NFB marks its 70th anniversary with a birthday gift to all Canadians - National Film Board's new online Screening Room provides instant access to 700+ productions



    MONTREAL, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - A vital part of the national fabric
since 1939, the National Film Board of Canada is marking its 70th anniversary
in 2009 with a gift to Canadians and Web users of all ages: a new online
Screening Room providing free home viewing of over 700 productions, films,
trailers and clips from the NFB's world-renowned collection.
    Now online at NFB.ca, the Screening Room is latest step forward in a
sweeping digital transformation now underway at Canada's public film producer
and distributor, which is committed to harnessing digital technologies to
connect with all Canadians, as a key part of its new Strategic Plan.
    "This new online Screening Room is the latest example of how the NFB
plays a major role in the free exchange of ideas through cinema," said Tom
Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film
Board of Canada. "At a time when issues are inter-connected and global
communications are mobile and instantaneous, Canada needs a voice. More than
ever, the NFB provides that voice: empowering Canadians to share their
concerns, express their points of view, tell Canada's stories. The world is
changing - our stories continue."
    Available 24/7 in Canada's both official languages, the NFB's online
Screening Room provides Canadians with a unique screening experience: high
quality, free viewing of over 700 productions from the NFB's vast collection -
a national treasure of our stories. From historical films dating back to 1928
to current contemporary releases, including award-winning documentaries,
animation and fiction, this initiative invites Canadians from all regions, to
browse, discover and be entertained by the stories that bind us together.
    Films now online or coming soon include Chris Landreth's visually
stunning 2004 Oscar-winner Ryan, beloved animated favourites like Richard
Condie's The Big Snit and Cordell Barker's The Cat Came Back, as well classic
works by the legendary Norman McLaren.
    It's the place to find NFB documentaries that push the boundaries of
non-fiction cinema, with innovative new works such as Murray Siple's Carts of
Darkness and Junior by Stéphane Thibault and Isabelle Lavigne. Films that
explore vital issues and chronicle key moments in the lives of Canadians, such
as Alanis Obomsawin's landmark Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance and the
timeless Pour la suite du monde by Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault. Works
that take a stand on issues of global importance: the environment, human
rights, international conflict and more.
    The NFB Screening Room also features acclaimed Canadian dramatic
features: Claude Jutra's Mon Oncle Antoine, still hailed as the greatest
Canadian film of all time, along with classics like Don Owen's Nobody Waved
Goodbye and Cynthia Scott's The Company of Strangers, to name but a few.
    The NFB has also opened its vaults to bring forgotten gems to light:
archival works that offer rare glimpses back into our past, from Canada's
sacrifices during World War II to traditional communities, exploring the
changing face of Canada over the decades.
    New films will be added each week. The online Screening Room also
features Playlists, where users can find suggestions from film experts and
filmmakers like Nicolas Renaud, Luc Bourdon, Gil Cardinal, Don McWilliams and
Kat Cizek. Plus it offers Described Video and Closed Captioning capabilities,
which will be enhanced after consultations with concerned groups. There are
special options available for educational and institutional users - as well as
quick and easy way to purchase DVDs online.

    About the National Film Board of Canada

    The world changes, our stories live on - that's the National Film Board
of Canada's pledge to Canadians as it marks its 70th anniversary in 2009 with
a new national online Screening Room and a slate of bold, innovative
productions. Canada's public film producer and distributor, the NFB produces
and distributes social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative
drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian
perspective. In collaboration with its international partners and
co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st century cinema and
breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking
projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation -
and more. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000
productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90
Genies. To watch over 700 productions online or for more information, visit
NFB.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Mair, NFB Publicist, (416) 954-2045,
j.mair@nfb.ca; Melissa Than, NFB Publicist, (416) 952-8960, m.than@nfb.ca; For
downloadable hi-res images, go to www.nfb.ca/photogallery

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National Film Board of Canada

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