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press release: 17 NFB Films Featured at OIAF 2014

This year’s selection includes documentaries on Norman McLaren and Canadian cartoonist Seth

August 18, 2014 • Toronto, Ontario • National Film Board of Canada

A world leader in auteur animation, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will be showcased at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) from September 17 to 21, 2014.

Seventeen NFB films―including two world premieres―have been selected to this year’s festival. Premiering in the Official Competition – Animated Feature section is the animation-documentary hybrid Seth’s Dominion, Luc Chamberland’s film about the life of acclaimed Ontario-born cartoonist Seth. Also making its world premiere is Monsieur Pug, a new short by Academy Award nominee Janet Perlman (The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin), screening in the Canadian Showcase.

The festival will also present special screenings of two films created to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary film innovator Norman McLaren, founder of the NFB’s Oscar-winning Animation Studio: Donald McWilliams’ documentary Norman McLaren: Animated Musician, as well as Flocons, an independently produced short by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, creator of the Jutra Award-winning McLaren’s Negatives.

Soif by Michèle Cournoyer is in Official Competition in the Experimental/Abstract Animation category, while the NFB has three titles in Official Competition in the Narrative Short Animation slot: Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove, whose film The Danish Poet won an Academy Award in 2006, along with Rainy Days by Vladimir Leschiov and Pilots on the Way Home by Olga and Priit Pärn.

In addition to Perlman’s Monsieur Pug, three one-minute NFB shorts will be featured in the out-of-competition Canadian Showcase: Dominic Etienne Simard’s Éloïse’s Fir Tree, as well as two shorts from the NFB’s Hothouse program for emerging animators, Su-An Ng’s Itch and Brendan Matkin’s Observer.

Six more NFB animated shorts have been selected for special screening programs: Patrick Doyon’s Sunday, Dominic Etienne Simard’s Paula, Claire Blanchet’s The End of Pinky and Philip Eddolls’ Git Gob will be featured as part of “Hot Freaks: The New Generation of Canadian Animation,” while Koji Yamamura’s Muybridge’s Strings will be shown in the “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: Time and Animation” program, with Brandon Blommaert’s Batmilk screening in a program entitled “New Ghosts in the Ol’ Haunt: Regrets, Residues and Crossing Over.”

The NFB will also be offering iPad animation workshops for children using its acclaimed McLaren’s Workshop and NFB StopMo Studio apps, at the National Arts Centre.

Quick Facts

List of NFB films selected for OIAF:

Official Competition – Animated Feature:

o    Seth’s Dominion, dir. Luc Chamberland (40 min) – World premiere
The poignant inner life of Canadian cartoonist Seth, one of the world’s great storytellers in the form, is explored in an artful fusion of filmmaking techniques that perfectly captures Seth’s manifold creative universe. Produced for the NFB by Marcy Page and Gerry Flahive.

Official Competition – Experimental/Abstract Animation:

*   Soif, dir. Michèle Cournoyer (8 min) – North American premiere
On the screen of her life, a woman drinks away her youth, becoming completely absorbed by the desire to satisfy her thirst. Co-produced by Unité centrale (Marcel Jean and Galilé Marion-Gauvin) and the NFB (René Chénier).

Official Competition – Narrative Short Animation:

o    Me and My Moulton, dir. Torill Kove (14 min) – Ottawa premiere
Unexpected drama ensues when a seven-year-old girl and her sisters ask their parents for a bicycle. Co-produced by Mikrofilm AS (Lise Fearnley) and the NFB (Marcy Page).

*   Rainy Days, dir. Vladimir Leschiov (8 min) – Canadian premiere
An elderly Japanese man boards a ferry, and during the voyage recollects three pivotal moments in his life. Co-produced by Lunohod Animation Studio (Vladimir Leschiov) and the NFB (Marc Bertrand).

*   Pilots on the Way Home, dir. Olga Pärn and Priit Pärn (16 min) – North American premiere
Stranded in the middle of the desert, three pilots who have lost their planes fall prey to visions. Co-produced by Eesti Joonisfilm (Kalev Tamm) and the NFB (Julie Roy).

Canadian Showcase:

*   Monsieur Pug, dir. Janet Perlman (10 min) – World premiere
A delirious, hilarious fable about smartphones, featuring a paranoid pooch who’s convinced he’s the target in a vast conspiracy. Produced for the NFB by Marc Bertrand.

*   Le sapin d’Éloïse, dir. Dominic Etienne Simard (1 min)
A father and daughter prepare for the holidays, trying to respect traditions as best as they can. Produced for the NFB by Julie Roy and Marc Bertrand.

*   Itch by Su-An Ng (1 min)

An abstract expression of what it feels like to experience an eczema flare-up. Produced for the NFB’s Hothouse 9 by Michael Fukushima.

o    Observer, by Brendan Matkin (1 min), a unique point of view on the world as it might appear to our increasingly aware mobile devices. Produced for the NFB’s Hothouse 9 by Michael Fukushima.

Special screenings:

*   Norman McLaren: Animated Musician, dir. Donald McWilliams (27 min) – North American premiere
Not only did Norman McLaren create his own film imagery, he also made his own music by drawing, etching and photographing patterns directly onto the sound track area of the film, becoming a pioneer of electronic music. Produced for the NFB by Jelena Popovic and Marcy Page. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Donald McWilliams and Luigi Allemano.

Hot Freaks: The New Generation of Canadian Animation

o    Flocons, dir. Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (2 min 30 sec) – Ontario premiere

Using outtakes from the classic A Chairy Tale<>, this black-and-white short set to the music of Tchaikovsky features Claude Jutra as a character imprisoned on celluloid, on which McLaren paints directly. Produced by MJSTP Films with the support of the NFB’s ACIC program.

o    The End of Pinky, dir. Claire Blanchet (8 min) – Ottawa premiere

Set in the shadows of the red-light district in a mythic, magically realized Montreal, The End of Pinky is based on a story by Heather O’Neill and produced by Michael Fukushima.

o    Sunday, dir. Patrick Doyon (10 min)

Nominated for an Academy Award, Doyon’s first professional film shows us life through a child’s eyes on a grey Sunday afternoon. Produced by Marc Bertrand and Michael Fukushima.

o    Paula, dir. Dominic Etienne Simard (10 min)

Winner of a Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short, this pulsating portrait of a working-class neighbourhood was created through the NFB’s Cinéaste recherché(e) competition for emerging filmmakers, and produced by Julie Roy.

o    Git Gob, dir. Philip Eddolls (1 min)
A couple of curious creatures discover an alternate perspective on the cosmos in this film produced for the NFB’s Hothouse 5 by Michael Fukushima.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: Time and Animation

o    Muybridge’s Strings, dir. Koji Yamamura (13 min)

Animation master Koji Yamamura’s poetic clash of two worlds, exploring the irrepressible human desire to freeze our fleeting moments of happiness. Produced by Michael Fukushima for the NFB, Keisuke Tsuchihashi for NHK and Shuzo John Shiota for Polygon Pictures.

New Ghosts in the Ol’ Haunt: Regrets, Residues and Crossing Over

o    Batmilk, dir. Brandon Blommaert (1 min)
A ghoulish story of death and rebirth, in a short film produced for the NFB’s Hothouse 5 by Michael Fukushima.

One Comment

  1. Robert Waldren Robert Waldren September 11, 2014

    Will the NFB be having its annual open house the day after the Ottawa Animation Festival closes? Monday, Sept. 22.

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