Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada

Overview

The activist documentary program Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle, which ran from 1967 to 1980 and produced films in both French and English, stands out as a particularly influential and original part of the National Film Board of Canada's critically acclaimed body of work. The films produced by this program were among the first to add portable video to the tested arsenal of 16mm and challenged audiences, subjects, and filmmakers to confront sexism, poverty, and marginalization in the hope of developing ...

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Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada

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Overview

The activist documentary program Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle, which ran from 1967 to 1980 and produced films in both French and English, stands out as a particularly influential and original part of the National Film Board of Canada's critically acclaimed body of work. The films produced by this program were among the first to add portable video to the tested arsenal of 16mm and challenged audiences, subjects, and filmmakers to confront sexism, poverty, and marginalization in the hope of developing community as well as political awareness and empowerment. Pioneering participatory, social change-oriented media, the program had a national and international impact on documentary filmmaking.

An informative and nuanced look at a cinematic movement. Challenge for Change re-emphasizes not just the importance of the NFB and its programs but also the role documentaries can play in improving the world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773536630
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Waugh, professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University, is the author of The Romance of Transgression in Canada: Queering Sexualities, Nations, Cinemas. Michael Brendan Baker is Professor of Film Studies in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at Sheridan College. Ezra Winton is a PhD candidate in the Department of Journalism and Communication Studies at Carleton University and the founder of the Cinema Politca Network.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword Putting Ideas into the World: A Conversation with Naomi Klein about Starting Conversations with-Film Ezra Winton Naomi Klein xv

1 Introduction: Forty Years Later ... a Space for Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle Michael Brendan Baker Thomas Waugh Ezra Winton 3

Part 1 Historical Spaces: In the Heat of the Action

2 Grierson and Challenge for Change (1984) Colin Low 16

3 In the Hands of Citizens: A Video Report (1969) Dorothy Todd Hénaut Bonnie Sherr Klein 24

4 Saint-Jérôme: The Experience of a Filmmaker as Social Animator (1968) Fernand Dansereau 34

5 A Voice for Canadian Indians: An Indian Film Crew (1968) Noel Starblanket 38

6 Fiction Film as Social Animator (1971-72): Interview with Léonard Forest By Dorothy Todd Hénaut 41

7 Working with Film: Experiences with a Group of Films about Working Mothers (1975) Kathleen Shannon Elizabeth Prinn Doris Mae oulton Irene Angelico 52

8 Memo to Michelle about Decentralizing the Means of Production (1972) John Grierson 61

9 Can We Evaluate Challenge for Change? (1972) Dan Driscoll 66

Part 2 Community Spaces: Filming at the Margins

10 Media for the People: The Canadian Experiments with Film and Video in Community Development (1992) Peter K. Wiesner 73

11 Cities for Change: The Housing Challenge Gerda Johanna Cammaer 103

12 The En tant que femmes Series, the Film Souris, tu m'inquiètes and the Imaging of Women's Consciousness in 1970s Quebec Marie-Éve Fortin 117

13 Le mouton noir: Vidèographe and the Legacy of Société nouvelle Scott Mackenzie 136

14 The Things I Cannot Change: A Revisionary Reading Brenda Longfellow 149

Part 3 Screen Spaces: Spotlight on the Films and Filmmakers

15 You Are on Indian Land: Interview with George Stoney (1980) Alan Rosenthal 169

16 Cree Hunters of Mistassini: Challenge for Change and Aboriginal Rights Michelle Stewart 180

17 "Nation Time" at Kwacha House: The Transitional Modalities of Encounter at Kwacha House-Halifax Kass Banning 190

18 The Films of Maurice Bulbulian: Science and Conscience Thomas Waugh 201

19 The Curious Case of Wilf: Popular Music in Canadian Documentary Michael Brendan Baker 210

20 Portapak as Performance: VTR St-Jacques and VTR Rosedale Brian Rusted 218

21 Bonnie Klein, Saul Alinsky, and the American Experience Stephen Michael Charbonneau 234

22 Michel Régnier's "Films-Outil" Liz Czach 242

23 Léonard Forest and Acadia Jeanne Deslandes 251

24 Filmmaker as History: The Interventionist Films of Martin Duckworth Michael Lithgow 259

25 Les filles du Roy Jerry White 269

26 In Praise of Anomaly: Le bonhomme and Rose's House Kalli Paakspuu 277

27 Getting Close and Staying Far: Pierre Lasry and the Solo Moms Jason Lindop 285

28 Paper Wheat: Alternative Theatre Meets Alternative Filmmaking Christopher Meir 295

29 "Would I Ever Like to Work": The "Working Mothers" Films and the Construction of Community Rina Fraticelli 303

30 O, Canada! George Stoney's Challenge (1999) Deirdre Boyle 314

Part 4 Discursive Spaces: Theorizing Challenge For Change/Société Nouvelle

31 Société nouvelle: The Challenge to Change in the Alternative Public Sphere (1996) Scott Mackenzie 325

32 Meeting at the Poverty Line: Government Policy, Social Work, and Media Activism in the Challenge for Change Program Zoë Druick 337

33 Amateur Video and the Challenge for Change (1995) Janine Marchessault 354

34 Video: The Politics of Culture and Community (1996) Ron Burnett 366

35 Winds and Things: Towards a Reassessment of the Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle Legacy Marit Kathryn Corneil 389

36 "If a Revolution Is Screened and No One Is There to See It, Does It Make a Sound?" The Politics of Distribution and Counterpublics Ezra Winton Jason Garrison 404

Part 5 Conclusion: Contemporary Reincarnations

37 Filmmaker-in-Residence: The Digital Grandchild of Challenge for Change: Interview with Katerina Cizek Liz Miller 427

38 Thirty Years and Twelve Thousand Miles Away Vijaya Mulay 443

Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle: The Complete Filmography 453

Comprehensive Bibliography 513

Contributors 539

Index 549

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