CFC-NFB Feature Documentary Program-Supported Doc “The Messenger” to Screen at Hot Docs 2015

By Cory Angeletti-Szasz ● March 15, 2015 15:30


CFC is pleased to announce that alumna Su Rynard’s The Messenger is an official selection of Hot Docs. Development of The Messenger (then called Songbirds SOS) was supported by the second edition of the CFC-NFB Feature Documentary Program when Su was selected as one of four participants of the program in 2011. The Messenger is Su’s third feature film.

The Messenger is screening as part of the Canadian Spectrum, a competitive program showcasing the work of Canadian directors, sponsored by TVO. All feature-length titles in this program are eligible to win the Best Canadian Feature Award and the Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Award. The Messenger screens on Tuesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. and Friday, May 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre, and Sunday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Innis Town Hall.

Su Rynard’s wide-ranging and contemplative documentary The Messenger explores human’s deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to the base of Mount Ararat to the urban streets of New York, The Messenger brings viewers face-to-face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated Thrushes, Warblers, Orioles, Tanagers, Grosbeaks and many other airborne music-makers. These include hunting, light pollution, high-rise collisions, pipelines, pesticides and loss of migratory habitats.

“In recent years I noticed that the birds I used to see and hear were no longer around. I rationalized this thinking that I was too busy, or slept too late, or was somehow missing the birds. Then I read Bridget Stutchbury’s book Silence of the Songbirds and realized that – it isn’t me. Songbirds are disappearing, and we are losing them faster than any other time in human history,” said Su Rynard in her director’s statement.

There are still 10 days to support The Messenger’s Indiegogo campaign, which aims to raise funds to help to finish the film and to begin the distribution and outreach IMPACT campaign. They want the film to reach audiences everywhere, and they can achieve this goal by reaching their Indiegogo campaign goal. Please CLICK HERE for more information and to show your support for this wonderful documentary.

Hot Docs runs from April 23 to May 3, 2015 in Toronto.


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Cory Angeletti-Szasz

Manager, Communications (Mat Leave)