The NFB at RVF : Celebrating “the music of French”Detailed program (pdf) Registration form online
This year, the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) marks its 25th anniversary with the theme of celebration, and, for the 18th year in a row, the NFB is taking part in the festivities, offering six programs of films that highlight “the music of French”—the unique sound and feel of the French language, and its diverse manifestations.
The programs are available to audiences of all ages, francophones and francophiles alike, in every province and territory in Canada, during Francophonie Month, from March 1 to 31. Best of all, it’s free of charge!
These six programs, like every program offered by the NFB during the RVF over the past 18 years, bring audiences stories that can help us all to better understand one another and come together.
We hope you enjoy them at the next RVF. It’s bound to be a memorable celebration!
Six programs for virtual or in-person screenings:
PROGRAM 1: It’ll make you want to sing! (48 minutes, 14+)
These eight short films offer a rich and varied overview of French-language song in Canada. With her new film Assez French (French Enough), singer-songwriter Alexis Normand illuminates the struggle and triumph of reclaiming francophone Canadian identity on the Prairies. It’s followed by a range of songs set to images featuring great Canadian artists such as Daniel Lavoie in Jours de plaine, by Réal Bérard and André Leduc; Jean-Pierre Ferland in Les fleurs de macadam, by Laurent Coderre; Claude Léveillée in Taxi, by Roland Stutz; Robert Charlebois in Tout écartillé, by André Leduc; the Acadian band Zéroo Celsius in Joséphine, by Anne-Marie Sirois; Émile Benoit’s song from the Franco-Newfoundlander folk repertoire Vive la rose by Bruce Alcock; and the music of Florent Vollant in the Innu language in Florent Vollant: je rêve en innu (Florent Vollant: I Dream in Innu), by Nicolas Renaud.
Jours de plaine by Réal Bérard and André Leduc (French only, English translation provided in a document, 6 min, Manitoba), song by Daniel Lavoie
Les fleurs de macadam by Laurent Coderre (French only, English translation provided in a document, 2 min, Quebec), song by Jean-Pierre Ferland
Taxi by Roland Stutz (French only, English translation provided in a document, 2 min, Quebec), song by Claude Léveillée
Vive la rose by Bruce Alcock (French and English subtitles, 6 min, Newfoundland), Émile Benoit’s performance of a traditional French song from Newfoundland’s folk repertoire
Tout écartillé by André Leduc (French only, English translation provided in a document, 5 min, Quebec), song by Robert Charlebois
Joséphine by Anne-Marie Sirois (French only, English translation provided in a document, 4 min, New Brunswick), song by Acadian band Zéroo Celsius
PROGRAM 2 : It’ll get people talking! (two options: 18-minute program with Alexis Normand’s Assez French (French Enough), followed by a discussion, or a program of three films about languages that runs 109 minutes, 14+)
Whichever option you choose, Alexis Normand’s film Assez French (French Enough) is sure to spark reflection and discussion with its sensitive but important topic: the role of language in identity. In this short film, the singer-songwriter and filmmaker engages in a frank discussion about belonging and bilingualism in the Prairie provinces. For a longer program, Marie Cadieux’s Éloge du chiac – Partie 2 (Celebrating Chiac – Part II), which explores how important Chiac is to the identity of its speakers in Southeastern New Brunswick, and Kevin Papatie’s film Wapikoni mobile 2007 – L’amendement , which looks at the loss of the Algonquin language, provide excellent complementary views on the issue.
PROGRAM 3: It’ll make you want to move! (56 min, 8+)
This selection of six lively, colourful animated shorts for kids aged six to nine is full of songs and classics that will get them moving! It includes Cordell Barker’s hilarious film Le chat colla… (The Cat Came Back), inspired by a folksong in which an old man is unable to get rid of a rascally little yellow cat; Co Hoedeman’s Mascarade (Masquerade), a longer film, dubbed in English, that demonstrates a variety of creative approaches set to music by Normand Roger and created by one of the great figures of the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio; Christopher Hinton’s Mouches noires (Blackfly), a humorous film set to a popular English-language song by Wade Hemsworth, adapted into French by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and sung by Marcel Aymar; Canada vignettes: la valse du maître draveur (Canada Vignettes: Log Driver’s Waltz) by John Weldon, depicting a frenetic dance to a song performed by the aforementioned McGarrigle sisters; Le merle, by Norman McLaren, which uses cut-out animation set to the delightful rhythms of the folk song “Mon merle” performed by Trio lyrique; and MacPherson, by Martine Chartrand, which puts images to the eponymous song by Félix Leclerc and explores his friendship with Frank Randolph Macpherson, a Jamaican-Canadian chemical engineer who inspired this song about log driving.
Le merle by Norman McLaren (English text included at the beginning of the film and English translation provided in a document, 4 min)
MacPherson by Martine Chartrand (English translation provided in a document, 10 min)
PROGRAM 4: It’ll pique your curiosity! (39 min, 12+)
Inspired by a French-language comic book, La liste des choses qui existent (The Great List of Everything) features artists Cathon and Iris, two curious and quirky young women who share their unbridled passion for everyday objects. Travel with them through history as they explain the origins of everything from the garbage can to the fridge to the toothbrush. But don’t believe everything you hear!
PROGRAM 5: It’ll pull back the curtain! (84 min, 14+)
What if one of your loved ones was a member of a secret society? In his new feature-length documentary L’Ordre secret (The Secret Order), Phil Comeau shines a spotlight on the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, a powerful secret society that operated from 1926 to 1965, infiltrating every sector of Canadian society. Having learned that his father was a commander in the Order, the filmmaker launches a fascinating investigation into the group, raising the curtain on the shadowy men who belonged to the Order and the causes for which they fought, as they forged the fate of French-language communities. Through never-before-heard testimony from former members of the Order, along with historically accurate dramatic reconstructions, this film paints a gripping portrait of the social and political struggles of Canadian francophone-minority communities.
PROGRAM 6: It’s cause for celebration! (82 min, 12+)
This program of three documentaries pays tribute to the many faces of francophone identity in Canada. Whether it’s a young Atikamekw’s journey to reclaim their identity in Thérèse Ottawa’s Le chemin rouge (Red Path), which includes taking part in a traditional powwow; the experience of immigrating to Vancouver of three francophone women raising their children alone in Marie Ka’s Femmes debout (Standing Tall); or the work of young deaf artists using their creativity to build and promote Deaf culture in Yves Étienne Massicotte’s film Les mots qui dansent (The Dance of Words), these films offer vibrant accounts and compelling portraits of the diverse experiences of francophones today.
Les mots qui dansent (The Dance of Words) by Yves Étienne Massicotte (English version, 44 min)
Here you will find more information about how to organize an NFB screening for the RVF.
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