treasure, hoping that when she sees it again, Granny Turtle will fully recover.

Based on the popular kids TV series, Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure is a fun and exciting adventure story for young audiences.

La guerre des tuques (Snowtime!)

(92 Min)

This remake of the 1984 French Canadian classic La guerre des tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War) catapults the story of the most epic snowball fight ever into the realm of 3D animation.

The result is a family-friendly contemporary hit full of chilly thrills, snow-fort hills, and a rollicking energy that is unstoppably fun. Fortunately, there’s also a brilliant anti-war message packed in the ice that’s sure to melt hearts.

Snowtime! (La Guerre des tuques) 3D was a bilingual box-office smash, winning the Golden Screen Award for being the highest-grossing Canadian film in 2015.

Kayak to Klemtu

(91 Min)

When a prominent Kitasoo/Xai’Xais activist passes away, his 14-year-old niece Ella (Blaney) embarks on a kayak journey to take his ashes home to Klemtu. It’s a race against the clock as Ella tries to make it back in time to give a speech protesting a proposed pipeline that would cross Indigenous land.

Ella is joined by her aunt, cousin and grumpy uncle (Cardinal), as the four paddle with all their might through the Inside Passage and past the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join this family on the adventure of a lifetime that reflects on the importance of protecting our lands for future generations.

Winner of the 2017 imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award.

Pachamama

(72 Min)

Ten-year-old Teplupai has always wanted to be a spiritual leader, but nobody will take him seriously. When a tax collector takes away his village’s sacred treasure, he sets off on a quest to find and reclaim it. However, when he arrives in the big city, his world is forever changed as he witnesses the first arrival of Europeans to the continent, and the devastation that follows.

This beautifully animated adventure set hundreds of years ago in the Andean region is a thrilling and moving story that has resonated with young audiences around the world, and was nominated for a César award for Best Animated Film.
 

Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes

(72 Min)

Life is changing in the Cree community of Wapos Bay, SK as Chief Big Sky gets elected National Chief, forcing the Marasti family to move to the big city. Unwilling to leave without a fight, Raven (Brass) secretly enters her dad into the race to be the new chief, much to the surprise of presumed frontrunner Jacob (Cardinal). Her lie quickly gets out of hand, and she must figure out how to stop it before it’s too late!

Maintaining the hilarious and heart-warming tone as well as the unique style of the award-winning Wapos Bay tv series, Long Goodbyes went on to win the Kidscreen award for Best TV Movie.

Celebrate #CanFilmDay with this programme of classic animated shorts from the National Film Board that are great for all ages!

The Dingles

(7 Min)

Created by award-winning animator/director Les Drew, this animated short features Doris Dingle and her family of three cats. Sure to appeal to children of all ages, The Dingles shows what happens when an unexpected violent wind disrupts the family's idyllic life. The film is based on the book The Dingles, written by Helen Levchuk and illustrated by John Bianchi.

The Log Driver’s Waltz

(3 Min)

Canadian folk icons Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the animated tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a dancing log driver over her more well-to-do suitors. 

The Sand Castle

(13 Min)

A man made of sand makes other sand creatures in this inventive, Oscar-winning stop-motion film.

The Sweater

(10 Min)

In this animated short, bestselling author Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team.

This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.
 

This collection of fun animated stories is great for all ages, and is the perfect pick for a #CanFilmDay screening geared towards younger audiences.

Invasion of the Space Lobsters

(6 Min)

As they try to assemble their barbecue, a suburban family is stunned by the appearance of giant lobsters in an egg-shaped UFO, leading to hilarious pandemonium. In this clever animated throwback to 1950s monster movies, a neighbourhood learns the value of clear communication!

The Lighthouse Man

(5 Min)

The legend of the Lighthouse Man, who protects a small coastal town from all sorts of disasters, and how the community reaffirms his spirit when he’s feeling unwanted.

The Magic of Anansi

(6 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Anansi, a little spider who is tired of being snubbed by other jungle animals, especially Mr. Tiger. Anansi hatches a plan to make the other animals respect him, but soon learns an important lesson about how to treat his friends.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

(8 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. 

A Sea Turtle Story

(9 Min)

This animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. The film is ideal for all ages, teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures.

