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Media History in Canada Database

Author: Druick, ZoŽ
Title: Projecting Canada: Government Policy and Documentary Film at the National Film Board
Year: 2007
Place: Montreal
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Abstract: The National Film Board of Canada, now in its seventh decade, is internationally acclaimed as a beacon of non-commercial filmmaking. In Projecting Canada ZoŽ Druick shows that the NFB, born out of a nation-building project, continues to be inextricably involved in the crises of nation, technology, and social scientific knowledge that shape the Canadian cultural landscape. Based on newly uncovered archival information and a close reading of numerous NFB films, Projecting Canada explores the NFB's involvement with British Empire communication theory and American social science. Using a critical cultural policy studies framework, Druick develops the concept of "government realism" to describe films featuring ordinary people as representative of segments of the population. She demonstrates the close connection between NFB production policies and shifting techniques developed in relation to the evolution of social science from the 1940s to the present and argues that government policy has been the overriding factor in determining the ideology of NFB films. Projecting Canada offers a compelling new perspective on both the development of the documentary form and the role of cultural policy in creating essential spaces for aesthetic production. Ė from the publisher