About our collection

80 years of Canadian history

The National Film Board of Canada’s film collection now comprises more than 13,000 titles. This impressive archive consists of documentaries in a range of styles, Second World War propaganda films, newsreels or newsmagazines, and sponsored films commissioned by other federal government departments. It also includes experimental films, web documentaries, interactive experiences and auteur animation, created using an endless variety of animation techniques (some developed entirely or partly at the NFB), as well as short- and feature-length dramas made for television or theatrical release. The NFB Collection reflects more than 80 years of Canadian history, from the founding of the NFB in 1939 to the present day. Through their works, the NFB’s filmmakers—whether seasoned veterans or emerging directors, Indigenous people, racialized persons or members of Canada’s linguistic minorities—document social issues and the concerns and lives of Canadians in every region of the country, and of people around the world, from authentically Canadian perspectives. Over the years, the films in the NFB Collection have garnered more than 7,000 awards and honours, including 4 Palmes d’or at Cannes and 12 Oscars.

A brand-new search tool

April 2023— We recently launched our new search tool for the NFB collection, which allows users to navigate through the institution’s entire collection of works. This tool replaces the one that used to be accessible from the old nfb-onf.gc.ca website:

Unlike the previous search tool, which only allowed users to search by exact title, the new tool was inspired by best online practices and the most efficient search engines, such as Google and IMDb. Users can now search using any keywords and they’ll get all relevant results, including results generated by related terms. For example, if you enter the name of the legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, you’ll not only find all the films she’s ever directed but also all the works that have been made about her or that she’s been involved with in any way. Underneath the search bar, you’ll also find multiple filters to better refine your results. Please know that the NFB’s Infrastructure team has placed redirection links between the old collection and the new one to make sure that no reference links were left broken after the move. Lastly, please rest assured that no data was erased or lost during the transition. If you can’t find important information that you used to have access to, it’s very likely that it’s on the way. Our team continues to work on the new collection tool and will do its best to improve it over time. For any additional information, please contact us.