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The National Film Board of Canada at the 2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest


Montreal – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be featured at Sheffield Doc/Fest with the European premiere of four-time Emmy winner John Kastner’s latest feature documentary, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible ( J.S. Kastner Productions/NFB), and a special presentation of the trailblazing interactive documentary A Journal of Insomnia (NFB). Commissioner Tom Perlmutter will also be on hand to present a new NFB initiative to create an international multiplatform destination for the world’s best auteur documentaries, launching in 2014.

In addition, as part of the NFB’s leadership in interactive documentary, transmedia pioneer Katerina Cizek will explore her own engagement with new media technologies to defend human rights, and offer a sneak preview of the latest project in the NFB’s multimedia, collaborative documentary experiment HIGHRISE (

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible will debut at Doc/Fest on June 12 at 5:45 p.m. at the Library Theatre, in the festival’s Global Encounters strand. This feature-length documentary film by John Kastner offers a timely and provocative examination of violence and mental illness, and the rights of both victims and patients.

Kastner is the winner of four Emmy Awards, including one for the 2010 NFB co-production Life with Murder. NCR: Not Criminally Responsible is produced, directed and written by John Kastner, with Deborah Parks as producer and Silva Basmajian as producer and executive producer for the NFB. The film is produced by J.S. Kastner Productions and the NFB, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and documentary Channel. NCR: Not Criminally Responsible had its world premiere last month at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.

A Journal of Insomnia

A Journal of Insomnia ( is a unique nocturnal online experience that breaks the silence around the distressing condition of insomnia, exploring it through the perspectives of people who suffer from insomnia and share their intimate experiences while in the grip of sleeplessness. Visitors to the project are invited to make an appointment at, where they can engage with content culled from close to 2,000 insomniacs from around the world.

This interactive production will be on display daily at Doc/Fest’s Crossover Lounge throughout the festival. It will also be featured at the Crossover Interactive Summit on June 12 at 5 p.m. in The Chapel, where producers and commissioners will discuss the changing face of documentary, with a Q&A in the Crossover Lounge on June 14. Marie-Pier Gauthier, production manager for A Journal of Insomnia and for NFB French Program’s Digital Studio, will participate in both events.

The original idea for A Journal of Insomnia was conceived by Hugues Sweeney, producer and executive producer for French Program’s Digital Studio at the NFB. The four main creators of A Journal of Insomnia are Guillaume Braun (creative direction and interactive scenario,, Bruno Choinière (art direction and interactive scenario,, Thibaut Duverneix (direction, post-production and interactive scenario,, and Philippe Lambert (music and interactive scenario, Monstre).

Katerina Cizek and HIGHRISE

On June 12 at 10:30 a.m. in The Chapel auditorium, HIGHRISE director Katerina Cizek will deliver a keynote presentation entitled “By Any Media Necessary,” charting her personal, political and technological transformations, which began in her early independent days as a child of the digital revolution when she used “any media necessary”―still cameras, video and early desktop publishing―to harness the power of documentary to defend human rights both at home in Canada and abroad.

Eventually landing at the NFB, she’s helped redefine the organization as one of the world’s leading digital content hubs with her projects, the Webby-winning Filmmaker-in-Residence and now the Emmy-winning HIGHRISE. Cizek’s keynote will include a sneak preview of her latest HIGHRISE project, an interactive collaboration with The New York Times utilizing the NYT’s undigitized photography archives. Cizek’s keynote will be followed by a Q&A about HIGHRISE in the Crossover Lounge on June 14, beginning at 2 p.m.

Tom Perlmutter and the NFB’s global documentary initiative

On June 14 at 3 p.m., NFB head Tom Perlmutter, who has spearheaded the NFB’s move into transmedia production and online platforms, will offer a presentation on a new international multiplatform destination for documentary works, which will feature high-quality auteur documentaries from the NFB and leading creators from around the world. Launching in 2014, with an initial rollout in North America and Europe, this project will offer viewers privileged access to directors, subjects and special online events, as well as a curated, customized experience.

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 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.


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