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First Winter

Year: 1981
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 27 min
Director: John Smith
Producer: John Smith, Sam Grana
Executive Producer: Roman Kroitor
Writer: Cynthia Scott, Gloria Demers
Cinematographer: David De Volpi
Editor: Richard Todd
Sound: Jacques Drouin, Jacqueline Newell
Music: Tadhg de Brun
Cast: Kathleen McAuliffe, Sharon O’Niell, Eric Godfrey, Kevin Kennedy
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

This historical drama depicts the first winter spent in Canada by a family of Irish immigrants in 1830. After the father (Kevin Kennedy) leaves their remote Ottawa Valley home to work in a logging camp, the mother (Kathleen McAuliffe) falls ill and dies, forcing the children to cope by themselves. First Winter is a beautiful and moving film that graphically illustrates a family’s struggle to survive in the face of enormous hardships and a deadly climate. It received an Academy Award® nomination for Live Action Short Film.

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