Neo-Gothic mixed technique animated short Skin for Skin — directed by Calgary filmmakers Carol Beecher and Kevin D. A. Kurytnik, produced by the National Film Board of Canada — will celebrate its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal. The new 15-minute film is screening in competition, as is Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre’s animated docushort Oscar (MJSTP Films/NFB, in collaboration with Tele-Quebec). Fantasia (www.fantasiafestival.com) runs July 13 to August 2.
Skin for Skin’s world premiere screening will be part of the Outer Limits of Animation competition section on Sunday, July 16 at 2:45 p.m. in the J.A. DeSève Cinema at Concordia University. Oscar screens Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m. during the Cinémathèque québécoise block.
Synopsis: A dark allegory of greed and spiritual reckoning, Skin for Skin is set during the early days of the North American fur trade. In 1823, the governor of the largest fur-trading company in the world travels across his dominion, extracting ever-greater riches from the winter bounty of animal furs. In his brutal world of profit and loss, animals are slaughtered to the brink of extinction. But one day, the balance of power shifts, and the forces of nature exact their own terrible price. With nods to Melville and Coleridge, directors Carol Beecher and Kevin Kurytnik have created a visually stunning contemporary myth about the cost of arrogance and greed. Produced by Bonnie Thompson (NFB) and Carol Beecher (Fifteen Pound Pink Productions). Executive produced by David Christensen (NFB).
Filmmaker bio: Writers/directors/animators Carol Beecher and Kevin D. A. Kurytnik have been exploring the art and craft of animation for 30 years. Since they formed their production company, Fifteen Pound Pink Productions, in 1994, they’ve collaborated on 15 animated works and garnered more than 12 awards. Films such as Mr. Reaper’s Really Bad Morning (2004) and Business as Usual (2010), as well as their series Intergalactic Who’s Who (2009), have screened in 21 countries. Their approach encompasses almost every form and aspect of the animator’s craft, from cameraless animation to drawing directly on 16mm film to CGI. Partners in life as well as in art, they draw on their many influences as visual artists, storytellers, and voracious fans of every cinematic genre to create their work. Beecher is now developing several projects as producer for Fifteen Pound Pink Productions, and Kurytnik is permanent faculty for animation at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary.