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André Picard Appointed Director General of the NFB

As Director General of the NFB’s French Program, Picard spearheaded digital creation and interactivity by implementing new narrative forms and citizen participation through such projects as the new ‘Parole citoyenne’ website and the ‘Community Mediator’ DVD.

MONTREAL -- The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has announced the appointment of André Picard to the position of NFB Director General, Creation and Innovation. Picard will assume his responsibilities on July 13, 2015.

“Our industry is constantly evolving, and our success depends on our ability to change and evolve,” noted NFB Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur in making the announcement. “Throughout its history as a public producer, the NFB has always succeeded in reinventing itself to stay engaging and relevant. André Picard possesses the leadership and experience to continue that change with our teams as well as with creators. With more than 35 years of national and international experience in numerous sectors linked to creation, production and distribution, André brings with him solid and diversified expertise that will enable us to measure up to the ambitions we have set for ourselves.”

“I am very pleased to be the first to take up the challenge of this new position dedicated to creation and innovation,” added Picard. “Under the strategic guidelines and 2015-2016 Action Plan, my role will be to accelerate the NFB’s evolution, enhance the relevance and impact of its works, engage it in sustained interactions with Canadians and the world, push the boundaries of technology for the benefit of art and citizens, and build new partnerships with companies, institutions and collaborators. The NFB’s employees as well as the recognized and emerging artists and artisans with whom the institution collaborates have consistently succeeded in reinterpreting and revitalizing its mission. I am proud to team up with them once again.”

The mandate of the new Director General, Creation and Innovation, will be to ensure that the NFB’s creative leadership remains a national and international reference. This new management position has been added to the structure of both creation programs: the English Program and French Program, which will continue to work in parallel with their own staff and be firmly rooted in their respective communities, with their own approach and culture. André Picard will be responsible for developing an integrated long-term vision and ensuring strategic and business intelligence oversight as well as developing value-added partnerships.

Over the course of the various positions he has held, Picard has succeeded in financing, producing and exploiting noteworthy works, forming innovative alliances and accelerating product and market development. He has acquired 35 years of national and international experience in strategic planning, production, financing and technological development in audiovisual arts through his work with public, private and not-for-profit organizations in the film, television, new media and events industry.

 Picard earned a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Harvard University (1978) and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School (2000). He was Vice-President, International Business Development and Distribution, and subsequently Vice-President, Public and Corporate Affairs, with the Just for Laughs Group (1993-1996, 2008-2013). During that time, he handled the sale and served as Executive Producer of Cinema Avenue, an exposition-spectacle at the Tokyo Seaside Fiesta, and secured an agreement with the Sydney Opera House (SOH) for the first edition of Just for Laughs at Sydney Opera House.

From 2005 to 2007, he was active in the new media sector. He served as Valuation and Transfer Officer at Hexagram - Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies, where he was responsible for managing and evaluating the intellectual property of innovations by researchers at universities in Montreal. As Content and Marketing Director and Director of Art & D at the Society for Arts and Technologies (SAT), he drafted a business and marketing plan for SAT’s immersive systems and distribution networks.

As Director General of the NFB’s French Program (2002-2004), he spearheaded digital creation and interactivity by implementing new narrative forms and citizen participation through such projects as the new Parole citoyenne website and the Community Mediator DVD. He also rekindled the engagement of the NFB’s French Program with Aboriginal communities through Wapikoni Mobile, a travelling audiovisual/musical production and training studio established by Manon Barbeau and geared toward young people in these communities, with an innovative, highly leveraged funding strategy (2004).

As Vice-President, Film, and Executive Producer at IMAX Corporation (1989-1992), he was the executive producer of eight IMAX films, including Fires of Kuwait, which received an Oscar nomination. He introduced several genres and formats, producing such films as Rolling Stones at the Max, the first IMAX concert film, in partnership with Concert Productions International, the world’s largest rock concert promotor. He also produced Titanica, IMAX’s first feature documentary, in partnership with the Moscow-based P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

He accelerated the development of SDA Productions/Groupe Coscient/Motion International while he was CEO of SDA Productions and subsequently President of the Canadian Drama and Large Format Unit (1996-2000) through rapid expansion in the English Canadian market and executive produced international co-productions, youth programs and drama series that garnered numerous Gémeaux and Gemini Awards. As Vice-President, Programming, at TQS (1987-1988), he repositioned the TV network, which experienced a remarkable market share increase under his leadership. Throughout his career, he has forged business ties with such international players as Sony, National Geographic, RTL, Rai Uno, and France 2 and 3.

As an active community volunteer, Picard is chair of the Board of the Fantasia International Film Festival (the largest genre film festival in America) as well as the Board of M for Montreal, a music showcase festival and conference that helps catapult emerging artists onto the world stage. He also sits on the Wapikoni Mobile Board of Governors. André Picard was chair of the boards of directors of the Vanguard School Development Fund (2008-2012) and the APFTQ (1998-1999), and a board member of the Québec Film and Television Council (2004-2007), Hexagram (2001-2005) and the Banff Television Festival Foundation (2001-2004). He was also a member of the Toronto Arts Awards Committee (1991-1993).

Source: The National Film Board of Canada

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.