International Cinema in Canada

Posted on: November 14, 2012 by Nettel Media

Category: General

International Cinema in Canada


Canadian’s are often proud of the cinema that gets produced “in-house” – by Canadian directors, featuring Canadian actors, or that are filmed in Canada. It gives us a chance to show off our talented people, beautiful landscapes, our bustling and innovative cities, and share our deeply rooted and diverse heritage. Part of our reputation as Canadians is that we’re a “cultural mosaic” – meaning that there are many cultures that are represented in Canada that make up this great land. International cinema that is shown in Canada does the same thing. International films are very valuable pieces of art or documentary that serve as expressions of identities, heritages, and cultures of other nations.


Many international films gain the majority of their attention and popularity in Canada at International Film Festivals, such as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and the upcoming Whistler Film Festival (WFF). The Cannes Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival are other very well known film festivals that screen international films, although they occur outside of Canada (France and the United States, respectively). The stage for international film is not limited to these festivals however. Many other festivals around the world celebrate and feature films from nations other than their own.


The success of an international film at festivals such as these is a great demonstration of the balance between art and business that filmmakers must always keep in mind. These films bring international perspectives to themes and issues that we can relate to in Canada, but also bring to light themes and issues that may be unknown to some viewers. That’s to say, international films provide a great space for audiences to learn more about unique histories, heritages and cultural practices of other countries.


Many of the films that win awards at these festivals become films that are enjoyed by audiences around the globe, regardless of background  or circumstance, and remain popular for generations. There are classics such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Italy, 1966) The 400 Blows (France, 1959) and Run Lola Run (Germany 1998) which are both enjoyed and studied by many people decades after their release. 2001 was a year when many notable International Films won awards – such as Amelie (France 2001), Spirited Away (Japan, 2001) and the highest grossing foreign film of all time, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Taiwan/Hong Kong/USA 2001). Other notable international films include Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico, 2006) and Buitiful (Mexico, 2010).


International cinema is a great way to communicate across boundaries – literal or otherwise. Film is a very powerful means to get an author’s message across to new viewers, so we must not take these films, producers, directors, and the cultures they represent for granted. It is also important to note that as Canadian viewers, we shouldn’t just base our viewing choices on the films that win awards.


At Nettel Media we are excited about being in the post-production process of a Canadian Documentary with an international theme. A Ripple on Life is Karene Nettel's second documentary shot in Uganda, which aims to touch on universal issues such as water and birthing mothers. If you would like to know more about our current projects visit our website or find us on Facebook.

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