A compelling hybrid of drama and documentary, this feature film covers the events that led up to the infamous destruction of an extraordinary 300-year-old tree held sacred by the indigenous Haida nation of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Inspired by John Vaillant’s award-winning book The Golden Spruce, the film introduces us to the complex character of Grant Hadwin, a logging engineer and survivalist who lived and worked happily for many years in BCʼs ancient forests.
Over four decades after the infamous Sir George Williams Riot, Ninth Floor reopens the file on a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. Making an audacious foray into non-fiction, writer and director Mina Shum engages the original protagonists in a compassionate cinematic exercise of reckoning and redemption.
NFB, 81 min.
A Dark Room is a documentary told through the stories of professional hockey players, physicians, and fans of the game. A Dark Room offers an uncompromising, gritty, and science-based look at how hockey culture, and the stigma that it perpetuates, is contributing to a concussion and mental health epidemic. NFB, 52 min.
Becoming Santa is the story of one man entering the culture and character of Santa Claus for a single season. We follow Jack as he bleaches his hair and goes to Santa School. He tries to to do everything that Santa is asked to do. He works as a sidewalk Santa, does home visits, a Polar Express Train and a parade. Along the way, Jack collects children's wishes, learns about the benefits of belief, the history and origin of Santa, and the ordinary people keeping the spirit alive. Director: Jeff Myers. 97 minutes.
Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura, best friends and world-class acrobats from remote corners of the globe, share the same dream: to bring hope and change to their struggling communities through circus. Their dream unfolds in the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa, where they help Inuit and Guinean youth achieve unimaginable success while confronting suicide, poverty and despair. Director: Susan Gray. 70 minutes.
This remarkable documentary tells the amazing story of Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who rose to superstardom at the beginning of the 20th century as sideshow attractions, performing alongside the likes of Bob Hope and Charlie Chaplin. Ruthlessly exploited by their managers, the sisters ultimately sued for their freedom - which they won at a terrible cost. Director: Leslie Zemeckis. 95 minutes.
The last gigolos are greying, suave gentlemen who spend their golden years on cruise ships as dancers and entertainers for solvent and amusement-hungry women aged 60 years and over. Employed by agencies and cruise lines, they sail the seven seas. The Last Gigolos follows how these charming hosts, along with the passengers and cabin crew, try to realise their hopes and dreams on board the ship. Director: Stephen Bergmann. 91 minutes.
Although a Supreme Court ruling ended Jim Crow education in 1954, Mississippi's Charleston High School finally opened its doors to black students in 1970. The senior prom, however, remained "separate but equal" despite a failed 1997 attempt by actor and Charleston native Morgan Freeman to pay for an integrated dance. Eleven years later, his second offer was accepted by the school board, and what happened next is the subject of filmmaker Saltzman's riveting documentary. ... this film reminds us of how far we have to go before we are truly an integrated society. 2009, 89 minutes
At an upper class private boys' school, students make and lose friends, create a pecking order, and begin their individual paths to manhood. Within the adolescent culture of boys their emotional struggles lie beneath the surface, often unspoken to each other or to the adults around them. 2010, 77 minutes
Some have called the documentary Canada's national art form. If it is, the foundations of that art were laid by the National Film Board in the first six years of its existence, 1939-45, under the inspired vision and watchful eye of John Grierson, its first Commissioner. Released in the year of the NFB's 75th birthday, Shameless Propaganda is filmmaker Robert Lower's take on the greatest and most compelling propaganda effort in our history. Lower has watched the films produced by the NFB up until 1945 -- all 500 of them -- and distilled the essence of their message to Canadians.