Yesterday’s Genie Awards celebrated a short documentary that I just had to share. “Sirmilik,” a ten-minute meditation on Canada’s national park in Nunavut, is a stunning feat of poetry by director Zacharias Kunuk of “Atnarjuat” fame. The short is part of a larger documentary/cross-media exploit “National Parks Project” that itself is well worth exploring.
Take a few minutes right now to allow yourself to be entranced by the images and incredible music of “Sirmilik.” A hearty congratulations to Kunuk.
This gorgeous film deservedly won the Genie Award for Best Documentary this year.
It airs tonight:
Sunday May 3, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld
Up the Yangtze tells two Chinese stories – the wide-angle story of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest construction project since the Great Wall, and the close-up story of Yu Shui, a teenager whose house is destroyed by the rising waters. Ironically, Yu Shui gets a job supporting her destitute family on the very tour boat that takes rich Westerners up the Yangtze river for a nostalgic ride before it is all but destroyed by the rising waters.
Click here for much more information about the film, and links to a Q&A with director Yung Chang, photos, trailer and discussion.
I just read an alarming article in The Walrus about the tenuous state of the NFB. Truth be that I myself am hardpressed to name recent NFB titles (‘cept “Up the Yangtze” which was just nominated for a Genie Award.) I know from working at the CBC in documentaries that CBC’s digital documentary channel airs select NFB projects, but the ratings for documentary are dismally low. Why? Low subscription mainly due to little awareness. We are all hoping that their sponsorship of Hot Docs festival this season will increase viewership and bring NFB productions to the foreground.
The NFB recently re-vamped their website – there is loads of great stuff to watch. Flipping Out is a another sample of the cool NFB programming that CBC’s documentary channel shares its viewers.
Update: The Walrus just published an Online Exclusive countering the previously published article above and it contains a wonderful intro to NFB for anyone who is interested in learning more about what the NFB does!