Challenger: An Industrial Romance

1979 / 16mm NFB Release


Challenger: An Industrial Romance follows the development of a new generation of super executive jet. A totally new type of aircraft, the Challenger was designed to be faster, cheaper to fly and more comfortable than anything that had come before—but would the new aircraft make it off the ground? Challenger follows the struggle to turn a paper airplane into a technological and commercial success story.

About the Film

Nationally televised, Stephen Low’s first film, Challenger: An Industrial Romance, became an award-winning success, earning the young filmmaker the Grierson Award for achievement in documentary film and numerous awards at festivals around the world. The Challenger jet, too went on to become a success, not only as an executive jet, but ultimately in various incarnations including the regional jet that would become a key offering of the Bombardier corporation’s aerospace division.

Release date: 1979
Duration: two versions—57 min. 23 sec. / 27 min. 23 sec.
Format: 16mm
Producers: National Film Board of Canada
Distributed by: National Film Board of Canada (

Stephen Low
Director / Writer

Stephen Low / Michael Rubbo / Harry Gulkin / Roman Kroitor

Andreas Poulsson

Roger Hart


(partial listing)

Grierson Award for Achievement in Documentary Film

Columbus Film Festival (1981), “The Chris Award”

San Francisco International Film Festival (1980) “Silver Award”

Information Film Producers of America (1981) “Gold Cindy Award”

Information Film Producers of America (1981), “Best of Show”

U.S. Industrial Film Festival (1981), “First Place Gold Camera Award”