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Black Life: Untold Stories – Northern Beats

Director Will Prosper
Year 2023
Run Time 44min
Genre Documentary

A musical look at the rise of hip hop in Canada, as told by some of its earliest pioneers, culminating in the worldwide success of artists like Drake and The Weeknd.

Director

Will Prosper

Writers

Leslie Norville, Margot Daley

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, Black Filmmaker, History

Original Language

English

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe

Director Robert McCallum
Year 2023
Run Time 90min
Genre Documentary

For so many Canadians, Ernie Coombs and his character Mr. Dressup was an enduring childhood fixture, promoting the power of creativity, play and imagination. This heartwarming documentary traces the roots of this universally celebrated and uniquely Canadian children’s programme, its enduring legacy, and how it stayed true to its aim throughout its run of almost 30 years.


Winner of the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at TIFF, Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe is an absolute crowd-pleaser that is sure to bring a tear to your eye.


The Magic of Make-Believe not only serves as a reminder of the joy Coombs brought to our young lives, but it also emphasizes the need for Mr. Dressup's patience and kindness today more than ever.” – Rachel Ho, Exclaim!

Director

Robert McCallum

Writers

Robert McCallum, Jordan Christopher Morris

Producers

Nina Keogh, Matthew Hornburg, Mark J.W. Bishop, Jordan Christopher Morris, Aeschylus Poulos

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, ESL, History, Newcomer Stories

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Amazon

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Short Film Programme

Director Various
Year 2022
Genre Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller
In addition to the feature films in this catalogue, we also offer a wealth of Canadian short films suitable for various grade levels. They cover a variety of themes and topics, and encompass fiction and documentary, live action and animation. For the full list, check out our Short Film Programme page, and use the filters at the top to find something that meets your needs. 

If you’d like to show several short films together as a programme, please feel free to get in touch for advice and tips on selecting the perfect combination for your needs. 

Director

Various

Genres

Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Family, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller

Interests

Arts and Culture, Biography, BIPOC Stories, Bullying, Classics, Cult & Offbeat Cinema, Discrimination, Environment, ESL, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+, Literary Adaptation, Newcomer Stories, Social Justice & Politics, Sports, Strong Female Leads

Original Languages

English, French

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Foster Child

Director Gil Cardinal (Métis)
Year 1987
Run Time 43min
Genre Documentary

At 35 years old, filmmaker Gil Cardinal makes the decision to seek out his biological family, sending him on a journey into his own roots, uncovering an ancestry he knew nothing about. As Cardinal discovers that he was forcibly taken from his Métis mother, the film shifts into addressing the ongoing systematic oppression of Indigenous peoples.

This incredibly personal documentary was a landmark in Indigenous storytelling on film, and received many accolades including the Gemini award for directing.

Director

Gil Cardinal (Métis)

Cast

Gil Cardinal (Métis), Don Cardinal (Métis)

Producer

Jerry Krepakevich

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Classics, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Two Worlds Colliding

Director Tasha Hubbard (Cree)
Year 2004
Run Time 49min
Genre Documentary
In the early 2000s, members of the Saskatoon police force drove Indigenous men into remote fields and abandoned them to die. These acts became known as the Saskatoon "freezing deaths," a terrifying story blown open by one survivor.

Director

Tasha Hubbard (Cree)

Hubbard is an award-winning filmmaker and an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English. Her writing-directing project Two Worlds Colliding won a Gemini and a Golden Sheaf Award. She has also directed the short film 7 Minutes, and the feature docs Birth of a Family and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, which won Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs and at the CSAs. She is currently directing the feature doc Singing Back the Buffalo.

Writer

Tasha Hubbard (Cree)

Cast

Andrea Menard

Producer

Bonnie Thompson

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

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Frost

Director Jeremy Ball
Year 2012
Run Time 14min
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Young Arctic hunter Naya embarks on a search for food outside her ancestral hunting grounds. There she discovers an unfamiliar new world and a dangerous predator.

Director

Jeremy Ball

Writer

Jeremy Ball

Cast

Emily Piggford, Lara Daans, Oscar Hsu

Producer

Lauren Grant

Genres

Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History

Original Language

English

Language Version

None

Canadian Distributor

Canadian Film Centre

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Against The Grain

Director Curtis Mandeville (Métis)
Year 2009
Run Time 24min
Genre Documentary
Survivors of the Indian residential school system attempt to cope with its impact on their personal lives and communities. A good primer for discussions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

Director

Curtis Mandeville (Métis)

Writer

Curtis Mandeville (Métis)

Producers

Curtis Mandeville (Métis), Eileen McCord

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Indian

Director Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux)
Year 2008
Run Time 2min
Genre Comedy
In this amusing and powerful short, the etymology of the world "Indian" is deconstructed at the Canadian National Spelling Bee.

