Toronto – The National Film Board of Canada is delighted to have two titles plus a co-production with Hamilton Mehta Productions, as part of Canada’s Top Ten list of best films in 2008. Luc Bourdon’s feature documentary The Memories of Angels, Theodore Ushev’s animated short Drux Flux and Deepa Mehta’s feature Heaven on Earth were selected. The list was announced on December 16, 2008 by the Toronto International Film Festival Group.
Established in 2001 by the Toronto International Film Festival Group, Canada’s Top Ten celebrates and promotes contemporary Canadian cinema and is intended to raise public awareness of Canadian achievements. A 10-member national panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals vote on the best Canadian films of the year, which can include features, shorts, documentaries, animation and experimental films.
Documentary, poetry and essay rolled into one, The Memories of Angels is a singular lesson in Montreal history with its famous figures, symbolic places and ordinary citizens. Luc Bourdon has created a virtuoso mosaic of stockshots and clips from 120 NFB films to present Montreal of the ’50s and ’60s. Without a commentary, the film moves from the red light district to Jean Drapeau, the Jacques-Cartier market, department stores downtown, textile factories and the construction of Place Ville-Marie. We meet Geneviève Bujold, Oscar Peterson, Monique Mercure and Igor Stravinsky. We hear Raymond Lévesque, Jean Drapeau and René Lecavalier.
The Memories of Angels had its world premiere at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. At the 2008 Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal (FNC), it was awarded the Focus Grand Prize from the Cinémathèque québécoise for Best Canadian Feature. It has since screened at Cinéma Parallèle-Ex-Centris in Montréal for 8 consecutive weeks, and Cinéma Le Clap in Quebec City and will be screened at the Cinema du Parc from December 19, 2008 to January 8, 2009. The Memories of Angels can be seen next at the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam from January 21 to February 1, 2009. Executive produced by Yves Bisaillon and Colette Loumède, and produced by Christian Medawar. www.nfb.ca/thememoriesofangels
Partly figurative, partly abstract, Drux Flux is an animation film of fast-flowing images showing modern people crushed by industry. Inspired by One-Dimensional Man by the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, Drux Flux is the second film in a cycle Theodore Ushev began in 2006 with Tower Bawher. Ushev juxtaposes and overlaps images of factories, propaganda posters and abstract images to create a frightening link between progress, dehumanization and the war machine.
Drux Flux was awarded the Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation and also received Honourable Mention for Best Experimental / Abstract Animation at the 2008 International Animation Festival. Drux Flux can be seen next at the International Animation Festival in Melbourne, Australia from June 22 to 28, 2009. Executive produced by René Chénier and produced by Marc Bertrand.
In Heaven on Earth, acclaimed director Deepa Mehta highlights the isolation and disappointment faced by a family of Punjabi immigrants to Canada. Written and directed by Mehta and produced by David Hamilton (Hamilton Mehta Productions) and Anita Lee (NFB), Heaven on Earth is an outstanding example of the NFB’s dedication to working with the country’s finest independent filmmakers to bring to bring Canada’s untold stories to the screen.