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The National Film Board of Canada announces the theatrical release of ABSENCES a documentary film by Carole Laganière


Montreal — After its world premiere to a packed house at the Montreal World Film Festival, Absences, a film by Carole Laganière, will have its theatrical release on September 20 at the Cinéma Excentris in Montreal and will then be screened on September 22 at the Cinéma Cartier, in Quebec City, as part of the Festival de cinéma de la ville de Québec. Produced by Colette Loumède of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Absences was directed by the filmmaker during her two years in the NFB’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program, starting in 2011.

Describing this experience, Carole Laganière says, “The NFB residency gave me creative freedom that pushed me to direct a film outside my comfort zone. It let me take an approach to film that I could never have taken anywhere else. The latitude that I was given and the confidence that I felt about my work during these two years were tremendously rewarding throughout the entire process of creating the film.”


In her latest film, Carole Laganière investigates various forms of absence, taking her audience on a journey through Croatia, Quebec, and Ontario. Through the captivating beauty of its images, this intimate documentary, with the feeling of a “road movie,” gently leads viewers to explore other people’s quests and to reflect on the absences that they themselves have experienced.

Absences presents four protagonists, each of whom is dealing with a form of absence in which feelings of loss and resilience coexist. Ines is an immigrant who has returned to Croatia to look for her mother, who abandoned her in 1993 during the war in former Yugoslavia. Deni is a Canadian-American author ( Cures for Hunger, Milkweed Editions, 2012) who sets out in search of his Quebec roots to reconstruct his family story and fill the void in his uncertain, fragile identity. Nathalie is desperately searching for her sister Marilyn, who disappeared suddenly more than five years ago. And lastly, there is the personal drama that the director herself is living through, watching her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, slowly slip away as her memory vanishes. Out of this chain of lives built on loss, a work emerges in which multiple voices express the endless subtlety of human emotions, both intimate and universal.

About Carole Laganière

After directing several prize-winning fiction films ( Le mouchoir de poche, Jour de congé, and Aline), Carole Laganière now dedicates herself entirely to documentary, a genre that lets her combine her social and artistic concerns. She won gold awards for Best Canadian Documentary at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival in two years back-to-back: for The Fiancée of Life in 2002 and The Moon and the Violin in 2003. East End Kids (2004) and East End Forever (2010) are works by a mature artist with a compassionate yet critical eye.

74 min 39 s

Starting September 20 at the Cinéma Excentris in Montreal
3536 St. Lawrence Boulevard
(with the director in attendance on September 20 and 21)

On September 22 at the Cinéma Cartier in Quebec City
1019, avenue Cartier
(with the director in attendance)

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animated films. The NFB has produced over 13,000 films and garnered over 5,000 awards, including 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and over 90 Genies. To view NFB’s acclaimed content, visit or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.


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