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Sponsored Films
Marc St-Pierre has studied film, theatre, and philosophy. He has been a collection analyst at the National Film Board of Canada since 2004.

In the 1960s and 1970s, over half the films about the environment were sponsored. They were ordered by various federal departments and all had a propaganda angle. Some are of high quality and over time have become classics.

A Monopoly
Sponsored films made up almost a quarter of all films produced and distributed by the NFB from its founding until 1980. For more than 40 years, the NFB was the exclusive producer of films for the federal government. From 1981 on, most sponsored films would be made by private-sector producers.

Well-Defined Goals and Target Audience
Foresters (view an excerpt) is a good example of the kinds of sponsored films produced by the NFB in the 1960s. Made for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Foresters had three clear goals: emphasizing the importance of forest conservation, fostering understanding of the work foresters do, and encouraging young people to go into the profession. While the issues raised in the film could be of interest to all, it is clearly aimed primarily at youth.

A Clear Message
Foresters (view an excerpt) does not offer a critical look at the forestry industry, and doesn’t attempt to cloak its purpose. The film seeks to persuade viewers that the forester, who works for the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, is doing his job well. He is an effective guardian of the forest with a powerful tool at his disposal: modern science. The idea of controlling nature through science recurs frequently in sponsored films of this era.

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See film excerpts
Operation Conservation
Excerpt (3:17)
Tomorrow Is Too Late
Excerpt (1:33)
Excerpt (1:26)
Tomorrow Is Too Late



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Excerpt  (1:33) 1974, production : Bané Jovanovic, Douglas Kiefer, Don Virgo
This film attempts to show that Environment Canada's Fisheries and Marine Services is doing its job well. The government has raised standards for salmon conservation and agents of the ministry conduct frequent and thorough surveys.