Did you know that The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is over 80 years old?! It has a huge collection of films, most of it free, that includes documentaries, animations, experimental films, fiction and interactive works. They even have children's films that focus on common real-life issues and challenges.
In our constant quest to find good kids' content, read on for our favourites from the NFB library. Our selections cover topics that teach kids about culture, family, perseverance, and more.
1. Jaime Lo, Small and Shy
Jaime Lo, Small and Shy, Lillian Chan, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
Jaime Lo is a shy Chinese-Canadian girl whose father must travel to Hong Kong for a year-long work assignment. In order to cope with his absence, she must use her creativity and love of drawing. In the meantime, Jaime learns all about the exciting city of Hong Kong.
This story offers us a lighthearted glimpse into a common dilemma that many immigrant families face, where one parent must work overseas in order to provide for the rest of the family back home.
2. Lights for Gita
Lights for Gita, Michel Vo, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
This animated short, based on the book by Rachna Gilmore, is the story of Gita, an 8-year-old girl who can't wait to celebrate Divali - the Hindu festival of lights - in her new home in Canada.
But it's nothing like New Delhi, where she comes from. The weather is cold and grey and a terrible ice storm cuts off the power, ruining her plans for a party. Obviously, a Divali celebration now is impossible. Or is it? As Gita experiences the glittering beauty of the icy streets outside, the traditional festival of lights comes alive in a sparkling new way.
3. I Want A Dog
I Want a Dog , Sheldon Cohen, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
In this animated short by Sheldon Cohen, young May wants a dog more than anything else in the world. She thinks about dogs all the time; she talks about them, reads about them and covers the walls of her bedroom with dog pictures.
But every time she asks her parents for a puppy, they tell her to wait till she's older. But sticking to her motto "If at first you don’t succeed, try again," May comes up with an ingenious idea to change her parents' minds. Based on the book by Dayal Kaur Khalsa.
4. Roses Sing On New Snow
Roses Sing on New Snow, Yuan Zhang, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
In this animated short, based on a story by Paul Yee, Maylin cooks mouth-watering meals at her father's restaurant in Chinatown, but her father and brothers take all the credit. When a dignitary from China visits and tastes one her dishes, Maylin finally earns recognition.