Production and distribution of P.O.V. documentary




-in production



The Tightrope of Life   Squat!
L'Imposture Rivières d'argent
Chercher le courant Everest from within
BAS! Au-delà du Red Light Méchante job
Earth Keepers Arjuna
Driven by Dreams The Kids Next Door

The French Spirit

The Fight for True Farming 9, St-Augustin
Seeds of Hope Baby Business

Josef's Daughter

King of Drums
K2 Ascending Journal
Oscar Thiffault
Sur les traces de Riel
Depuis que le monde est monde

The Tightrope of Life
Documentary by Violette Daneau
Produced by Claude Cartier and Sylvie Van Brabant
2010, 92 minutes

French, Spanish & English Subtitles

A road movie for the soul, The Tightrope of Life, is a documentary feature film that stems from the childhood prayers of the director who, at age seven, asks God to “let me live till I’m 20.” Now 59, Violette Daneau explores mortality through a series of encounters with people confronted by death either through their professional activities or their state of health. She also delves into traditions and rituals surrounding this ultimate taboo. Surprisingly, her quest puts her whole life into perspective.

Filmed in Quebec, Switzerland, Spain and the United States, this personal journey is a dynamic, courageous and sometimes troubling trek through the human cycle: from birth, to life, to death.


Distribution: Theatrical and screenings in Canada, Festivals and Institutional DVD Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
Consumer DVD Imavision
Other markets Films 2.0


The Fallacy

Documentary by Ève Lamont
Produced by Nicole Hubert
2010, 93 minutes
, English Subtitles

The current trend to label prostitution a profession “like any other” has met with opposition from women who have actually been involved in the sex trade. With clarity and courage, they reveal the hidden side of so-called “sex work,” which is never an informed choice leading to wealth, pleasure and freedom.

The women are 22, 34 and 48 years old and live in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa. They have recently given up prostitution or are trying to escape it. They put up a fierce fight to turn their lives around and reintegrate into society. This documentary shot in cinéma vérité style is a candid look at a prostitute’s reality.

In a long journey fraught with hurdles, each women seeks to gain control over her life, rebuild her self-esteem and find true happiness. Given the few resources available, a researcher and anthropologist sets up an independent centre to support these women in their struggles.
Official Competition Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal 2010.

• Official competition Rencontres internationales
• du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) 2010


Distribution: Theatrical, International sales and Festivals Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
Home Consumer and Institutional markets Canada National Film Board of Canada


Chercher le courant
Documentary by Nicolas Boisclair and Alexis de Gheldere
Produced by Denis McCready and Nicolas Boisclair
2010, 85 minutes

French, English & English Subtitles

English synopsis coming soon.

• Winner of the Audience Award offered by Canal D, Rencontres
• internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) 2010

- Special Mention by ÉcoCaméra's jury members,Rencontres
• internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM) 2010

Distribution : Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc

BAS! Beyond the Red Light
Documentary by Wendy Champagne
Produced by Denis McCready and Wendy Champagne
2009, 77 minutes

Hindi, Nepali, English
& English Subtitles

How can you create a future from a past that dares not be told? In BAS! Beyond the Red Light 13 young girls sold into Mumbai’s infamous network of gated brothels confront the inner and outer perils of life after rescue and reveal the very human story inside the big business of child trafficking.

As wards of the court these young victims from remote corners of the Indian subcontinent are flung together and held virtual prisoners in a four-story suburban shelter in Mumbai until they come of age. Here they confront not only the pain of their recent past but also the stark choices in their futures: a fifty-fifty chance of being re-trafficked, marriage arranged through the Foundation with men twice their age or domestic servitude.

The film explores this lesser known issue of rehabilitation and reintegration of child victims from these girls point of view. We move between gated brothels and guarded dormitories to a rehearsal studio where the girls practice bhangra dance moves learned from lazy afternoons in front of the communal TV and rehearsed in regular dance therapy classes, to tell their stories to the rest of the world.

Through intimate, sustained access to these former victims and to Mumbai’s underworld, BAS!
Beyond the Red Light interweaves dance rehearsals and candid observations from the girls themselves with testimony from a trafficker, a local Red Light politician and workers at the Rescue Foundation.

Shot over the course of three and a half years and beautifully photographed by cinematographer Katerine Giguère, the film captures the extraordinary beauty and truth of the girls and juxtaposes this against the volatile and visually provocative backdrop of the largest Red Light area on the planet.

Bas! means : enough!

