Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment

19991 h 42 min 45 secFilm: Documentary


Direction: Peter Wintonick

Production: Adam SymanskyÉric MichelSally BochnerKirwan Cox

Script: Kirwan Cox

Co-produced by the NFB, Documentary East - Montreal, and ONF, Studio société et sciences.

Crisis, Lonely Boy, Chronicle of a Summer. You may not know these films, but you see their influences every day--in everything from TV news to music videos to Webcams. The cinéma vérité (or direct cinema) movement of the '50s and '60s was driven by a group of rebel filmmakers tired of stilted documentaries. They wanted to show life as it really is: raw, gritty, dramatic. Rich in excerpts from vérité classics, Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment is the first film to capture all the excitement of a revolution that changed movie-making forever. Director Peter Wintonick's Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media is one of the bestselling documentaries of all time; co-producer Éric Michel won the Cannes Palme d'or for 50 ans, by director Gilles Carle, and co-producer Adam Symansky won an Oscar for Flamenco at 5:15.

Subject categories

  • Film and Video Arts > Community and SocietyDocumentaryHistorical PerspectivesNational Film Board of Canada
  • History > Technological Perspectives
  • Social Studies > Contemporary Issues
  • Media Education > Documentary Film
  • Technology Education > Society and Technology
  • Arts Education > Visual Arts


Peter Wintonick
Adam Symansky
Éric Michel
executive producer
Sally Bochner
associate producer
Kirwan Cox
Kirwan Cox
Francis Miquet
Peter Wintonick
Marlo Miazga
Peter Wintonick
sound editing
Don Ayer
music recording
Geoffrey Mitchell
music editing
Jason Campbell
voice recording
Patrick Viegas
Serge Boivin
online editing
Denis Pilon
Sylvain Desbiens
Jimmy James
archival rights
Elizabeth Klinck
music clearances
Elizabeth Klinck
Jean-Pierre Beauviala
Michel Brault
Gillian Caldwell
Robin Cowie
Robert Drew
Jennifer Fox
William Greaves
Gregg Hale
Wolf Koenig
Roman Kroitor
Barbara Kopple
Richard Leacock
Douglas Leiterman
Terence Macartney-Filgate
Donn A. Pennebaker
Pierre Perrault
Karel Reisz
Jean Rouch
Hope Ryden
Floria Sigismondi
Frederick Wiseman
Albert Maysles


  • Honorable MentionInternational Film Festival
  • Special Jury AwardWorld Media Festival
  • Telefilm Canada Award - Category: Best Canadian Works / Feature length - (Tied with Panic Bodies by Mike Hoolboom) - with a cash prize of 2,000$Festival du nouveau cinéma
  • Director's Citation (Honorable Mention) AwardBlack Maria Film and Video Festival
  • Honorable Mention - Category: Arts and Culture International Film and Video Festival
  • Special Ecumenical Award - Category: Forum SectionInternational Film Festival
  • Gold CINDY AwardItinerant - International CINDY Competition