The National Film Board of Canada will be represented by three short films included in the official selection for the Annecy festival this summer. NFB’s selected titles include the return of celebrated animators Franck Dion, with The Head Vanishes, and Theodore Ushev with Blind Vaysha. Janice Nadeau makes her solo directorial debut with Mamie. All three films feature unusual female characters with unique destinies. The Annecy shorts competition comprises 54 films, out of which six are Canadian productions.
Franck Dion’s CG-animated The Head Vanishes will have its world premiere at Annecy. The director’s fourth film — and second co-produced by Papy 3D, NFB and ARTE France — centers on Jacqueline, who although she has lost her mind a bit, decides to take a special trip to the seaside by train, all by herself. Dion’s last film was Edmond Was a Donkey, winner of 30 awards including the 2012 Annecy Special Jury Prize.
Theodore Ushev’s Blind Vaysha had its world premiere at the 2016 Berlin Int’l Film Festival. With graphic animation reminiscent of woodblock prints, the short tells the story of a peculiar woman who can see into the familiar past with her left eye and into the threatening future with her right — the present remains a blind spot. Last year, Ushev’s previous award-winning animations include Blood Manifesto (2015, NFB), The Sleepwalker (2015, Unite Centrale) and Lipsett Diaries (2010, NFB).
Janice Nadeau’s first solo directing project Mamie is an illustrative piece created with hand-painted watercolor animation, co-produced by the NFB and Folimage. Mamie is a recluse living in Gaspesie, in a house that faces away from the sea — and her granddaughter often wonders why Mamie isn’t interested in her at all. Nadeau’s first animated project, No Fish Where to Go (2014, NFB), was co-directed with Nicole Lemay and won several awards, including the FIPRESCI Award at Annecy. Mamie was selected for the 2013 MIFA short film production program in Annecy.