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| 4 min

This experimental short animation is inspired by the NFB's Studio D (1975-1994), a production department aimed at creating filmmaking opportunities for women in Canada. Featuring a rhythmic soundscape and paint-on-glass animation, Assembly shows a woman’s hands cutting and editing a reel of film on a flatbed editing table as fragments of women walking in chains, protesting with placards, and speaking at podiums are inter-cut. We hear bursts of words and the percussive whir and click of the Steenbeck—until a “message” is finally revealed. The film is dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Shannon, a prominent editor and one-time Executive Producer of Studio D.

  • writer
    Jenn Strom
  • director
    Jenn Strom
  • editor
    Jenn Strom
  • producer
    Tracey Friesen
  • hand painted animation
    Jenn Strom
  • original score
    Gordon Cobb
  • sound design
    Gordon Cobb
  • director of photography
    Kim MacNaughton
  • gaffer
    Vlad Horodinca
  • editor's hands
    Ileana Pietrobruno
  • mix facility
    Sound Kitchen
  • mix technician
    Chris McLaren
  • post production services
    Finale Editworks
  • research
    Sylvia Mezei
  • copyright clearance
    Sylvia Mezei
  • production assistant
    Ronaldo Acuna
    Dolly Reno
    Karen Chapman
  • production coordinator
    Teri Snelgrove
    Jennifer Roworth
  • technical coordinator
    Wes Machnikowski
  • production supervisor
    Kathryn Lynch
  • marketing manager
    Leslie Stafford
  • program administrator
    Janine Steele
  • executive producer
    Tracey Friesen


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Ages 12 to 16

Arts Education - Visual Arts
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Identity
Media Education - Film and Video Production

Studio D was an important outlet for women filmmakers. Ask students to research the studio’s history and to consider its significance. What were some pros and cons associated with it? What is the symbolism of the production technique Jenn Strom uses in Assembly? What is the significance of the film’s title? How does the message of the audio clips change when they are presented in one longer version?

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