Every year, our team takes part in a little activity we’ve all become really fond of: our end-of-the-year staff picks. The rules are simple: the title has to have been added to NFB.ca in 2019 and be available for free viewing.
We have hundreds of films that can be viewed free of charge on our site, and this list is a fun little place for you to start watching the hidden gems you might have missed throughout the year.
Here are our picks for 2019. What were yours?
The Fake Calendar
Funny and real, Meky Ottawa’s Hothouse12 short is the neon-bright tale of a person who just wants to stay home. And honestly, who hasn’t used a creative white-lie to get out of a social engagement in order to enjoy some primo me-time?
In The Bassinet, filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung explores the tensions between her cultural identity and queerness—and the anxiety at what bringing a baby into her world would mean. Tiffany’s delivery of such a personal story is both humorous and honest, and courageous enough to conclude with more questions than answers.
Twenty-four Hours in Czechoslovakia
For my staff pick I’ve chosen the 1968 film Twenty-four Hours in Czechoslovakia, which follows hockey star Stan Mikita on a visit to his native Czechoslovakia for a family reunion. Focusing not only on Mikita but on everyday people living their lives, the film takes a beautiful, sensitive look at the rich culture and 700-year history of this country in the heartland of Europe.
This year, we enriched our online collection with many archival works and previously unreleased shorts from the filmography of Alanis Obomsawin. You could easily spend hours watching these newly added titles, but if you only have a minute or two, these shots of mischievous children from the Attikamek community of Manawan will warm your heart.
Science fiction lovers will gobble up this spectacular visual feast by David Barlow-Krelina. Follow Dr. Sommervogel’s patient as he prepares to undergo a mysterious surgical procedure. A fascinating, meticulously crafted story that won’t leave you indifferent.
A mutually dependent relationship is broken by a washing-machine repairman. A gem of a short film.
Chronicle of A Genocide Foretold – Part I: Blood Was Flowing Like A River
A difficult, sometimes unbearable, but absolutely essential film on the Rwandan genocide.
With finesse and whimsy, Charles depicts the everyday life of an ordinary boy who’s neglected by his ill mother. A moving and beautifully made animated film.
Way of the Hunter
Former hunter Robert Moberg has put away his rifle, preferring to stalk wild game with his camera. Filmed in British Columbia, this magnificent documentary shows us a natural world that’s still untouched by humans.