"Blind Vaysha" "Blind Vaysha"

Julie Roy, the former executive producer of the French Animation Studio at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), has been promoted: her new title is “director general of creation and innovation,” and she will now have broader oversight of the organization’s creative strategy.

The NFB, which is based in Montreal, is Canada’s prolific, publicly funded producer and distributor of artistic films and media projects.

Here are the details:

Julie Roy
Julie Roy
  • According to a statement, Roy’s chief mandate is “to strengthen the NFB’s creative leadership and establish an integrated programming vision in line with the organization’s strategic plan.” She assumed her new role yesterday.
  • Alongside animation, the NFB produces documentaries and interactive projects. Each department is split into English and French programs, reflecting Canada’s bilingual character. Roy will help define programming across all departments and programs.
  • Roy previously led the French Animation Studio for six years. Before that, she worked as an animation producer at the NFB for seven years. Her credits include Franck Dion’s Annecy-winning The Head Vanishes, Theodore Ushev’s Oscar-nominated Blind Vaysha (image at top), Michèle Lemieux’s Here and the Great Elsewhere, and Claude Cloutier’s Carface.
  • René Bourdages previously held the title of “director general of creation and innovation” at the NFB, but he left the organization in December, according to his Linkedin profile. Following Roy’s promotion, Marc Bertrand, another veteran animation producer at the NFB, will be acting as interim Executive Producer for the French Animation Studio.
  • Roy said, “For creators, the NFB experience brings the artistic and intellectual stimulation that comes with the institution, enriched by the diverse experiences that our employees have to offer. To create at the NFB is to benefit from a platform like no other for having one’s voice heard by Canadians.”
  • Claude Joli-Coeur, the NFB’s film commissioner, added, “Julie has the leadership and determination to inspire a vision of programming that encourages team synergy and the production of unique and innovative projects … In addition, her years in marketing throughout the early 2000s have contributed to her keen audience awareness.”
  • Falling production budgets at the NFB have recently caused tensions between artists and management. Last year, hundreds of filmmakers at the organization revolted against the reappointment of Joli-Coeur, who subsequently promised closer consultations with creators both inside and outside the NFB.
  • In December, we sat down for a two-part interview with Roy and Michael Fukushima, the executive producer of the English Animation Studio (who remains in his post). Read the first part here and the second part here.

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