Canadian films not your thing? Here are some suggestions you just might like

To celebrate the biggest National Canadian Film Day ever, CBC's Eli Glasner suggests 5 Canadian flicks that don't suck.

For the biggest National Canadian Film Day ever, a selection of cinema to turn haters into true believers

Wednesday, April 19 marks National Canadian Film Day, the annual celebration of Canadian cinema. This year's is the largest yet, featuring 150 films and more than 1,700 events. (NCFD 150)

Let's be honest: having a day to celebrate the best in homegrown cinema feels like being being forced to take your medicine. But with only a sliver of the box office returns, the Canadian film industry could use the boost.

Most Canadian films are made with a fraction of the marketing budget for the next Transformers movie. So how do you battle the Hollywood behemoth? Enter National Canadian Film Day.

Coinciding with Canada's 150th celebrations, this is the largest Canadian Film Day ever, featuring 150 films and more than 1,700 events.

So for those who roll their eyes at the mention of Canadian films, here's a place to start:

​If you like Big Little Lies, try C.R.A.Z.Y. 

If you enjoyed the visceral performances and beautiful visuals of Big Little Lies, you're now officially a fan of director Jean-Marc Vallée. So why not go back to the movie that put him on the map? It's the story of Zach, who hates Christmas, hockey and his three brothers. On the plus side, there's boys and David Bowie. A movie about a father's love told with rock 'n' roll flair.

If you like Crazy, Stupid, Love, try The F Word

For rom-com fans with a Harry Potter hankering, The F Word (also known as What If in the United States) is the tonic for all those sugary-sweet stories. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play two goofs in love trying to stay in the friend zone. Where's the Cancon? Toronto actually plays itself, and the refreshingly cosmopolitan attitudes make Zoe and Dan honorary Canadians.

If you like Pulp Fiction, try Rhymes for Young Ghouls

If director Quentin Tarantino grew up on a Mi'kmaq reserve, his first film might have looked something like Rhymes for Young Ghouls. With swagger to spare, director Jeff Barnaby gives us characters that are raw, real and haunted. A heist film set around a residential school? What took so long?

If you're tired of Twilight, try Ginger Snaps

Forget Bella mooning over Edward. For a real bite of girl power, check out Brigitte and Ginger, two awkward teen sisters whose lives change after a supposed wolf attack. It puts a whole new spin on "I am woman, hear me roar."

If you like Survivorman, try Project Grizzly

Before there was Les Stroud rubbing twigs together, there was Troy Hurtubise — the Hamilton inventor who decided to build a suit that would withstand a bear attack. Once encased in the suit, Hurtubise subjects himself to a battery of tests that would put Wile E. Coyote to shame. In 2017, Hurtubise would be the star of his own reality show. But this 1996 flick is a tale of man vs. beast you can binge in a single sitting.

Looking for more? Head over to the National Canadian Film Day website for list of free screenings and special guest appearances across the country.  

If you can't get out, CBC is offering a great selection of movies to stream online. The epic Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. The beauty of Manufactured Landscapes. Go ahead and click. We won't tell the boss. 

About the Author

Eli Glasner

Arts reporter and film critic

Eli Glasner is a national arts reporter and film critic for CBC News. Each Friday he reviews films on CBC News Network as well as appearing on CBC radio programs coast to coast. Covering culture has taken him from the northern tip of Moosonee, Ont. to the Oscars red carpet.