For more info on the film and it's mission :

• NFB Colin Low Award for most innovative Canadian
• Documentary, Doxa Festival, Vancouver

• Best Documentary, L.A. Femme International Film Festival

Distribution : Les Films du 3 mars

Earth Keepers

A Survival Guide for a Planet in Peril
(Visionnaires planétaires)

Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant, Marie-France Côté,
Lucille Veilleux, Peter Wintonick (Rapide-Blanc)
and Yves Bisaillon, Patricia Bergeron
(National Film Board of Canada)
2009, 82 minutes
English Naration & Subtitles

This documentary traces the quest of Mikael Rioux, a young activist from Trois-Pistoles, Quebec. Eighty-year-old Christian de Laet, a pioneering Canadian environmentalist, Rioux's guide and mentor, urges him to go and meet visionary men and women implementing innovative projects for the future of society.

In Earth Keepers, we meet India’s Ashok Khosla, head of Development Alternatives, which is putting development back in the hands of local populations. He believes that if politicians show true willingness, world poverty could be eliminated within five years. We also meet Canadian eco-designer John Todd and his “living machines,” which mimic the cycles of nature for waste-water reclamation; Todd states that we have the ability to reduce our impact on the environment by 90 percent immediately. We encounter Sweden’s Karl-Henrich Robèrt, developer of
the Natural Step method for managing municipalities and large corporations, based on a creative vision of the future. He believes that this scientific method is the basis for true sustainable development. Lastly, we meet Kenya’s Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has seen millions of trees planted by women who are taking the future of their country into their own hands. This grande dame, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, is proof that perseverance and passion can
turn a grassroots initiative into salvation for an entire people – and even, she believes, the planet itself.

After meeting these realist visionaries, Mikael returns home pumped up, confident and driven by a sense of urgency. Therein lies the great strength of this documentary: This young man’s inquiry becomes our own, and a vibrant plea to end our lethargic ways.

Earth Keepers, with its eloquent imagery, evocative soundtrack and dynamic editing, conveys clear-minded hope and is a remarkable, inspiring survival guide for all those who refuse to give up, despite the enormity of the challenges we may face.

More on

• Best Canadian Long Form Film, Planet in Focus 2009
• Official Competition, features IDFA 2009
•  Audience Award, Festival de Films de Portneuf
• sur l’environnement 2010
•  Finalist in Best documentary about Science and Nature category,
• Gémeaux gala 2010
• Environmental Award, Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF)

Distribution : Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
National Film Board of Canada



Driven by Dreams
(À force de rêves )
Documentary by Serge Giguère
Produced by Nicole Hubert (Rapide-Blanc)
and Colette Loumède (National Film Board of Canada)
Executive producer: Sylvie Van Brabant
2006, 83 minutes
English Subtitles

What do musician Reine Décarie, painter Ray Monde, antique dealer Jean Lacasse, logger Gérard Allaire, miniature model airplane pilot Marc-André Péloquin and members of the Big Band du lundi soir all have in common? All are seniors between the ages of 73 and 92. In their twilight years they all cultivate a passion, an occupation in which they invest themselves totally, with an energy that is catching. These folks, none of whom knows the other, contribute to create a fragmented mosaic of segments, filmed over a long period of time by filmmaker Serge Giguère, who loves to hang out with life’s humble but fascinating handymen.
Shot in a direct, informal style, Driven by Dreams attempts to link these separate human destinies together, assembling them by focussing on corresponding, complementary elements in their lives. Thanks to the vision of the image-maker, these diverse poetic, personal universes come together to mutually enrich each other, even though the individuals never meet face-to-face. The passage of time, each character’s anonymous life story and specific environment, and particularly, the attention given to each individual’s personal rhythm serve to highlight the existence of universal values that make these individuals truly a part of History.

• Prix Jutra, Best Documentary, Montreal, Canada, 2007
• NFB Prize for Best Canadian Documentary,
• Calgary International Film Festival, 2007

• La Vague Prize for Best Documentary, International Francophone
• Film Festival in Acadie, Moncton, Canada, 2007
• Special Jury Prize Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs,
• Toronto, Canada, 2007

Distribution: National Film Board of Canada 


Documentary by Francine Tougas
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
2006, 52 minutes
English Subtitles

In Dorion, a small town west of Montreal forty adolescents between the ages of 14 and 16 board a school bus. They will get only as far as the level train crossing on this October evening. Their bus is crushed by the impact and momentum of a train rolling at full speed. Twenty are killed, including the driver. It is a tragedy that makes headlines the world over. October 7, 1966, is a day burnt into the memory of a town. For the survivors, the witnesses, relatives and friends things will never be the same.

