NFB and CFC Partner to Present Revamped Creative Doc Lab Focused on Innovative Storytelling

NFB and CFC Partner to Present Revamped Creative Doc Lab Focused on Innovative Storytelling

Feature documentary lab aims to help filmmakers push boundaries and embrace creativity

Toronto, May 20, 2015 – Filmmakers all over the world are pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, creating new and exciting ways to engage with expanding audiences. On the heels of this new wave of feature documentary filmmaking, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have joined forces to present an innovative high-level creative and marketplace catalyst, the NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab, focusing on cultivating creative risk-taking and helping to further establish Canadians as world-class documentary storytellers.

Set to begin in September 2015, the Lab builds on the success of the first two documentary programs presented by the CFC and the NFB. This refreshed Lab embraces the exciting changes within the world of feature docs, and aims to increase the focus on creative risk-taking, reaffirming the organizations’ approach and commitment to the art of feature documentary storytelling.

Designed to meet the demands of a shifting industry, push the creative storytelling process and refine and elevate filmmakers’ creative vision, this talent and project lab will invite four innovative and artful storytellers to engage in an inspiring and rigorous creative development process. Comprised of group sessions, peer-to-peer collaboration, and individual project mentorship from some of Canada’s and the world’s top documentary filmmaking professionals and industry leaders, the Creative Doc Lab will enable filmmakers to generate and deliver materials that will catalyze real interest and support for their project in the global marketplace.

“Our driving force for this program is to inspire our creative community to advance the art of feature documentary storytelling,” said Kathryn Emslie, Chief Programs Officer, CFC. “We are proud to support innovative and artful storytelling, talent and projects that we believe will engage and attract a global audience.”

“The NFB aspires to create pioneering documentaries, pushing boundaries in non-fiction storytelling and delivering a unique vision to Canadians and the world,” said Anita Lee, NFB Executive Producer/Creative Doc Lab Advisor. “Our partnership with the CFC has already produced some truly exceptional films, and I’m very excited about the potential for the revitalized NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab and the impact it can have on creative documentary in Canada.”

The NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab is open to filmmakers from across Canada with compelling feature documentary proposals who have a minimum of 90 minutes of produced work in short and/or long format documentary and/or narrative projects. Building on their feature documentary concepts, the Lab will expand the filmmakers’ creative visions and practical skill set, while enabling them to realize the full potential of their projects. Applications open today and the deadline for the 2015-2016 Lab is July 6, 2015.

The first two editions of the CFC NFB documentary programs were hugely successful. Eight project were developed through the programs, including Sarah Polley’s critically acclaimed Stories We Tell, which was named by TIFF in 2015 as one of the top ten Canadian films of all time; Yung Chang’s The Fruit Hunters, which won the 2010 Shaw Media-Hot Docs Forum Pitch Prize; and Su Rynard’s The Messenger, which recently saw its world premiere at the 2015 Hot Docs and was a runner up for the 2015 Vimeo On Demand Audience Award. Building on the rich and rewarding results of the previous editions of the program, the new specialized NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab seeks to help filmmakers push their thinking about documentary storytelling, provide a forum for them to accelerate the development of ideas, and think strategically about the feature documentary market and how to best position their projects for success. For more information, including additional details and application information, please visit:

Social media links:



Twitter: @cfccreates


Instagram: cfccreates



Twitter: @thenfb


About CFC
CFC accelerates the careers of the brightest talent in film, television, screen acting, music and digital media. A charitable organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities, industry collaborations and creative partnerships for top creative content leaders. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices to the world. For more details, visit

About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 14 Canadian Screen Awards, 11 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Communications Specialist, CFC
416.445.1446 x463

Jennifer Mair
Publicist, National Film Board of Canada
(t) 416.954.2045 (m) 416-436-0105