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NFB Offers HD & 3D Films Online

A year ago the National Film Board of Canada gave Canadians unprecedented access to 70 years of collective experience with the launch of its online screening room, NFB.ca.

Press Release from the National Film Board of Canada

Montreal, January 21, 2010 - A year ago the National Film Board of Canada gave Canadians unprecedented access to 70 years of collective experience with the launch of its online screening room, NFB.ca. Three months ago the screening room went mobile with the introduction of the wildly popular iPhone app.

Today the NFB is introducing high-definition (HD) films online and adding a bonus feature of recent experiments in online 3D. These are the latest example of how the NFB is striving to use digital technologies to connect Canadians with their past, reflect and share their present, and explore their future.

"Canadians are the greatest consumers of video online as well as the greatest users of social networking site Facebook. Online is the new public space and as a public institution the NFB has a responsibility to occupy that space for Canadians and provide Canadians with a reflection of our realities. And it has to be a dynamic and interactive experience that is always engaging: for all Canadians and particularly younger Canadians and Canadians from diverse communities. What we've done to date is only a start: we will be making a tradition of releasing major new innovations at the start of each year," said Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson.

After one year, the online Screening Room has registered over 3.7 million film views.

High definition

Starting today, 26 films are available in high definition at the Screening Room.

HD titles include Chris Landreth's Oscar-winning animated short Ryan, coproduced with Copper Heart Entertainment, as well as Cordell Barker's beloved musical comedy short The Cat Came Back. HD documentaries include Murray Siple's Carts of Darkness, a look at the extreme sport of shopping-cart racing, already one of the NFB's top-viewed titles in standard definition, and Brett Gaylor's award-winning Rip: A Remix Manifesto, co-produced with EyeSteelFilm.

French-language HD titles include Claude Jutra's Mon oncle Antoine, chosen by critics as the greatest Canadian film of all time, Michel Brault and Pierre Perrault's classic Pour la suite du monde, along with great animations like Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski's Madame Tutli Putli and Sheldon Cohen's hockey classic Le Chandail, adapted from the story by Roch Carrier.

To visit the NFB's high definition video portal, go to <NFB.ca/HD>.

3D films

The NFB is sharing the fruit of its 3D experiments online with the acclaimed NFB animated shorts Drux Flux by Theodore Ushev and the Genie Award-winning Falling in Love Again by Munro Ferguson, as well as excerpts from Facing Champlain, a stereoscopic production created for the 400th anniversary celebrations in Quebec City, directed by Jean-François Pouliot and produced in collaboration with the Musée de la civilisation du Québec.

"Normally, organizations don't share their experimental processes," said Tom Perlmutter. "But we want to start changing that - letting Canadians into the creative workshop. It's a little retro at the moment with the funky glasses, but it's a playroom, it's the skunk work of testing things out while we figure out how to make this fully part of the NFB online experience."

These films will be available in 3D on the Screening Room as well as iPhones. Users will be able to order 3D glasses online, http://nfb.ca/playlist/nfb-3d/, with free shipping in Canada.

A growing online collection

These new HD and 3D titles join over 1,400 NFB productions online at NFB.ca, in English and French, with new titles added weekly.

Available free of charge, 24/7, these titles include acclaimed auteur animation, point-of-view documentaries, new works by independent filmmakers, alternative dramas, cinéma vérité classics, and more.

About the NFB

Canada's public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. In collaboration with its international partners and co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation - and more. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. In 2009, Neighbours/Voisins by NFB animation founder Norman McLaren was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The NFB's new website features over 1,400 productions online, and its iPhone app has become one of the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit <NFB.ca <http://nfb.ca/> > today and start watching!

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Rick DeMott
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