Edmonton International Film Festival to showcase Alberta and Indigenous storytelling from National Film Board of Canada

National Film Board

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) selection at this year’s Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) will feature an impressive array of Alberta filmmakers and stories, and works by Indigenous creators.

Five NFB films will screen at the festival, taking place September 22 to October 1, including the world premiere of a short documentary shot across Northern Alberta.

EIFF will also present the Alberta premiere of four animated shorts: two works by Calgary-based directors as well as two by Indigenous creators.

World premiere from Northern Alberta

A Motorcycle Saved My Life by lori lozinski (12 min)

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/a-motorcycle-saved-my-life

  • In A Motorcycle Saved My Life, the open road presents a point of departure for director lori lozinski to process deep-seated grief, as she bikes through British Columbia and into Northern Alberta’s vast, open spaces. Revisiting the formative experiences that drove her ambition, lozinski examines the influence of her parents in the present light of day.
  • Edmonton-born and raised lori lozinski is recognized for producing socially conscious, character-driven stories with female creatives. She recently co-produced Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ award-winning feature doc Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy with the NFB.
  • A Motorcycle Saved My Life was produced by Teri Snelgrove at the BC and Yukon Studio in Vancouver.

Short films by Calgary creators

The Flying Sailor by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis (7 min 45 s)

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-flying-sailor

  • Inspired by a true story, the highly anticipated new film by the Calgary-based Oscar-nominated duo of Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby is an exhilarating contemplation of the wonder and fragility of existence. It’s based on the remarkable account of a sailor who was blown skyward by the Halifax Explosion, flying a distance of two kilometres before landing uphill, naked and unharmed.
  • The Edmonton premiere of The Flying Sailor follows its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis previously collaborated on When the Day Breaks (1999), which received an Oscar nomination and more than 30 international awards, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes, as well as Wild Life (2012), which received an Academy Award nomination, among other honours.
  • The Flying Sailor was produced by David Christensen at the North West Studio in Edmonton.

The Storm by Monica Kidd (4 min)

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-storm

  • Global pandemics are like prairie thunderstorms. Full of terror and havoc, they eventually pass. Bringing a new baby into the world can also feel like a storm.
  • Pairing sweeping narrative flair with recollections of childhood prairie skies and sparsely elegant imagery, Calgary physician/filmmaker Monica Kidd collaborates with Newfoundland animator Duncan Major on a story of disruption and rebirth.
  • Produced by Annette Clarke for the Quebec and Atlantic Studio in Montreal.

Indigenous animation

Arctic Song by Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok), Neil Christopher and Louise Flaherty (Taqqut Productions/NFB; 6 min 25 s)

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/arctic-song

  • Inuit artist, storyteller and co-director Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok) depicts Inuit creation stories in all their glory. Arctic Song tells stories of how the land, sea and sky came to be in beautifully rendered animation. Telling traditional Inuit tales from the Iglulik region of Nunavut through song, the film revitalizes ancient knowledge and shares it with future generations.
  • Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist, writer and illustrator from Iglulik, Nunavut, best known for her prints and etchings depicting Inuit myths, traditional ways of life and feminist narratives.
  • In 2012, Neil Christopher and Louise Flaherty worked with local Elders to develop the animated film Amaqqut Nunaat: The Country of Wolves, based on a traditional story. The success of that film prompted Neil and Louise to start the film company Taqqut Productions with their publishing colleague, Danny Christopher.
  • Arctic Song was co-produced by Neil Christopher and Nadia Mike (Taqqut Productions) and David Christensen and Alicia Smith (NFB).

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics by Terril Calder (19 min 22 s)

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/meneath

  • In this stop-motion film, creator Terril Calder charts a challenging journey for a precocious Métis baby girl as she contemplates her path to Hell.
  • One of the foremost Métis media artists practising in Canada today, Terril Calder is a multi-disciplinary creator born in Fort Frances, Ontario, and currently living in Toronto.
  • Meneath won the Audience Award: Best Canadian Short Film at the 2021 GIRAF Festival of Independent Animation in Calgary and was named one of Canada’s Top Ten short films for 2021 by the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Produced by Jelena Popović at the Animation and Interactive Studio in Montreal.

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