I am one of them, and even now, 40 years later I still find that I have no desire to forget the night that brought me face to face with the brutal horror that life can bear. I want to know how my friends, the survivors of this accident coped with this tragedy over the course of their lives, knowing that they had lived while their friends, brothers and sisters were dead.
At my age it is common for one to reach back into the dreams of youth and conjure a smile and a bit of strength to carry on. But how can you do that when your past has been shaken by such an event? That is what I wish to find out, with the hope that perhaps the answers will bring solace and peace of mind to myself and my fellow survivors.

• Best documentary point of view, Golden Sheaf Awards,
• Yorkton Film Festival, 2007 

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc



The Fight for True Farming
(Pas de pays sans paysans)

Documentary by Ève Lamont
Produced by Nicole Hubert
2005, 90 minutes
English Subtitles

Agriculture is in a global crisis. The agribusiness corporations’ obsession with productivity is harming the environment and the quality of our food. Under pressure from globalization, farmers are seeing declining revenues, and family farms are disappearing one after the other. “The money doesn’t go to the farms now; it goes to the companies’ labs,” says one farmer.

In The Fight for True Farming, Ève Lamont sides with well-informed farmers all over the world in condemning the social, environmental and health problems caused by factory farming. The documentary filmmaker (and sometime gardener) travels to rural areas of Quebec, the Canadian West, the US Northeast and France. Everywhere, her camera captures the ravages of industrial agriculture: excessive use of fertilizers and other chemicals that cause water pollution; intensive deforestation and single-crop farming, which progressively destroys wetlands and entire ecosystems; large-scale animal farming that uses drugs and other growth stimulants; and the proliferation of GMOs, with the attendant threat to biodiversity. Lamont meets with farmers who are worried that their organic and conventional crops will be contaminated by genetically

Agrochemical multinationals’ desire to control agriculture has prompted farmers’ and citizens’ movements to react all over the world. In Europe and North America, farmers promote a new vision of agriculture, opting to grow organic crops and rely on methods that limit the use of chemical inputs. To ensure they are paid a fair price for their work and simultaneously produce healthy, quality foods, they develop new strategies for independent marketing that favour direct links to consumers.

The Fight for True Farming is a film of grim lucidity but also irrepressible hope. All over the world, a current of resistance is emerging on the part of both farmers and consumers. These united voices insist it is possible to grow and produce food differently, even on a large scale, while maintaining respect for the environment and self-sufficiency of growers.

Distribution: National Film Board of Canada 

Seeds of Hope
(L’Ile aux fleurs)
Documentary by Katerine Giguère
Produced by Katerine Giguère and Sylvie Van Brabant
2005, 56 minutes
English Naration & Subtitles

At times, the “charity” concept of foreign aid often createss dependencies and corruption that can do more to hinder than to help. In The setting isSeeds of Hope, set on an Indonesian island isle, in Indonesia where our two well- meaning protagonists wonder what they have gotten themselves into. They quickly realize that if they do not distance themselves from the local aid organizations, that their projects — planting projects of medicinal herb gardenss and creating jobs creation through eco-tourism — will come to nothing. After months of language studies and fruitless meetings, they find the village of Lekolodo. There, they and embark on a journey with these familiesthe inhabitants that will profoundly change them all and ultimately become an model of example in autonomy cited by the Indonesian government. Seeds of Hope is a touching example of tenacity in the face of petty minded opposition.

• Audience Award and Prix Découverte (1st Film), Festival de Films
  de Portneuf sur l’Environnement, Saint-Casimir, Quebec, 2006
Distribution: 7e Art
Institutional Canadian distribution
: Moving Images


Josef's Daughter
Documentary by Ilana Linden
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
2005, 52 minutes

As she turns 50 Ilana’s father Josef is dying. The picture of decay and death she witnesses intensifies the sensation of her imminent decline. She decides to revitalize her life via her body by following a rigorous body building program, to make herself robust and resilient so that mid-life can lose some of its terror and become a place of promise.

As she sheds the pounds and chisels a new body Ilana explores with unabashed honesty: aging, mortality, youth, and beauty.

When Ilana’s father dies she finds herself mourning for a man she hardly knew. The need to understand who her father was takes her on a journey that reveals what has shaped her, who she is, and what she is becoming.
Josef’s Daughter is a compelling meditation on mortality and family dynamic, taking a visceral look at one woman’s journey through the cycle of life.

