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.
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days is about the special relationship between Regina Pessoa and her uncle. The film is a testament to her love for this eccentric, who was an artistic inspiration and played a key role in her becoming a filmmaker. A moving tribute to a poet of the everyday.
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This funny short animation was written and created by Tali (At Home with Mrs. Hen) and is inspired by the filmmaker’s misadventures as a school bus driver in the Eastern Townships. Our protagonist dreams of becoming a bus driver in order to cruise down quiet country lanes and connect with nature, her young charges and their parents. But her idyllic view of her new job is sorely tested after she meets her surly boss, named Killer, and discovers that winding roads can prove treacherous in winter, especially with a faulty clutch. Through her cheeky humour and oblique look at the reality of people living in the Quebec countryside, Tali delivers a film that is unique, witty and touching.
Manivald, a fox, is turning 33. Overeducated, unemployed and generally uninspired, he lives with his overbearing, retired mother and spends his days learning piano while she makes his coffee and washes his socks. It is an easy life, but not a good one. Their unhealthy co-dependence is about to collapse when the washing machine breaks down and Toomas, a sexy and adventurous wolf repairman, arrives to fix it, and them.
This Emmy-nominated feature film is an intimate and evocative journey into the hearts, minds and eyes of Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Frida Kahlo - 3 of the 20th century’s most remarkable artists. The film uses the women’s own words, taken from their letters and diaries, to reveal 3 individual creative processes in all their subtle and fascinating variety.
ORA is a stunning meeting between the artistic worlds of choreographer José Navas and filmmaker Philippe Baylaucq. It is the first film to use 3D thermal imaging, producing visuals like none that have ever been seen before: the luminous variations of body heat seen on skin, bodies emitting a multitude of colours, a space filled with movement that transforms itself.
Warning: Although this film was shot in 3D, the streaming and downloadable versions are available in 2D only.
In her latest animated short, Academy Award®-winning director Torill Kove explores the beauty and complexity of parental love, the bonds that we form over time, and the ways in which they stretch and shape us.
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A freewheeling cinematic experience, this film is the work of two filmmakers who relate their perceptions of each other through their respective animation techniques. Images and words are paired in startling associations. Each does a visual portrait of the other, based on characteristic gestures and impressions. A combination of techniques and materials produces a film of rich visual texture shaped by the hands and heads of two very different people.
In this short animation, Oscar®-winning director Chris Landreth (Ryan, 2004) uses a common social gaffe—forgetting somebody’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious. Inspired by the classic TV game show Password, the film features a wealth of animated celebrity guests who try to prompt our beleaguered protagonist to remember his old pal's name. Finally, he realizes he must surrender to his predicament and jump head-first into his subconscious to find the answer.
In The Mountain of SGaana, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. The film brilliantly combines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, and is based on a story inspired by a old Haida fable.
The NFB's 75th Oscar®-nominated film.
Dealing with what comes naturally isn’t easy, especially for animals. In Animal Behaviour, the latest animated short from the Oscar®-winning team of Alison Snowden and David Fine (Bob’s Birthday), five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist. The group includes Lorraine, a leech who suffers from separation anxiety; Cheryl, a praying mantis who can’t seem to keep a man; Todd, a pig with an eating disorder; Jeffrey, a bird with guilt issues; and Linda, an obsessive-compulsive cat.
This animated short tells the story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. The tale is based on emerging filmmaker Echo Henoche's favourite legend, as told to her by her grandfather in her home community of Nain, Nunatsiavut, on Labrador's North Coast. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman is the first collaboration between the Labrador artist and the NFB.
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?