Eight National Film Board of Canada titles featured at FIN Atlantic International Film Festival

The 2021 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival will showcase the talents of visionary filmmakers from across Atlantic Canada, the country and beyond, from September 16 to 23.

Award-winning feature-length documentaries by Indigenous and Acadian creators are just part of the selection, which includes four world premieres of NFB shorts.

Atlantic works debuting at the festival include two new films from the Labrador Doc Project, featuring inspired documentary shorts by Inuit creators from Nunatsiavut and Labrador, as well as two short docs by PEI filmmakers, with a world premiere and a festival award winner.

Screenings will be presented in theatres as well as online via FIN Stream, available across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Documentaries Program

Award-winning filmmaker and actor, and member of the Kainai First Nation and the Sámi in Norway, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers creates an intimate portrait of her community and the impacts of the substance use and overdose epidemic. Witness the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction in the Kainai First Nation.

Awards: Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award and Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs 2021; Colin Low Award for Best Canadian Director, DOXA 2021.

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy is produced by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Lori Lozinski (Seen Through Woman Productions) and NFB producer and executive producer David Christensen (North West Studio), with the participation of Telefilm Canada and the assistance of the Hot Docs CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund.

  • The Silence (106 min.)
    September 19 at 9:20 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online starting September 16, until 7 p.m. on September 23

Acclaimed Acadian director Renée Blanchar sensitively tackles the difficult topic of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests against young boys in francophone New Brunswick from the 1950s to the 1980s. Called to confront the power of collective silence, Blanchar meets with survivors in an attempt to untangle the deeply rooted reasons for this secrecy.

Awards: La Vague Léonard-Forest Award for Best Acadian Medium-length or Feature Film, FICFA 2020; Award for Best French-Canadian film, Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma 2021.

The Silence is produced and executive produced by Maryse Chapdelaine for Ça Tourne Productions, and produced by Christine Aubé and executive produced by Denis McCready for the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Moncton, in collaboration with Radio-Canada.

Reel East Coast Shorts Gala

  • Love in Quarantine (10 min.)
    September 19 at 7 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online for 24 hours, from September 19 at 7 p.m. to September 20, 7 p.m.

When COVID protocols impose restrictions on human interaction, PEI filmmaker Millefiore Clarkes seizes the opportunity to reflect on the nature of love itself, juxtaposing her own existential quest with those of a teenager grappling with identity and self-worth in a time of social distancing, and a woman who finds surprising new romance despite pandemic isolation.

Awards: Short Subject Non-fiction, 2021 Yorkton Film Festival

Produced by Rohan Fernando and executive produced by Annette Clarke at the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio for the NFB COVID-19 project, The Curve.

  • Nalujuk Night (13 min.) | WORLD PREMIERE
    September 19 at 7 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online from September 19 until 11:59 p.m. on September 20

Inuk filmmaker Jennie Williams plunges audiences directly into the action in this bone-chilling black-and-white short documentary about a winter night like no other. Every January 6, from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appear on the sea ice. They walk on two legs, yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal and otherworldly as they approach their destination: the Inuit community of Nain.

Produced for the Labrador Doc Project by Latonia Hartery, Rohan Fernando and Kat Baulu, with Annette Clarke as executive producer for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Atlantic Shorts

  • Evan’s Drum (14 min.) | WORLD PREMIERE
    September 19 at 3:30 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online from September 16 to September 23

A Montreal-based Inuk freelance journalist from North West River, Labrador, Ossie Michelin follows a young boy and his mother, who share a passion for Inuit drum dancing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. After generations of silence, the rhythm of the traditional Inuit drum has returned to Labrador, and seven-year-old Evan is part of the new generation that will keep its heartbeat strong.

Produced for the Labrador Doc Project by Latonia Hartery, Rohan Fernando and Kat Baulu, with Annette Clarke as executive producer for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

  • The Storm (4 min.) | WORLD PREMIERE
    September 17 at 3:30 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online from September 16 to September 23

Dividing her time between St. John’s and Calgary, physician/filmmaker Monica Kidd collaborates with St. John’s animator Duncan Major on her NFB directorial debut, reflecting on what it means to bring a baby into a world under pandemic lockdown, and evoking memories of wild summer storms to amplify a sharply etched tale of disruption and rebirth.

Produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

  • Then Sings My Soul (15 min.) | WORLD PREMIERE
    September 19 at 12:30 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
    FIN STREAM: Online from September 16 to September 23

Prince Edward Island singer and part-time fisherman Chad Matthews is a hardworking father of four and a Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute artist. In a rural town where making a living means only earning minimum wage, PEI director and author Susan Rodgers’ Then Sings My Soul follows Chad as he reaches for a guitar to help ease the pain.

Produced by Rohan Fernando and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.

Shorts: Canada and the World

The child of a Vietnamese mother and French father, Sandra Desmazières has crafted an award-winning animated short about two sisters who are separated by war for nearly 20 years. The letters they exchange are their only way to connect as Thao and Sao Maï write about their everyday lives, their memories, war and its ghosts.

Awards: Best Animation, 2021 LA Shorts International Film Festival

Produced by Dora Benousilio (Les Films de l’Arlequin) and Julie Roy (NFB French Program Animation Studio).

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