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
Institutional distribution Canada: Moving Images
Distribution U.S.A.: Terra Nova Films

K2 Ascending Journal
(K2 Journal Vertical)

Documentary by Claude-André Nadon
Produced by Katerine Giguère and Sylvie Van Brabant
2004, 45 minutes
English Naration & Subtitles

In the summer of 2003, alpine climbers Claude-André Nadon, Sylvain Geneau and Alfred Schreilechner attempted the most difficult and dangerous mountain of this passionate sport,

This film is Claude-André’s journal, an intimate dialogue between a man and a treacherous mountain exploring the point of view of the climber from without and within as he speaks to his camera, against a backdrop of spectacular beauty and omnipresent danger. We witness the exhaustion, but also the camaraderie as the climbers create a fragile strand on vertical walls of stone.

In this film, Claude-André Nadon brings us to the top of the world and gives us a privileged view of the true spirit of mountaineering because the peak is not the end for all.

« What I learn from a mountain is unique. For me, alpine climbing is a shortcut to wisdom.»
- Claude-André Nadon

Distribution: Filmoption International


Sur les traces de Riel
Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant
Produced by Nicole Hubert and Sylvie Van Brabant
2003, 52 minutes
English Subtitles

While on tour in Western Canada in the ‘90s, musician and composer Normand Guilbeault discovered a chapter of history he was unaware of: the tragic story of the Metis people and their illustrious defender, Louis Riel. Inspired by the historical research he conducted and motivated by a desire to restore the reputation of this unsung hero, Guilbeault composed and produced Riel, Plaidoyer musical / Musical Plea, a musico-poetic work comprising 13 musicians and 2 narrators. The piece played in Montreal and Halifax, and toured Western Canada in 2001.

But Guilbeault felt a need to dig deeper and to approach the lives of the Metis for whom Riel was fighting more concretely. A denigrated and outcast people, how do the Metis today regard the hard defeats inflicted on them by History?

So, Normand Guilbeault set off on the path of Riel and the descendants of the Metis. His guide was Rose Fleury, a 75-year-old Metis with a passion for Riel and for finding a just reinterpretation of her people’s history. Together, they meet with historians, museum curators, contemporary Metis and descendants of Riel who reexamine history daily.
Rose and Normand repeat Riel’s mythic journey from St. Boniface, Manitoba, to Batoche, Saskatchewan. Their trip takes them through landscapes of refined beauty verging on the sublime, to people whose testimonials are, still today, filled with the weighty controversy and tension generated by events of over 125 years ago. Opposing views of the figure of Riel are evoked. To some, he was a traitor and a madman; to others, a hero, pacifist, and the true father of Manitoba. The political and economical issues surrounding John A. Macdonald’s beloved transcontinental railroad are also evoked. We learn more about the conflict between hard-line Canadians devoted to the British motherland and partisans of a just and prosperous country for all - Natives, Metis and those of European stalk, from all nations and languages. Seen through the filter of the history of the Metis rebellion, the circumstances of the founding of Canada can be seen in a different light.

Excerpts of Guilbeault’s performance, Riel, plaidoyer musical / Musical Plea, punctuate and enliven this historical, subjective road-movie in which the very principles of Riel’s quest - justice, respect and courage - find a contemporary echo that will inspire all those longing for more justice in the world.

• Finalist Best Documentary, Festival Présence Autochtone,
 Terre en vues, 2003

Distribution: 7e Art


Documentary by Ève Lamont
Produced by Nicole Hubert
2002, 82 minutes
English Subtitles

Montreal, summer 2001. During the city’s acute housing crisis, young militants and people with poor lodging or none at all barricaded and occupied a vacant building, voicing their right to decent housing and a desire to live their own way. Their cliché ridden portrayal in the media makes them wary of the reporters sent to cover what is presented as a mini siège. But they do trust filmmaker Ève Lamont, and allow her to enter their lives, tell their story and present their vision on what life should be. Their project was eventually brutally dismantled, but their experiences in this film acclaimed served to present a microcosm of the harsh effects of real estate speculation and poor planning and indifference of government agencies.

