NFB is Top of the Class with 2017-2018 Report Card

A scene from Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses

By Pat Mullen

TGIF! School’s out for the summer and Canada’s leading film institution is top of the class. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) released today its report for the fiscal year (2017-2018). The marks reflect the results of strong productions and impressive efforts at the institutional level. The NFB report notes that of the 72 works that were produced in the year nearly half were directed by women (47%) with another sizeable class directed by mixed teams (15%). These stats, reported previously, indicate that the Board is achieving its goals for gender parity in production. Similarly, 12.5% of productions were by Indigenous filmmakers and 40% of titles came from emerging talents.

The NFB also made strong digital gains over the year. Its Indigenous Cinema channel was a major effort to showcase the works of filmmakers in an institution that played a part in the tenuous history of onscreen representation. The above mentioned statistics prove that the Board leads the field in implementing change at the institutional level.

Eyeballs were up for with over 45 million streams (up by 6.6 million) and with views of NFB productions on any screen hitting nearly 68 million. Over 1.4 million people attended a screening of an NFB film in Canada over the past year.

These millions of people passed along good word about the docs, shorts, animated features, and virtual projects they saw. The Board netted a reported 154 wins at festivals and ceremonies. Big winners included Charles Officer’s Unarmed Verses, which scored a slew of honours including awards from the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Canadian Cinema Editors, Marie Clements’ The Road Forward, which swept BC’s Leo Awards, Matthew Rankin’s Canadian Screen Award winner The Tesla World Light, Laura Marie Wayne’s InsideOut winner Love, Scott, Christy Garland’s Hot Docs hit What Walaa Wants, and Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film Our People Will Be Healed, which gave the legendary filmmaker her first spot on TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten.

Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chair Claude Joli-Coeur attributed to success to the Board’s filmmakers, staff, co-producers, and supporters.

Highlights from the report include:

• 72 original works were produced.
• 47% of works were made by women (38% by men and 15% by mixed teams).
• 12.5% of works were made by Indigenous filmmakers.
• 40% of works were made by emerging filmmakers.
• 36% of works were made by filmmakers from ethnocultural, linguistic or Indigenous communities.
• 154 awards were earned, 11 more than last year.
• 74 films benefited from the Aide au cinéma indépendant du Canada (ACIC) or the Filmmaker
Assistance Program (FAP).
• 67.6 million views were recorded overall, 13.6 million more than last year.
• 45.6 million online views were recorded, 6.6 million more than last year.
• 28.4 million views were recorded in Canada, an increase of 8 million compared with last year.
• 1.4 million people attended our public screenings in Canada.
• $36 million were devoted to the production of audiovisual works, $4 million more than last year. This
increase is due in large part to production partnerships with public and private organizations.

Upcoming NFB projects include Astra Taylor’s What is Democracy?, Pascale Ferland’s profile Pauline Julien, Andrea Dorfman’s The Girls of Meru, and Alanis Obomsawin’s Jordan’s Principle.