Welcome to the world’s largest film festival, taking place—for one day only!—wherever you are in Canada. National Canadian Film Day is a country-spanning celebration of one of our most diverse art-forms, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Over 1,700 cinematic events are planned for April 19 but you can kick off the big event now with a two-minute-long trip across the country with a stop in each province and territory.
Ottawa animation studio Mercury Filmworks teamed up with NCFD organizers Reel Canada to create a video that pulls together iconic imagery from coast to coast. We talked to Chief Creative Officer Jerry Popowich and Head of Studio Jefferson Allen about the inspiration behind the film and how it ties into Canada’s diverse culture.
“National Canadian Film Day and Reel Canada use film to really showcase the diversity in Canada,” says Allen, “So, even within our own film, there’s a diversity not just based on seeing the different provinces and territories but based on style—we changed styles from province to province to showcase that diversity and that beauty. Reel Canada is highlighting Canadian film, a very important aspect of art in our country, and our film takes inspiration from different artists across Canada.”
Adds Popowich: “There’s all these iconic images of each province when you travel across the country [and] because there are 13 provinces and ‘O Canada’ is only a two minute song, we didn’t have a lot of time, so we really wanted to think about that to make sure that you could visually ‘get’ each province just from the iconic mountains, or the boats, or the housing, or the animals. Then we wanted to take an artist from that territory or province and get the painters to be inspired by one of those artists—and that’s exactly what they did. To make it all fit in we transitioned with a wave wipe or a caribou running across the screen, which allows you to go to a different style. So it looks like one cohesive piece, and that’s like Canada. Canada is made up of a lot of diversity, a lot of different nationalities and it still comes together as a country.”
Watch the film for a quick tour of Canada’s beauty and diversity—then go check out one of the many NCFD events happening in your part of the country on April 19.