Celebrate Earth Day with our fantastic selection of short films and a complimentary lesson plan, ideal for Grades 2-5, that will inform and encourage young learners to care for our planet!

How do scientists and everyday Canadians use observation to help better understand their environment? How can we promote environmental sustainability? You’ll dive into these questions and more after watching these Canadian short films.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

(8 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. 

Meltdown

(1 Min)

In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament. 
 

Mobilize

(3 Min)

Mobilize repurposes footage from the NFB archives to explore the perpetual negotiation between the modern and the traditional by a people always moving forward.

A Sea Turtle Story

(9 Min)

This animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. The film is ideal for all ages, teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures.

Stories From Our Land – Tide

(4 Min)

A beautiful short film that captures the majesty of ice sculpted by wind and water. Time-lapse imagery reveals the dynamic dance of water and ice in the Arctic, in Nunavut.

Walk-in-the-Forest

(3 Min)

This whimsical animation, reminiscent of NFB classics, follows a medicine man called Walk-in-the-forest on a walk in the woods that leads to the discovery of an intriguing secret world.
 

What on Earth!

(8 Min)

This Oscar-nominated animated short proposes what many earthlings have long feared – that the automobile has inherited the planet!

We’ve prepared a programme of Indigenous-made short films appropriate for every grade level!

Featuring beautiful animation and storytelling, these films will excite and inspire your classroom while prompting essential discussions with your students.

Aboriginality

(5 Min)

A young boy is transported through his television set to the scene of a traditional Indigenous hoop dance, encountering his family's cultural heritage in a new way. Includes spoken word rap in English and in Cree.

Grandfather on the Prairies

(3 Min)

Jason meets his great-great-greatgrandfather and soon finds himself in a hilarious debate about what it means to be a hunter.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

(8 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. 

The Orphan and the Polar Bear

(9 Min)

In this adaptation of an Inuit legend, an orphan is adopted by a polar bear elder who teaches him the skills he needs to survive.

Zaasaakwe

(5 Min)

A powerful call to action to all Indigenous people to shout for joy and celebrate their identity.

HIGH SCHOOL Programming

Celebrate Earth Day with these fantastic films!

Kayak to Klemtu

(91 Min)

When a prominent Kitasoo/Xai’Xais activist passes away, his 14-year-old niece Ella (Blaney) embarks on a kayak journey to take his ashes home to Klemtu. It’s a race against the clock as Ella tries to make it back in time to give a speech protesting a proposed pipeline that would cross Indigenous land.

Ella is joined by her aunt, cousin and grumpy uncle (Cardinal), as the four paddle with all their might through the Inside Passage and past the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest. Join this family on the adventure of a lifetime that reflects on the importance of protecting our lands for future generations.

Winner of the 2017 imagineNATIVE Audience Choice Award.

Sharkwater

(89 Min)

Driven by a life-long fascination with sharks, filmmaker Rob Stewart sets out to dispel the myth that these majestic creatures are bloodthirsty, merciless monsters who prowl the seas in search of tasty swimmers.

Filmed in gorgeous high-definition video, Sharkwater takes you into shark-filled oceans, exposing the true nature of sharks as well as the way human interference has turned this noble predator into prey. Stewart teams up with a rogue environmentalist group on a breathtaking adventure to battle shark poachers around the globe. His incredible journey will make you see sharks in a whole new light.

Winner of many Audience and Critics Choice awards at film festivals around the world.

Designed for Grades 9 – 12, this livestream features the powerful short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. After the film, students can participate in an interactive discussion with the documentary’s director, the legendary Abenaki filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin.

French-Language Programming

Bring the theatre experience to your classroom on CanFilmDay with a screening of your favourite French-language film. Click the titles below to learn more about these award-winning French Canadian films.

Antigone

(109 Min)

In her last year of high school, straight-A student Antigone (Ricci) finds her life suddenly overturned when one of her brothers is murdered by a police officer, while the other is arrested. Having lived in Montreal since arriving as a refugee with her family over a decade ago, Antigone faces a terrible choice. She wants desperately to help her brother in prison, but doing so will put not only her promising future in jeopardy, but also her ability to stay in Canada. As her story becomes a media sensation, Antigone becomes a symbol for a movement of justice, as she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Despite being based on a tragedy over 2,000 years old, Antigone is an urgent and extremely timely story. It was the official Canadian submission for International Feature Film at the Oscars in 2019.

