NFB makes films free online

This is great news. The NFB has an amazing collection of Canadian films, and it will begin the process of making them available online for free. So far, it looks like free access will be restricted to Canadians, but we can hope they will open up this treasure trove to the world.

The National Film Board of Canada has launched a new project to allow Canadians to see its films through online streaming.

Oscar winners such as 1952’s Neighbours, 1977’s I’ll Find a Way and 2004’s Ryan are among the more than 700 films now available for screening online at

The online screening room was created as part of a $1.3-million project to digitize the NFB’s collection of historic films.

“This is part of our ongoing response to the digital revolution,” NFB chair Tom Permutter said in an online news conference on Wednesday.

The NFB, which restructured its film programs over the past 18 months to free up resources for the digital project, plans to put 10 new films a month online.

Classics such as Mon Oncle Antoine and Nobody Waved Goodbye are free for online screening, along with pioneering animation by Norman McLaren and animated films such as The Big Snit and The Cat Came Back.


9 thoughts on “NFB makes films free online

  1. But one question. I notice they have a subscription fee for the rights to watch these films in classrooms. I truly do love the site. I think it is done right, allowing people to embed films into other media, search by keywords, etc. But do they really expect anyone to pay the fee?

  2. Pingback: Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy :: $1.3M for Canadian High School Students?

  3. Great post about our new site. The comment about educational broadcasting is a good one. In this project, there are some restrictions because not all films are available for online streaming, and even those that are cannot be made available for free group broadcasting. This is a matter of film rights; each film must be dealt with individually.

    As a sidenote to Rick’s Cafe Canadian, if you’d like further updates about the NFB’s ongoing online and educational activities, feel free to send me an email.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. Great to find out that there aren’t any country restrictions generally, but it sounds like we will have to see which can be released for streaming or restricted in other ways. I hope all of your favourites are available.

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