NFB will make Someone Like Me and Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy available for free on its website

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      There's some good news for lovers of documentaries by B.C. directors.

      The National Film Board has decided to make two superb films available for free this month for an indefinite period.

      On June 6, Sean Horlor and Steve Adams's illuminating look at the refugee process, Someone Like Me, will be on

      It tells the story of a gay man from Uganda named Drake, who was sponsored by a Rainbow Refugee Circle of Hope to come to Canada. Difficulties arise when some members of the group express concerns over Drake's propensity for partying. (Read the Georgia Straight's review here when it premiered at the 2021 DOXA Documentary Film Festival.)

      Then on June 13, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers's examination of how the Kainai First Nation is addressing addiction, Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, will be on

      In 2021, Tailfeathers won DOXA's Colin Low Award for best Canadian director for this documentary, which explored some of the links between colonialism and the opioid crisis.

      "Shot over five years and narrated by the director, the movie is a methodical, vérité portrait of nitty-gritty work," wrote reviewer Kevin Ritchie.

      "In addition to visiting people’s homes and listening to personal stories, Tailfeathers shows the kind of tireless grassroots work—in clinics and boardrooms, on street corners and at community events—required to convince people this new epidemic needs a new approach."

      Watch the trailer for Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy.

      The posting of these films will come after the NFB put three other B.C. films on its site last month, including Vancouver director Julia Kwan's Everything Will Be. It's a feature-length documentary about Vancouver's Chinatown.

      Two of the short films that the NFB posted last month were Vancouver director Teresa Alfeld's "David Foster’s EGGGPAA" and Vancouver director Joella Cabalu's "Crystal Pite: Wordless Language".

      Foster, a world-renowned musician and producer, grew up in the Cadboro Bay neighbourhood in Victoria; Pite is a globally recognized choreographer and dancer who was raised in Terrace, B.C.