“An intelligent, moving reworking of Sophocles' tragedy, electrified by a breakout turn from star Nahéma Ricci.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

L’Arracheuse de temps (The Time Thief)

(105 Min)

In this quirky tale full of magic and wonder, the small town of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton decides to eliminate death once and for all. When the character of Death arrives in their village seemingly determined to take their souls, the extraordinary townsfolk decide to fight against their mortality as best as they can. In this story, death is not an end, but just the beginning of a fantastic legend.

 

Based on the acclaimed novel by Fred Pellerin, L’Arracheuse de temps was a box office success and received 5 Canadian Screen Award nominations, including for Pellerin’s screenplay.

Ballerina

(89 Min)

Eleven-year-old orphan Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream: to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), a highly imaginative boy, has a dream of his own: to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But there’s a catch —Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to get into a prestigious ballet school, where she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by Camille le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) and her wicked mother, Régine (Julie Khaner).

Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, helps her reach for the stars.

Le Coq de St-Victor (The Rooster of St-Victor)

(80 Min)

In the village of St-Victor, no one needs an alarm clock because the mayor has a very punctual (and very loud!) rooster, who wakes the whole village up at 4 AM every single day. When a few tired and disgruntled villagers hatch a scheme to get rid of the rooster, the wily mayor of a neighbouring village offers to exchange his donkey for their bird.

Initially delighted, the villagers soon come to regret their choice, as St-Victor is thrown into chaos – the baker doesn’t bake, the deliveryman doesn’t deliver, and absolutely nothing is working like clockwork! Now they must come up with a new plan to rescue their trusty rooster and bring balance and prosperity back to St-Victor.

La Course des tuques (Racetime)

(89 Min)

Racetime is the sequel to the highly successful animated film Snowtime!, which was the highest-grossing film in Canada in 2015.

This fun and action-packed sequel is a wild romp through the trials and tribulations, passionate joys and little victories of childhood. Frankie and Sophie are teaming up for a spectacular sled race through the village, and this time they’ve got some new friends along for the ride, including the mysterious Zac and his musical cousin Charly.

La Guerre des tuques (Snowtime!)

(92 Min)

This remake of the 1984 French Canadian classic La guerre des tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War) catapults the story of the most epic snowball fight ever into the realm of 3D animation.

The result is a family-friendly contemporary hit full of chilly thrills, snow-fort hills, and a rollicking energy that is unstoppably fun. Fortunately, there’s also a brilliant anti-war message packed in the ice that’s sure to melt hearts.

Snowtime! (La Guerre des tuques) 3D was a bilingual box-office smash, winning the Golden Screen Award for being the highest-grossing Canadian film in 2015.

Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre (My Internship in Canada)

(108 Min)

All eyes are on independent politician Steve Guibord (Huard), as he holds the swing vote on Canada’s decision to go to war in the Middle East. The pressure’s on from both sides of Parliament — and from his wife and daughter.

Frozen in the spotlight, Guibord’s closest ally becomes Souverain (Exantus), his naïve intern from Haiti, who commands the situation with playful quips, charming idealism and a good dose of humour.

Written and directed by Oscar nominee Philippe Falardeau, Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre’s satirical spin is a fun — and relevant — political farce. The film was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture, and earned the Special Jury Citation for Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

(119 Min)

In July of 1990, the Oka Crisis was a critical moment in contemporary Canadian history and a turning point for Indigenous affairs. That summer, as the small Quebec community was thrust into the international spotlight, master filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nail-biting days filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks of Kanehsatake, Quebec, the Quebec police and the Canadian army.

This powerful documentary takes you right to the heart of the action, painting a sensitive and deeply affecting portrait of the people behind the barricades.

Winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Best Canadian Feature Film prize.