« Its the biggest shock of this film: While we thought that the « bums » were inside, we discover in the end that they’ve been outside all along, in the guise of unscrupulous politicians and brown nosed bureaucrats » - Nathalie Petrowski, La Presse

• Best direction for a long form documentary, Hot Docs, 2003
• Humanitarian Prize Hot Docs
, Toronto, Canada, 2003

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
Institutional Canadian distribution: Moving Images

Rivières d'argent
A documentary by Michel Gauthier
Produced by Nicole Hubert
2002, 50 minutes

Between 1990 and 1994, the Quebec government accorded licences to private companies to operate 57 small hydroelectric damns, requiring the deviation of numerous Quebec rivers to produce electricity. The decision was highly controversial and a moratorium was declared. But in 2001, the moratorium was lifted and Quebec announced a new program to issue private permits for the production of electricity at specific sites. But this time, the population took things into their own hands and decided to act. Citizens formed collectives to protect their waterways, among the most beautiful in the province.

Michel Gauthier espoused the cause. His documentary follows several artist and citizen groups who led a crusade to force the Québec government to abandon private hydro-electrical production. Rivières d'argent is a thorough inquiry on the environmental impact of these projects. The film strives to understand as well as denounce. It provides a tribune for local promoters convinced of project benefits to the regional economy, as well as a platform for citizens who question the energy requirements motivating such projects, which they perceive as a threat to the development of a viable recreational and tourist industry.

In 2001-2002, Rivières d'argent stimulated public debate around the issue. The documentary was widely screened and fuelled the work of citizens committees questioning the pertinence of such government programs. The Adoptez une rivière coalition, supported by fifty artist- spokespersons, actually succeeded in blocking the dams. On November 26th, 2002, Quebec changed course, officially putting an end to the program. But is the case really closed, or should we remain vigilant? Today, director Michel Gauthier continues to screen his film as part of the campaign for public awareness. This topical issue arouses passionate debate and raises many questions.

« In Rivières d’argent, private promoters expostulate, citizens denounce, government attempts to minimize the issue, artists symbolically adopt rivers, and environmental activists raise their voices loud and clear. A lively and highly pertinent debate. »
- Tommy Chouinard, Voir

Distribution: 7e Art


Everest from within
(Un Everest de l'intérieur)
Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant and Claude-André Nadon
Produced by Nicole Hubert, Sylvie Van Brabant (Rapide-Blanc)
and Yves Bisaillon (National Film Board of Canada)
2001, 52 minutes
English Subtitles

In May 2000, four Canadians set off on an expedition to climb the perilous north side of Mount Everest without the use of oxygen or sherpas. The majestic Himalayas form the backdrop for this documentary as the four try to conquer the mythical top of the world. Anxiety, courage, friendship and rivalry : the group’s ordeal gives us a rare insight into the human condition under stress, and, while immobilised on the edge of the mountain by extreme weather conditions, we can share, as if we were there, the emotions and tensions that afflict the group’s solidarity : threatening the dream of attaining the summit itself. Do they possess what it takes to succeed in such a hostile environment or is the journey just one of coming to terms with their own limitations?

Whatever the outcome, the group managed to capture these breathtaking images from the heavens, and deliver a moving testimony to the fragility of humankind while confronted by the mighty forces of nature.

« An intimate Everest, a stunning document that reveals the intimacy of those that lay their fate at the feet of the capricious mother godess of the world »
- Richard Chartier, La Presse
• Grand prix documentaire du Festival d’Autrans, 2002
• Prix Galaxi de l’Association canadienne des télévisions
•  par le câble
, 2001
• Nomination for Best Music, Gémeaux for television

Distribution: National Film Board of Canada 


Méchante job
Documentary by Ève Lamont
Produced by Nicole Hubert
2001, 70 minutes

Globalisation and increasing competition on world markets continue to cause massive layoffs and the deterioration of working conditions. Today unemployment and an unstable work environment affect a third of Quebec’s population.

Faced with a workplace in constant transformation, people from various regions of Quebec are developing alternative ways to live and participate in society, outside the norms of the traditional job market.

The artists of the Cochon Souriant work as a collective in their self-managed travelling theatre company. An almost totally self-sufficient family lives in the country, far from consumer society; mothers on welfare lobby for a citizenship income; while a businessman prefers social action to commercial enterprise. Each is redefining the true meaning of work in his own manner by placing emphasis on the concepts of reciprocal relationships, the informal exchange of good and services, and by investing in cultural and social projects while struggling collectively to better their existence. Such individuals seek control over their own lives and schedules, and strive to obtain meaningful results from the activities that occupy their time, conditions that cannot be found in today’s workplace. We discover a variety of experiences and activities that make us reflect on the place work occupies in our lives and our society.

