The National Film Board of Canada at Banff - A Crucial Player in the Digital Era

    BANFF, AB, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Tom Perlmutter, the newly appointed
Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson, is at the 2007 Banff
Television Festival with new announcements highlighting the NFB's commitment
to bringing media production to underserved communities and to tapping the
enormous talent of Canada's underrepresented voices.
    "What the NFB is doing is both unique and exciting," said Tom Perlmutter.
"It underscores the enormous contribution of a public sector producer in
bringing new talent to the fore, opening up new creative possibilities and
creating new forms of media. We are doing the things that simply could not be
done in the private sector but that will, in the long run, have a real
beneficial impact on the industry."

    Engaged, Digital and Revolutionary

    On June 12, the NFB's "Engaged, Digital and Revolutionary" session will
explore community-based projects from the NFB and partners:

    Filmmaker in Residence, a multi-platform project bringing media making to
 the front lines of health care, at one of Canada's busiest inner city
hospitals. Filmmaker in Residence received the 2007 Canadian New Media Award
for Excellence in News, Information.

    Wapikoni Mobile, a mobile film studio training Aboriginal youth and
discovering new voices and new talent, conceived by Manon Barbeau/Les
productions des beaux jours.

    The Down Project, where artists with Down syndrome produce a range of
captivating animation work.

    Moderated by Tom Perlmutter, panellists lists include NFB producers Gerry
Flahive (Filmmaker in Residence) and Michael Fukushima (The Down Project);
Manon Barbeau (Wapikoni Mobile) and the winner of the NFB Cross-Media
Challenge, the latest initiative by the NFB to seek out new creative partners
for the production of innovative, interactive, socially responsive content for
mobile and broadband.

    Nunavut Animation Lab

    Also on June 12, the NFB will present the panel discussion "Nunavut
Animation Lab: A New Medium for Northern Artistic Expression." Nunavut has
more artists per capita than anywhere else in the world and these artists have
a remarkable graphic capability - so what happens when you marry that to
modern animation techniques?
    Come hear from NFB executive producer Derek Mazur, Debbie Brisebois from
the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and Susan Kennard from the Banff New Media
Institute as they discuss Nunavut Animation Lab - an exciting new initiative
to bring animation filmmaking skills to Nunavut artists.

    Other NFB activities at Banff include:

    Reel Diversity Competition

    At Documart on June 13, Mr. Perlmutter will announce the winning projects
from its Reel Diversity Competition, an initiative in partnership with CBC
Newsworld, providing promising filmmakers of colour with training, mentorship
and the opportunity to direct their own NFB documentary, for broadcast on CBC
Newsworld: The Lens.
    In its sixth year, the competition has identified some of Canada's
hottest new talent, including Zarqa Nawaz, director of the NFB documentary Me
and the Mosque, who went on to create the hit sitcom Little Mosque on the
Prairie; Karen Cho, whose film In the Shadow of Gold Mountain about the
Chinese Head Tax helped create public awareness of an historic wrong; and
Elizabeth St. Philip, director of Breakin' In: The Making of a Hip Hop Dancer,
which launched the flagship documentary series on the Discovery Times network
in the U.S.
    Over the past five years, Reel Diversity films have won two Canada Awards
from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, honouring excellence in
mainstream television programming that best reflects the racial and cultural
diversity of Canada.

    Cross-Media Challenge

    The NFB will also introduce the winner of its Cross-Media Challenge on
June 12. The NFB Cross-Media Challenge is the latest initiative by the NFB to
seek out new creative partners for the production of innovative, interactive,
socially responsive content for mobile and broadband.

    NFB Nominations

    Nine titles from Shorts in Motion: The Art of Seduction have been
nominated in the Mobile Program Enhancement category. A tantalizing anthology
of short films for mobile, television, cinema and online, Shorts in Motion:
The Art of Seduction is a presentation of CHUM Television's Bravo!FACT
(Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) and is co-produced by the National Film
Board of Canada and marblemedia. Shorts in Motion is part of a broad range of
NFB initiatives that are enabling Canada's top creators to explore new genres
and new media.
    In addition, two NFB co-productions have been nominated for Banff World
Television Awards. Michka Sadl's Prisoners of Beckett is nominated for Best
Arts Documentary. This film is a co-production of the NFB with Arte France,
A.D.R. Productions and Qu4tre par Quatre Films. Who Shot My Brother?, directed
by German Gutiérrez and written by Carmen Garcia and German Gutiérrez, is
nominated for best social & political documentaries in the hors concours
category. This film is co-produced by the NFB and Argus Films.

    About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada produces and distributes bold and
distinctive social issue documentaries, auteur animation and digital content
that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Since its founding
in 1939, the NFB has created over 12,000 productions and won over 5000 awards,
including more than 90 Genies. The NFB also received its 12th Academy Award(R)
this year for the animated short The Danish Poet, directed by Torill Kove and
co-produced by Norway's Mikrofilm AS and the NFB. The NFB is renowned for its
technical innovations and is a leader in content for new platforms. For more
information about the NFB or to order films, go to (less
than) than) or call 1-800-267-7710.

For further information:

For further information: Stéphanie Lincourt, Head of Communications,
National Film Board of Canada, (514) 283-3838, Cell: (514) 296-8261,

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