Add one more reason to the list of things that make Canada a great place for moviemaking as the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and National Film Board (NFB) have recently announced the confirmation of four Canadian directors who will participate in the inaugural CFC/NFB Feature Documentary Program, which gives accomplished Canadian directors with ideas for theatrical documentaries the ability to develop their projects. Moviemakers Yung Chang, Sarah Polley, Shelley Saywell and John Walker will take part in the six-month program that not only provides the directors a residency with the CFC but also a project-specific mentorship with the biggest talents in the documentary world.
While the program’s goal is in helping directors create documentaries that will advance the genre and achieve commercial and critical success, the experience and body of work the four directors hold have left those involved in the mountainous program undaunted. According to Tom Perlmutter, the NFB’s Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson, the directors have found a perfect home for their talents with the CFC/NFB Feature Documentary Program. “At the NFB we push boundaries and act as a kind of creative laboratory for filmmakers and the industry. This initiative is a wonderful expression of that. It is the first time that Canada will have a program specifically dedicated to advancing the art of the cinematic feature documentary.” He adds that “the four filmmakers selected bring an extraordinary range of experience and creative vision—from cinema verité work to drama, from intimate, personal storytelling to large-scale international subjects. Now we are offering these established artists the creative space to take their work to the next level.”
With this partnership between the Canadian Film Centre and the country’s National Film Board, a new age of documentary moviemaking is being ushered in, proving there is no better time or place to be involved with the genre.