Distribution: 7e Art


Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant
Produced by Nicole Hubert (Rapide-Blanc)
and Yves Bisaillon (National Film Board of Canada)
2000, 52 minutes

Arjuna is a surprising young man. When he was born in 1974, the doctors diagnosed him with Down’s syndrome, and told his parents that it was unlikely he would live to be six or seven. That was 25 years ago. Today, Arjuna is an artist with a love for life that inhabits the rich colors of his paintings. The flowers and mountains, the birds and lakes are a moving praise to the things that make up his days.

He is also a hard working member of the Maison Emanuel, an alternative therapeutic center north of Montreal where he is responsible for gardening, tending of the animals and many other chores.
In 1999 his paintings are selected for an international exhibition of handicapped artists from 34 countries to be held in Los Angeles. This special journey is the result of the many factors that have made Arjuna’s life creative and productive; the unflagging support of his family, the art therapist who has worked so hard with him, and Arjuna’s limitless enthusiasm and energy.

Arjuna bares his soul to all of us in this portrait. His life has been far from easy, but his way of embracing life is simply joyful. At the film’s premiere in Montreal the members of an association of parents of children with Down’s syndrome thanked filmmaker Sylvie Van Brabant for giving them a much needed tool to broaden the general understanding of this disorder, and show us how it is possible for these predominantly joyful and responsible people to participate as active members.

• Prix Fernand-Séguin - best production, Festival International
• de Multimédia et de la Vidéo Santé, 2000

Distribution: National Film Board of Canada 


The Kids Next Door
(Seul dans mon putain d'univers)
Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant
Produced by Lucie Lambert , Sylvie Van Brabant (Rapide-Blanc)
and Nicole Lamothe (National Film Board of Canada )
1997, 52 minutes
English Subtitles

(French version, 84 minutes)

They are four boys: Julien, Frédéric, Noé and Michel. Each is alone, facing an uncertain future, after years of being shuffled from one detention center to another. They have stolen and fought, used, abused and dealt in drugs. Each has a strong personality in his own right, wounded and vulnerable, yet at times enlightened by flashes of lucidity. In front of the camera, they want to open up and express their thoughts about parents, absent or present, and the influences that have shaped their earliest childhood. At the heart of their reflections is their struggle with violence, substance abuse, hopelessness, despair and exclusion. All are talented and intelligent, but they have not turned out as well as we could expect. Who’s to blame? Who can say?

Sylvie Van Brabant spent a complete year following these boys, listening to their stories and accompanying them in their efforts to make their way in the world and invent a future for themselves. A year later, it is time to take stock. Not about the general phenomenon of violence, its profound causes and ramifications, but rather to attempt to assess the difficult,

Seul dans mon putain d'univers (meaning Alone in my dammed world) is a brutal film that blends realism, sensitivity and compassion in its scrutiny of the soul of a generation whose despair, violence and drug abuse are symptomatic of a deeper social malaise. Testimony by Julien, Frédéric, Michel and Noé is heightened by the often virulent or embittered comments of street kids encountered along the way. The filmmaker’s intention was to give these young people a chance to express themselves. Their words shake our complacency and show us the extent of their desperation.


« Sylvie Van Brabant succeeds in getting these boys to reveal themselves in troubling moments of truth. Her film is not so much a cry of despair, but a wake-up call for us all to understand who these kids really are and to see ourselves as we are. »
- Serge Dussault, La Presse

• Prix Fernand Séguin, 1999
• Grand Jury Prize, Festival international du multimédia
 et de la vidéo santé, Montreal, Canada, 1999
• Nominee for best Quebec feature film at the Rendez-vous du cinéma • • québécois, Montreal, Canada, 1998
• Nominee Chalmers Award for Best Canadian documentary

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc
and National Film Board of Canada


The French Spirit
(Le trésor archange)
Documentary by Fernand Bélanger
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
1996, 76 minutes
English Subtitles

The French Spirit is a musical documentary about the French language in North America that takes us from the days of the colonists right into the future. On board the « French Spirit », an old Citroen, René Lussier and Claude Beaugrand, armed with a Nagra and a rare love of their language, travel the old “Chemin du Roy”, retracing Charles De Gaules’ historical trip, in search of their linguistic heritage and in the hope of finding the magic of the old popular québécois folk tales.

This conceptual road movie incorporates the people they meet and interview, and the historical voices that have shaped their lives. Lussier takes this original verbal material, mixes it with that of well known personalities such as singer songwriter Richard Desjardins, the poet Patrice Desbiens, Michel Chartrand, and translates it into a musical tale recounting the history of the French language in North America. We are treated to a collage of the folklore, political statements and creative writing that has marked the culture of the people they meet. Lussier’s music, inspired by the words, is unique, haunting and mesmerizing; he creates a sonic world that few are likely to forget.

