Watch a Canadian film at the theatres, on your devices, on television, just do it!
Tuesday April 29th
Welcome to the first Inaugural National Canadian Film Day, created “to raise awareness of the achievements of Canadian filmmakers and to encourage Canadians across the country to rise above their aversion to self-aggrandizement and actually watch a great Canadian film.” Take that, Canadians! You are being dared to watch Canada and as you know, it’s a dare worth taking.We have a proud cinema heritage dating back in the earliest, pioneering days. Films were produced and shot at Niagara Falls in 1897. Around that time, James Freer, a Manitoba farmer made films to entice immigration to the province. In 1917, Ontario created the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau and in 1918, The Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau was launched.
Canada’s unique locations and talented bank of actors, directors and cinematographers created strong foundations for an industry that has seen its ups and downs in the ensuing years. The struggles paid off. Canadian film today competes with the best of them – anywhere.
English Canadian filmmakers such as David Cronenberg, Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema, Alanis Obomsawin, Sarah Polley, Deepa Mehta, Thom Fitzgerald, John Greyson, Clement Virgo, Allan King, and Michael Snow are known around the world. Norman Jewison, Jason Reitman, Paul Haggis and James Cameron put Canada on the map via American film industry.
French Canadian counterparts Sébastien Pilote, Claude Jutra, Gilles Carle, Denys Arcand, Jean Beaudin, Robert Lepage, Denis Villeneuve, Lea Poole, Xavier Dolan, Philippe Falardeau and Michel Brault enjoy a thriving film culture in Canada, France and around the world.
One of Canada’s greatest film production houses is the National Film Board of Canada which has put out prestige films since its beginning in 1938. Norman McLaren and John Grierson made films that put us on the world map. The NFB continues to educate, enlighten and entertain, without interruption.
Thirty years ago Canadian films were thought of as dark, twisted and impermeable but they got us noticed. Name directors like David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan were just wee sprouts then, and they almost single handedly created that dark and twisted film trope. Their films were good and they made us famous, famous for film and famous for their dark, weather-repressed films. It’s true.
Canada still creates some dark films but they are just part of the magnificent tapestry of projects that have come into being here, films that win Oscar awards and nominations, dazzle at Cannes, and trek around the world, spreading the spirit while entertaining the heart and soul.
Tuesday is the day to express gratitude, love and appreciation for our films. Visit the wonderful website http://canadianfilmday.ca to find films to see and where to see them. National Canadian Film Day is presented by REEL CANADA and supported – without apology – by Scotiabank, Cineplex, CBC and a host of film festivals, movie clubs, schools, broadcasters and industry organizations.