Louis Cyr: l’homme le plus fort du monde (Louis Cyr)

(123 Min)

In the late 19th century, after years of delighting crowds with astounding feats of strength, Louis Cyr was considered the strongest man in the world. Based on his true story, this charming biopic recounts the many successes, heartbreaks and obstacles — both inside and out of the athletic arena — that Louis (Bertrand) faced on his climb from obscurity to international fame. Louis’ best friend recounts the story to the strongman’s estranged daughter — from Louis’ poverty-stricken childhood through the ups and downs of his circus career — and shares with us the fascinating life of this Quebec hero.

The top-grossing film of the year in Quebec, Louis Cyr won two Canadian Screen Awards and nine Jutra Awards, including Best Film.

Menteur (Compulsive Liar)

(111 Min)

Simon’s friends and family have had enough of his compulsive lying. They try to stage an intervention for him but he refuses to accept that he has a problem. All of that changes when he wakes up to a bizarre reality where all of his lies and excuses have become true. His boss is a raving drunk, his sister-in-law is in love with him and basically everything that could go wrong does.

While everyone around him seems to think this reality is normal, his brother knows the truth and convinces him that the only way that everything can get back to normal is for him to kick his habit for good. The newest comedy from Émile Gaudrault (De Père en Flic), Menteur was a box office smash that is as funny as it is original.

Celebrate Earth Day with our fantastic selection of short films that will inform and encourage young learners to care for our planet!

How do scientists and everyday Canadians use observation to help better understand their environment? How can we promote environmental sustainability? You’ll dive into these questions and more after watching these Canadian short films.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

(8 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. 

Meltdown

(1 Min)

In this short animation, a polar bear must try his luck finding a job in the big city when the last of his Arctic ice environment disappears. It’s hard fitting into the human world, however, so this bear finds a more creative solution to his predicament. 
 

Mobilize

(3 Min)

Mobilize repurposes footage from the NFB archives to explore the perpetual negotiation between the modern and the traditional by a people always moving forward.

A Sea Turtle Story

(9 Min)

This animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. The film is ideal for all ages, teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures.

Stories From Our Land – Tide

(4 Min)

A beautiful short film that captures the majesty of ice sculpted by wind and water. Time-lapse imagery reveals the dynamic dance of water and ice in the Arctic, in Nunavut.

Walk-in-the-Forest

(3 Min)

This whimsical animation, reminiscent of NFB classics, follows a medicine man called Walk-in-the-forest on a walk in the woods that leads to the discovery of an intriguing secret world.
 

What on Earth!

(8 Min)

This Oscar-nominated animated short proposes what many earthlings have long feared – that the automobile has inherited the planet!

This collection of fun animated stories is great for all ages, and is the perfect pick for a #CanFilmDay screening geared towards younger audiences, up to Grade 5.

Invasion of the Space Lobsters

(6 Min)

As they try to assemble their barbecue, a suburban family is stunned by the appearance of giant lobsters in an egg-shaped UFO, leading to hilarious pandemonium. In this clever animated throwback to 1950s monster movies, a neighbourhood learns the value of clear communication!

The Lighthouse Man

(5 Min)

The legend of the Lighthouse Man, who protects a small coastal town from all sorts of disasters, and how the community reaffirms his spirit when he’s feeling unwanted.

The Magic of Anansi

(6 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Anansi, a little spider who is tired of being snubbed by other jungle animals, especially Mr. Tiger. Anansi hatches a plan to make the other animals respect him, but soon learns an important lesson about how to treat his friends.

Maq and the Spirit of the Woods

(8 Min)

This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. 

A Sea Turtle Story

(9 Min)

This animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. The film is ideal for all ages, teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures.

Celebrate #CanFilmDay with this programme of classic animated shorts from the National Film Board that are great for all ages!

The Dingles

(7 Min)

Created by award-winning animator/director Les Drew, this animated short features Doris Dingle and her family of three cats. Sure to appeal to children of all ages, The Dingles shows what happens when an unexpected violent wind disrupts the family's idyllic life. The film is based on the book The Dingles, written by Helen Levchuk and illustrated by John Bianchi.

The Log Driver’s Waltz

(3 Min)

Canadian folk icons Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the animated tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a dancing log driver over her more well-to-do suitors. 

The Sand Castle

(13 Min)

A man made of sand makes other sand creatures in this inventive, Oscar-winning stop-motion film.

The Sweater

(10 Min)

In this animated short, bestselling author Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team.

This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.