Lussier’s work is close to filmmaker Fernand Bélanger’s own historical and cultural concerns and his vision of the linguistic situation in Québec.
The film is not only about the music, it is also about the history of Quebec with all its massacres, war measures, and its songs and tales of ordinary people.

« This fascinating documentary, as much a road-movie as a “cinéma vérité” piece, retraces with originality, boldness and humor the story of the French language in North America. »
- Marc-André Lussier, La Presse

• Honorable Mention, The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma,
•  Montreal, Canada, 1996

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc


9, St-Augustin
Documentary by Serge Giguère
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant (Rapide-Blanc)
and Nicole Lamothe (National Film Board of Canada)
1996, 52 minutes
English Subtitles

Raymond Roy is a 64-year-old idealist, an energetic social activist ready to give everything he has to those living on the edge: the alienated, impoverished and exploited members of society. Raymond is also a priest, doing what he has wanted to do ever since he was a teenager.
Filmmaker Serge Giguère paints an intimate portrait of a man who has spent 30 years fighting for an alternative vision of life in his community. The film is a blend of cinema vérité and social history that provides a view of the man and his work from without and within, from the poetry of his personal diary laced with doubts and self-criticism, to the many achievements of the community groups he helped

Filming over several years, Giguère gives us a sense of the changes in values and attitudes of those who run our society, along with the role of the community groups who provide solutions, inspiration and a sense of renewal.

Giguère’s images reveal the imagination of a social activist, a relentless Victoriaville legend who states, “For me, the most powerful factor for change is anger, chronic anger, the kind that gets under your skin and goes right to the bone.”

“Giguère returns to his beloved Victoriaville with this remarkable examination of the spread of consumer culture, where everything and everyone is disposable... Giguère’s careful portrait of Roy is alternately angry and humorous, but always inspiring.”
- David McIntosh, Hot Docs Focus On 2006

• Best medium-length film, Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois,
•  Montreal, Canada, l996
• AQCC award (Prix André-Leroux) for best medium length
 documentary, Montréal, Canada, l996
• Biography/History nominee, Hot Docs, Toronto, Canada, 1996
• Official competition, Visions du Réel, Nyon, Switzerland
, l997

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc


Baby Business

Documentary by Judy Jackson
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant (Rapide-Blanc)
and Don Haig (National Film Board of Canada)
1995, 59 minutes

Ideally, international adoption is a humanitarian solution to the misery of childlessness in the North, and poverty in the South. However, the number of people in the developed world waiting to adopt outstrips the supply of legally abandoned babies in the Third World. Middlemen are turning crossborder adoption into a baby market. The combination of unscrupulous lawers, corrupt officials and foreign couples desperate to be parents all too often creates a situation in which children become pawns in a ruthless game.

Baby Business is Judy Jackson’s journey through the international adoption maze. In El Salvador, anguished women are still trying to locate children snatched by soldiers during the brutal repression of the ‘80s; many of these children later ended up adopted abroad. In Mexico, parents lobby the government, convinced their lost children have been stolen for foreign adoption. In Guatemala, Jackson uncovers a system of illegal nurseries, called “casas de engorde” or fattening houses.
These scenarios reproduce themselves in many countries of the world today. But it doesn’t have to be this way. On a more hopeful note, the film documents a Haitian adoption program which eliminates the intrusion of entrepreneurial middlemen and is run with integrity and genuine accountability.

Baby Business is a plea – particularly to prospective parents and adoption agencies in developed countries – to fully understand the complicated process of international adoption.

• Gold Apple Award, National Educational Media,
• Oakland, California, 1996
• Certificate for Creative Excellence, International Film
•  and Video Festival, Illinois, 1996
• Finalist Award, New York Festival, 1996
• Gold Cindy, International Cindy Competition,
 Spring Valley, California, 1997

Distribution: National Film Board of Canada 


King of Drums
(Le roi du drum)
Documentary by Serge Giguère
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
1992, 54 minutes
English Subtitles

He’s been called the best drummer in Canada, the embodiment of Quebec jazz; he’s been compared to Buddy Rich, hailed as the Woody Allen of drums, and nicknamed the “Drummer King”. Guy Nadon is indeed all these things, but most of all he is a great musician, an outstanding composer and arranger. Edited in a staccato style matching the rhythm of Nadon’s music, this documentary introduces us to a fascinating and endearing personality passionately beating out tempos on the empty tins that were the only “instruments” his family could afford.

