The National Film Board of Canada is celebrating International Animation Day (October 28) with a special Animation Week program, featuring bold and dazzling new works by animators from across Canada.
NFB.ca’s Animation Week showcase offers free streaming of eight premieres — with four works by women as well as new Indigenous animation from the Hothouse program. They will all remain online at NFB.ca as a celebration of great Canadian animation.
Animation Week premieres include:
- WORLD PREMIERE: Meet Annie and take a whirlwind tour through her busy world while discovering the power that lies in the small choices we make every day, in Winnipeg animator Anita Lebeau’s A Change of Scenery.
- Ottawa-born filmmaker David Barlow-Krelina’s computer-animated Caterpillarplasty is a prescient, grotesque sci-fi satire that lifts plastic surgery to another level.
- The second instalment in a trilogy that began with the Canadian Screen Award-winning Paula, Montreal director Dominic Etienne Simard’s Canada/France co-pro Charles (DES animations/Les Films de l’Arlequin/NFB) introduces audiences to a boy who imagines a peaceful haven to escape the unfairness of his life.
- In Bulgarian-born, Montreal-based animator Alex Boya’s Turbine, a pilot crash-lands into his home and his face has been replaced by a turbine. To save their marriage, his wife takes drastic action.
- Inspired by a real bear that once lived in Stanley Park, Sundance Award-winning Vancouver filmmaker Julia Kwan’s first animated film The Zoo (NFB/Fire Horse Productions) follows the parallel lives of a polar bear cub and a Chinese boy who visits him until they’re both in their twilight years.
Hothouse has helped kick-start the careers of a new generation of animators. For its 12th edition, the NFB teamed up with the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and associate producers Amanda Strong and Amanda Roy to help address underrepresentation of Indigenous creators in film animation, with three innovative, highly personal works premiering during Animation Week:
- Born in Edmonton and raised on the Enoch Cree Nation, Kassia Ward explores the concept of semi-private spaces and how we act when we forget that we might be being watched in her short film Collector.
- Meky Ottawa from the Atikamewk Nation in Quebec gives us The Fake Calendar — a neon glimpse at how people come up with interesting and creative ways to avoid social functions, in favor of their own private space.
- A young Mi’kmaq artist from the Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick who is living with schizoaffective disorder, Christopher Gilbert Grant directed XO Rad Magical, a personal lyrical poem that shows how there is beauty in the brains of those who are at war with themselves.
In 2002, the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA) launched International Animation Day to commemorate the first public performance of Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique at the Musée Grévin in Paris on October 28, 1892. This celebration is held in over 40 countries, and the NFB is taking part for the 13th straight year through Animation Week!