The National Film Board of Canada has officially launched its new service, which offers full-length NFB documentaries, animations and dramas. Delivered using an open source platform and the new JW Media Player, the NFB offerings can be viewed at beta.nfb.ca
The National Film Board has recognized that the majority of Canadians will be active Internet users and that approximately 95% of Canadian households will access the Internet through broadband services. To that end, the NFB believes that Canadians will expect a full range of offerings in the digital world to be available on their computers and mobile devices.
Recognizing that the ability to watch programmes whenever and wherever they want is becoming a driving force among Canadian viewership, the NFB believes that content should be available in both English and French, as well as Aboriginal languages wherever possible.
To both expand its horizons for the current generation and preserve the NFB’s rich Canadian heritage for future generations, the digitization of the NFB’s audiovisual properties has become an essential project. For the past five years, the NFB has undertaken a series of projects to digitize its extensive libraries, and a major participant in the process has been Canada Culture Online Memory Fund, which has provided a significant amount of funding.
Canadian Culture Online is part of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s strategy to encourage a uniquely Canadian presence on the Internet. It works with Canadian creators, cultural industries, communities and institutions to produce and make available digital content that helps promote the country’s culture, history, arts and heritage.
An in-depth digitization plan is being put into effect, with a focus on establishing strategic components, including an audit of the NFB’s digital catalogue, technical standards and procedures for the digitization process, a format for rights management and renewal, and a process to ensure that there will be a lasting digital master for all new productions. Also included in the plan is an expected time frame and budget for the complete digitization of the National Film Board’s library.
Editor’s Note: I for one am very pleased to see this work progressing. Not only is the NFB recognizing the importance of preserving our culture, it is looking ahead and recognizing that digital content will become the way of the future, and by acting now, they are ensuring that all future generations of Canadians will be able to learn from and appreciate the vast amounts of material and outstanding work is available from the NFB.