We fallow his career from the tough times to the glory days and listen in on some first-hand accounts of memorable jam sessions with other jazz greats. And in the end, we are totally spellbound by this man whose lifeblood pulses to the rhythm of his music.

« Creative genius can be found in the most unexpected places, as Giguère reveals in his high-energy portrait of East Montreal jazz drummer Guy Nadon... But as surreally engaging as Ti-Guy is, with renditions of his own rapid fire compositions such as “Scotch Tape” and “Inflation,” he is also a tragic figure, trapped by his own past and fears. »
- David McIntosh, Hot Docs Focus On, 2006.

« Giguère presents Nadon in a series of historical reconstructions, which give this fast-paced documentary its popular flavor – like a percussion solo in the manner of Ti-Guy Nadon. This popular, totally unpretentious drummer who says anything that comes into his head, literally bursts through the screen and out of Giguère’s film frames. »
- Pierre Demers, Factuel

• Best documentary one hour, Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois,
Montreal, Canada, l992
• Gémeaux award for television - Best research

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc


Oscar Thiffault
Documentary by Serge Giguère
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
1988, 56 minutes
English Subtitles

This humorous portrait of the whimsical Oscar Thiffault established Serge Giguère as a unique voice in Quebecois documentaries. Oscar is 75 years old, an almost forgotten legend with a life that tells the story of his people, their poverty and aspirations, and their love of a good time.
His music is a cross between traditional and country. The lyrics of his most famous tune Le Rapide-Blanc are innocently scandalous; a sing along tale about lumberjacks who are forced to leave their wives and girlfriends behind, preys to temptation and the seductive words of the stranger who comes a knocking.

Giguère’s camera follows Oscar’s humble trailer as he retraces the steps of his life, and lives out his fantasies of flying in the toy airplanes he concocts in his workshop.

Oscar Thiffault is an ingenious blend of live and archival footage that spans thirty years of history from the perspective of a working man who went from factories to fame and back again, savoring life every step of the way.

« From the Rocket Richard riots and the Sputnik launch to the arrival of parking meters and the banning of prostitution in Montreal by mayor Drapeau, Thiffault transformed everyday experiences into hilarious, toe-tapping, risqué social commentary. »
- David McIntosh, Hot Docs 2006

« The power of Serge Giguère’s film is that he is able to show us the in-depth personality of his incredible character, a relentless singer whose lyrics are a humorous chronicle of the last 40 years of Quebec history. »
- Michel Coulombe, Le Devoir

• Best documentary one hour, Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois,
 Montreal, Canada, 1988
• Honorable mention, Banff Festival, Banff, Canada, 1988
• Best movie on a Canadian Character and Best Editing,
• Golden Sheaf Award, Yorkton, 1988

Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc


Depuis que le monde est monde
Documentary by Sylvie Van Brabant,
Serge Giguère and Louise Dugal
Produced by Sylvie Van Brabant
1981, 64 minutes

The birth of a child is a basic expression of life in its totality. It constitutes the renewed awareness of the essence of what men and women are, in the respectful, dignified context of founding a family. While expecting their first child, Sylvie Van Brabant and Serge Giguère looked for a welcoming place to give birth. The place and the choice of the people they wished to be present at the birth motivated them to question the conditions for childbirth in Québec. For Sylvie, maternity was a privileged moment to re-appropriate her own body and to validate her personal knowledge and abilities. Serge supported her in this approach, and together they decided to make a film dealing

Depuis que le monde est monde is a hard-hitting documentary that allows us to accompany three couples during the birth of their child. In doing so, they help illustrate the analysis and propose viable alternatives to the medical intervention model that dominates the hospital milieu. As a demonstration of usual hospital practices in Québec, Luce and Marcel give birth with an obstetrician at Sainte-Justine Hospital. Linda and René choose to give birth illegally at home, accompanied by two midwives. And Francine and Jean, a couple from Beauce, fight for the right to have a birthing room at the Beauceville hospital, in order to prove that it is possible to give birth according to one’s convictions in a hospital environment.

Thanks to the media attention it attracted, Depuis que le monde est monde helped to revise thinking about birthing practices in Québec in the 1980s. As an outcome of this reflection, a movement of parents, health professionals and midwives organised a series of conferences, entitled Accoucher ou se faire accoucher, with the aim of providing recommendations to the provincial government on the issue. After 25 years, the debate is still going strong. In 2006, women obtained the right to home birth, with a midwife.
Distribution: Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc