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Paddle to the Sea


Year: 1966
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 28 min
Director: Bill Mason
Producer: Julian Biggs
Writer: Stanley Jackson, Holling Holling
Cinematographer: Bill Mason
Editor: Bill Mason
Sound: Ron Alexander, Roger Lamoureux, Don Wellington
Music: Louis Applebaum
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

This classic children’s film, based on the story by Holling C. Holling, lovingly tells the tale of a little hand-carved Native man in a canoe, which makes its way through a vast system of rivers and lakes to reach the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

During a long winter night, a Native boy sets out to carve a man and a canoe. He calls the man "Paddle to the Sea," then sets the carving down on a frozen stream to await the coming of spring. The film depicts the adventures that befall the canoe on its long odyssey from Lake Superior to the sea, while offering vivid impressions of Canada’s varied landscape and life along its waterways.

Perhaps Bill Mason’s most famous film, Paddle to the Sea was immensely popular (especially in classroom screenings) and received an Academy Award® nomination for Live Action Short Subject.