Director

Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux)

Writer

Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux)

Cast

Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux)

Producer

Darryl Nepinak (Saulteaux)

Genre

Comedy

Interests

BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

Winnipeg Film Group

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Fighting Chance

Director Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)
Year 2011
Run Time 9min
Genre Animation, Family
An Indigenous youth with a family history of residential schooling, 13-year-old Joey is arrested and put into a group home where he gets a chance to turn his life around.

Director

Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)

Writers

Karl Giroux, Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree), Lewaa Nasserdeen

Cast

Tanner Bornowsky, Karl Giroux

Producer

Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)

Genres

Animation, Family

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English

Canadian Distributor

BearPaw Legal Education

Canada: A People’s History

Year 2000
Run Time 150min
Genre Documentary

Dramatic and gripping, this popular series illustrates pivotal moments in Canada’s history, bringing a compelling intimacy to grand, historic developments. From the stories passed down through oral tradition to the first encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, through the battles that engulfed the continent and the formation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867, to the modern era of feminism, multiculturalism and globalization, this captivating series brings to life the moments that have shaped our nation, telling Canada’s story through the eyes of the people who lived it.

Canada: A People’s History won the Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series and attracted over 14 million viewers. It is a collaborative production between the CBC and Radio-Canada and is available in both English and French.

Students can explore Canadian history further by delving into the series’ award-winning website (www.cbc.ca/history), which features behind-the-scenes footage, games, puzzles, lesson plans and links to other historical resources.

Each 105 minute episode is made up of several 10-to-15-minute segments, which can be shown independently. For a more detailed breakdown of the topics covered in each episode, please see www.cbc.ca/history.

 

SERIES 1: 15,000 B.C. to 1800 A.D. For centuries, the territory now known as Canada is home to over 50 Indigenous nations, each with unique traditions and culture. In the 16th century, European explorers arrive, creating Canada’s first colonies, and forever changing the landscape and the lives of the First Peoples.

SERIES 2: 1670 to 1873 By the 1800s, British exploration opens the West to settlement, laying the foundation of a new nation, but also displacing and devastating Indigenous inhabitants. Confederation soon follows, with the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

SERIES 3: 1873 to 1940 Canada’s early years are fraught with economic depression, rebellions and tension between English- and French-speaking Canadians. Immigration, rapid growth and sociopolitical change follow, ending abruptly with World War II, a pivotal moment in Canada’s quest for autonomy that comes at the enormous cost of 60,000 lives.

SERIES 4: 1940 to 1990 The end of the Great Depression and the flames and ravages of World War II give way to a new era of peace, progress and prosperity, as well as free trade, globalization, feminism, Indigenous land claims, multiculturalism, Québec nationalism and the explosion of computer technology.

Directors

Writers

Hubert Gendron, Mark Starowicz, Gene Allen

Producer

Mark Starowicz

Genre

Documentary

Interests

History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Languages

English, French

Canadian Distributor

CBC

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Forgotten Warriors

Director Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)
Year 1997
Run Time 51min
Genre Documentary

Thousands of Indigenous people enlisted and fought for Canada in World War II, even though they could not be conscripted. While they fought for the freedom of others, they were being denied their rights back home. 

As a reward for service, veterans were allowed to buy land at a cheap price. However, many Indigenous soldiers were never told about the land entitlement, and some returned home to find the government had seized parts of their reserve lands to compensate non-Indigenous veterans.

Narrator Tootoosis gives a historical overview, while Indigenous veterans share their poignant and unforgettable war memories, and the ways in which they have healed.

Director

Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)

Writer

Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)

Cast

Nathaniel Arcand (Cree), Gordon Tootoosis (Cree), Michèle Audette (Innu)

Producers

Michael Doxtater (Haudenosaunee), Carol Geddess (Tlingit), Jerry Krepakevich

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Classics, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

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Joe

Director Jill Haras
Year 2002
Run Time 8min
Genre Animation
An animated tribute to real-life African Canadian hero Joe Fortes, who overcame discrimination and prejudice to become a beloved member of the Vancouver community.

Director

Jill Haras

Genre

Animation

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Camille Turner

Director Van Royko
Year 2018
Run Time 7min
Genre Documentary
Performance artist Camille Turner uses her works to explore and expose Canada’s racist history and shines a light on the continuing forms of oppression.

Director

Van Royko

Producers

Nabil Mehchi, Frank Fiorito

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 2021
Run Time 29min
Genre Documentary

As the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Senator Murray Sinclair is a key figure in raising global awareness of the atrocities of Canada’s residential school system. Master documentarian Alanis Obomsawin blends Senator Sinclair’s thought-provoking acceptance speech from his WFM-Canada World Peace Award with powerful testimonies of survivors of the residential school system. With determination, wisdom and kindness, Senator Sinclair provides a clear and nuanced explanation of the residential school system and its profound ongoing impacts, and asserts that actual reconciliation requires accepting these difficult truths about Canada’s past and present. The film reminds us to honour the lives and legacies of those affected, lays out avenues for real change, and ultimately leaves us with a profound feeling of hope for a better future.

