The National Film Board Measures "Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis"
- Web documentary takes Canada's pulse during the Great Recession and its

    "A bold experiment... rolling out content in near "real-time" is more
    interactive and feels more organic to the web than the classic
    documentary approach."
    Andrea Pitzer of Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

MONTREAL, May 6 /CNW Telbec/ - As the global economy recovers from its most severe downturn since the Great Depression, the National Film Board of Canada is documenting how Canadians are experiencing the crisis and its aftermath with its first bilingual web-documentary GDP: Measuring the Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis

Jointly produced by the NFB's English and French programs, the ambitious one-year pilot project was launched in September 2009 and now features nine hours of online visual content - over 138 short films and photo-essays that document the "Great Recession" as it plays out in different communities and sectors across Canada. From BC's embattled logging towns to Bay Street, from a Quebec family farm to an inner city high-rise, takes the pulse of a nation as it comes to terms with a crisis that has shaken the very foundations of the global economy. During these first six months, GDP has gone to the heart of Canadians' concerns, documenting their everyday struggles and sharing their hopes and passions.

To date, there have been over 200,000 viewings of GDP - on the English and French versions of, at the NFB's online Screening Room as well as on iPhone app platforms.

Produced by Marie-Claude Dupont, the project is directed by Hélène Choquette (The Refugees of the Blue Planet, Avenue Zero) with the participation of over 30 gifted filmmakers and photographers across Canada - a remarkable creative team that's giving vibrant form to this new documentary genre. The project captures the real-time experiences of a diverse cross-section of Canadian society, through more than a dozen episodic film series, hearing from an unemployed autoworker in Oshawa, Filipino guest-workers in Alberta, a Newfoundland couple in the midst of a midlife career shift and others. Complementing the films are beautifully crafted photo-essays, incisive snapshots of Canada's recession experience, featuring such compelling subjects as a Windsor mom fighting to keep her boy safe from the psychological fallout, and Bevan Jones, brother of convicted Montreal fraudster Earl Jones. The project features an interactive map displaying films, photo-essays and comments from across Canada, and is also complemented by a Google map of participating Canadian communities.

"Our visitors constitute a vital part of the GDP project," says Dupont. "We already have 4,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks - and many have been contributing their own material to the site, enriching the overall interactive experience. By the time we wrap up in September 2010, the GDP project will feature over 200 original films and photo-essays, along with hundreds of user comments - and will constitute an invaluable audiovisual document of a pivotal chapter in our collective experience."

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Last night, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), in collaboration with Turbulent and Toxa, received a NUMIX award - the first awards for excellence in multimedia production in Quebec - in the Original Production: News and Magazine category for the interactive web documentary GDP - Measuring the Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis.

About the NFB

Canada's public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. 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, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic animation - and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. 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. The NFB's new website features over 1,400 productions online, and its iPhone app has become one of the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit today and start watching.

SOURCE National Film Board of Canada

For further information: For further information: Pat Dillon-Moore, NFB Publicist, (514) 283-9411, Cell: (514) 206-1750,; Source: National Film Board of Canada

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