NFB Names Julie Roy Director General, Creation and Innovation

Julie Roy
Photo courtesy of the NFB

By Pat Mullen

Julie Roy is the new director general, creation and innovation at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). The appointment is a step up for the Montreal native, who was formerly executive producer of the NFB’s French Animation Studio. Roy assumes her new role today following her appointment to the position by Claude Joli-Coeur, government film commissioner and chairperson of the NFB. Marc Bertrand will be acting as interim executive producer for the French Animation Studio as Roy begins her new role.

Roy has over 25 years of experience in the field with over 50 credits to her name. Her work with the NFB includes some of the most acclaimed and innovative films in the Board’s recent history. Some of the notable productions made while Roy was executive producer in the French Animation Studio include Theodore Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow and Regina Pessoa’s Uncle Thomas, Accounting for the Days, which were both shortlisted in the most recent Oscar race for Best Animated Short Film.

Other films in Roy’s portfolio include Ushev’s Blind Vaysha (2016), which was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short. Roy won Canadian Screen Awards in the animated short category for The Tesla World Light (2017), directed by Matthew Rankin, and Paula (2012), directed by Dominic Étienne-Simard. The Head Vanishes (2016), directed by Franck Dion, won the Annecy Cristal Award for Best Short Film and also made the Oscar shortlist. In 2016, Roy was invited to become a member of the Short Films and Animation branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences..

“Creating at the NFB should be a unique experience—unlike any other in the industry,” said Roy in a statement from the NFB. “To create a project here is to work with a spirit of collaboration, in an environment where the range of talent and artistic approaches motivates us to always do better. For creators, the NFB experience brings the artistic and intellectual stimulation that comes with the institution, enriched by the diverse experiences that our employees have to offer. To create at the NFB is to benefit from a platform like no other for having one’s voice heard by Canadians.”

Roy’s mandate for her new position offers an extension of her history for innovation and for producing socially-relevant filmmaking. This work entails strengthening the NFB’s creative leadership and developing programming that furthers the Board’s strategic plan. Works included in Roy’s portfolio will support both the French and English studios and cater to productions in the form of documentaries, animation, and interactive works while continuing the NFB’s mission to be a leader in terms of gender parity and cultural inclusion.

“Julie has the leadership and determination to inspire a vision of programming that encourages team synergy and the production of unique and innovative projects,” added Joli-Coeur in a statement from the NFB. “She is a woman of action and conviction. Julie takes the interests of all her teams and collaborators to heart, including the creators with whom she’s developed such honest and open working relationships over time. In addition, her years in marketing throughout the early 2000s have contributed to her keen audience awareness.”