Director

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements' Bones of Crows: The Series.

Writer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Cast

Murray Sinclair

Producer

Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

Alias Grace

Director Mary Harron
Year 2017
Run Time 267min
Genre Drama
Inspired by true events, Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks (Gadon), a housekeeper who is convicted of the murders of her employers in the mid-1800s. When a psychiatrist, Dr. Jordan (Holcroft), is brought in to make a report on her condition, Grace is given the opportunity to tell her side of the story and plead her innocence. As a high profile case with the general public waiting on the outcome of their sessions, Dr. Jordan attempts increasingly radical procedures, while at the same time slowly developing romantic feelings for Grace. As their relationship reaches a head, new truths come to light and both of their lives are changed forever.

Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s Giller prize-winning novel of the same name, this miniseries has received universal acclaim, earning 5 Canadian Screen Awards including best limited series.

Director

Mary Harron

Harron is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter, and former entertainment critic. She gained recognition for her role in writing and directing several independent films, including writing I Shot Andy Warhol, and co-writing as well as directing American Psycho. Her most recent film, Daliland starring Sir Ben Kingsley, premiered at TIFF 2022.

Writer

Sarah Polley

Cast

Edward Holcroft, Rebeccah Liddiard, Sarah Gadon

Producers

Sarah Polley, D.J. Carson

Genre

Drama

Interests

Biography, Female Filmmaker, History, Literary Adaptation

Original Language

English

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Future History

Directors Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis), Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)
Year 2018
Run Time 546min
Genre Documentary
In this incredible APTN docuseries, artist and activist Sarain Fox teams up with archeologist Kris Nahrgang to travel across the country to discover various ways that Indigenous peoples are shaping the future. Through conversations with artists, activists, community leaders and more, the series covers a wide range of themes including Indigenous identity, culture, land rights and intergenerational trauma.

Beautifully shot and packed with powerful interviews, Future History celebrates and explores diverse Indigenous perspectives to create a deeper understanding of our shared history as well as a positive path forward. It is a journey that can’t be missed.

Each 21-minute episode can be viewed independently, or you can watch it as a complete series. Contact us for specific programming recommendations.

Directors

Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe, Leni Lenape, Métis)

Podemski is an award-winning film and television producer and actor. She produced and starred in Empire of Dirt, is the creator and producer of APTN’s The Other Side, and most recently produced and directed the series Unsettled.

Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk)

Innuksuk is a director, writer, producer, and VR creator. She co-created the Inuk character Snowguard with Marvel and has written several short films and documentaries. Her first feature was Slash/Back, released in 2022.

Writer

Tamara Podemski (Anishinaabe)

Cast

Kris Nahrgang (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe), Sarain Fox (Anishinaabe)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Discrimination, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

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InukShop

Director Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)
Year 2009
Run Time 2min
Genre Documentary
What is the state of Inuit culture on screen? Inuk filmmaker Weetaluktuk mixes archival reels with new footage to make this commentary on cultural appropriation.

Director

Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)

Writer

Jobie Weetaluktuk (Inuk)

Producers

Kat Baulu, Joe MacDonald, Vanessa Loewen

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, History, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

No Dialogue

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)

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Found

Director Paramita Nath
Year 2009
Run Time 6min
Genre Experimental
An impressionistic journey told through old photos, animation and home movies as Toronto poet Souvankham Thammavongsa discovers her father's scrapbook documenting their family's escape from Laos in the 1970s.

Director

Paramita Nath

Writers

Souvankham Thammavongsa, Paramita Nath

Cast

Souvankham Thammavongsa

Producers

Paramita Nath, Ted Biggs

Genre

Experimental

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, Family Relationships, Female Filmmaker, Global Experiences, History, Newcomer Stories

Original Language

English

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Heart

Director Ann Marie Fleming
Year 2002
Run Time 7min
Genre Drama
A singer prepares for a performance while fighting back tears; a beautifully rendered response to the events of September 11, 2001.

Director

Ann Marie Fleming

Fleming is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer who has animated over 20 films, including the shorts Stories Sarah Tells, Big Trees and Heart. Her features include New Shoes, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam and The French Guy. Fleming has won nearly 20 awards for her films, including 10 for Window Horses. Most recently, she directed the shorts A Short Film About Tegan & Sara, Question Period, and Old Dog.

Writer

Ann Marie Fleming

Cast

Alessandro Juliani, Stephanie Morgenstern

Producer

Dawn Rubin

Genre

Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History

Original Language

English

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Cree Code Talker

Director Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)
Year 2016
Run Time 10min
Genre Documentary
Cree Code Talker is a documentary that reveals the role of Cree code talker Charles ‘Checker Tomkins, who used the Cree language during the Second World War to defeat the enemy.  

Director

Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)

Producers

Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree), Cowboy Smithx (Blackfoot)

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Biography, BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, History, Indigenous Filmmaker

Original Language

English