Canada: The National Film Board

The National Film Board
April 1, 2006

The National Film Board

Like the CBC and Saturday night hockey, the National Film Board is a Canadian institution. Despite being government-funded and good-for-you, it has turned out original, award-winning programming (the NFB-funded Ryan won the 2004 Academy Award for best animated short film). ‘We try to find original products that aren’t known,’ says Tom Perlmutter, director of English programming. ‘At the base of it isn’t making money, it’s making good films for Canadians.’ The NFB has over 300 French and English projects on the go at the moment. Among them is David against Goliath, a film that follows the lawsuit of the United Steelworkers’ Union against Coca-Cola for allegedly kidnapping and torturing laborers in Colombia, and Torture, A Journey From Hell, about how torture regained acceptance after 9/11.

Employees: 484
Hours in 2005: 120
Upcoming includes: David against Goliath (coproduced with Argus Films), Torture, A Journey From Hell (with Makumba), Four Wings and a Prayer, Guatemala (with BBC2), Homeless Nation (with Eye Steel Films), Paris 1919 (with Gala Films)

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.