The National Film Board of Canada has commissioned idiosyncratic auteur Guy Maddin to create a short film to commemorate the NFB's 70th anniversary.

The project, Night Mayor, goes before camera on March 9 on location in the filmmaker's hometown of Winnipeg, the city memorialized in Maddin's critical hit My Winnipeg.

Maddin has apparently passed the last few months immersed in the NFB's vast archives -- since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions. Night Mayor is described as 'an imaginative cinematic riff on the significance of a public film producer.'The film is produced by Joe MacDonald out of the NFB Prairie Centre in Winnipeg.

NFB director-general Tom Perlmutter is seen as taking a qualified risk in the commission. Lying somewhere between national treasure and strange uncle, Maddin is known for his surreal and distinctly off-kilter visions.