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Montréal, Thursday, February 19, 2009 – Torill Kove, who won an Oscar in 2006 for her animated short The Danish Poet, has come to the defence of the National Film Board (NFB). In a video unveiled today by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-FTQ), the filmmaker makes a plea for maintaining the NFB’s expertise in film animation. The video is available on YouTube or by hyperlink from the scfp.qc.ca and cupe.ca Websites.

It’s where I trained as an animator really,” Torill Kove explains. Over the years, NFB artists have become experts in film animation, a sector that has greatly contributed to the institution’s worldwide reputation. “They just took you under their wings and looked after your talent … in a little cocoon of creativity… (where) you don’t have to deal with the business of film making,” notes the filmmaker. She stresses the contribution and the support of the NFB staff whose years of experience make a world of difference to the artists. But Torill Kove is worried about the future of the NFB: “The National Film Board is being asked to do a lot for less and less resources… but you can only spread yourself so thin…”

We are delighted that someone of the stature of Torill Kove is supporting our mission and funding for the NFB,” says Serge Gaspard Gaudreau, President of a CUPE local at the NFB. “We have received a lot of support during our campaign to save the mission of the NFB and to restore its ability to function. We will be able to make our voice heard by the Members of Parliament in order to preserve this national treasure.”

Following Benoît Pilon, Alanis Obomsawin and Roger Frappier, Torill Kove is the fourth artist to join the At the NFB, the economic crisis is fifteen years old. See to it! campaign launched by the Institution’s CUPE unions. Over the next few weeks, three more film personalities will speak out on behalf of the NFB.

Since it was founded in 1939, the NFB has created more than 13,000 titles, won more than 5,000 awards, garnered more than 90 Genies, received over 70 Oscar nominations and landed 12 Oscars.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is proud to have the 260 NFB employees and technical staff among its members. CUPE has 7,000 members in communications in Quebec, and a strong presence in a number of other sectors, notably health and social services, education, urban and air transport, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, hydroelectric power and municipalities. With more than 105,000 members, CUPE is the biggest affiliate of the FTQ.

This press release and other information can be found on the website: scfp.qc.ca

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