Apple Stuff

12994 – Love that NFB!!

NFB’s iPhone app showcases Canada
MONTREAL├▒The National Film Board of Canada’s new iPhone application has proven to be a hit beyond this country’s borders, with 40 per cent more people downloading NFB content from abroad than in Canada.
Since its launch on Oct. 21, there have been nearly 80,000 downloads internationally and just over 56,000 in Canada from people seeking out the NFB’s documentaries and animation.
Among the top five plays on the iPhone are The Cat Came Back, Canada Vignettes: Log Driver’s Waltz and HA-Aki.
The iPhone app is just one of the international successes recorded in the 70th anniversary year of the NFB, the national producer and distributor of films, documentaries, animation and shorts.
Besides looking back at its fabled past, chair Tom Perlmutter said the NFB continued its efforts to position itself solidly in the future by exploring new markets.
“The international response was extraordinary,” Perlmutter said in an interview. “We’ve been tremendously well received.”
Besides making the rounds of international festivals, Perlmutter sat down with decision-makers in a number of countries to craft deals.
Among those was the president of China’s national educational broadcaster.
“We’re just starting discussions,” Perlmutter said. “They’re interested in looking at a wide range of things.” Some of those include science-based productions. The NFB is also working with Cirque du soleil on the film for the Canadian pavillion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
China was just one of a slew of high-profile showcases for the NFB this year. Others included the screening of The Strangest Dream, a documentary on the threat of nuclear weapons, at the United Nations and European parliament.
Perlmutter, NFB commissioner since 2007, says forging new partnerships domestically and internationally is key to doing business in this increasingly wired world.
“The world is changing,” he said. “We’ve got to think about new ways of doing things.”
And he adds that when the film board goes knocking on foreign doors, it’s giving taxpayers a good bang for the $65 million the government kicks into its coffers.
The board’s political bosses agree that the NFB is an effective salesman for Canada abroad.
“The National Film Board, especially with their online offerings, is a really easy and accessible way to tell our stories not only to Canadians but internationally as well,” said Stephanie Rea, a spokeswoman for Heritage Minister James Moore., the board’s retooled website, has had almost three million views since it launched a year ago. About 1,700 of the NFB’s 13,000 productions are online and more are constantly being added.