Making Movie History

Making Movie History


A portrait of the NFB’s place in cinema told through the voices of those who made it.

Project Details

The creation of the National Film Board of Canada in 1939 forever changed the face of Canadian cinema, forging a space where generations of filmmakers would learn their craft and collectively redefine the possibilities of filmmaking. Over a five-year period filmmakers Denys Desjardins and Joanne Robertson interviewed many of Canada’s most revered filmmakers – men, women, Quebecois, Anglophone, and Indigenous – about the early years of the NFB.

The NFB asked us to design and develop the user experience, interface, and technology to house and deliver the 61 video profiles created by Desjardins, Robertson and the NFB’s French and English production teams.

Making Movie History was developed as an online interactive feature and as an iPad app. In both, users browse the portraits, hearing from the artists, rebels and poets who found their creative home at the NFB and created the foundations for a distinctive Canadian cinematic tradition. The experience also organizes all of the profiles into playlists within 13 thematic categories which can be explored along with academic texts, short bios, and filmographies that link to titles available for viewing on

Standalone installation at Doxa 2016

The NFB makes films in the public interest, films that work in the service of people. Because so many first generation Canadian filmmakers learned their craft at the NFB, it has had an enormous impact on the stories Canadian media makers tell today, how they tell their stories, and how the country views the role of cinema and its social purpose.

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