The famous Canadian astronaut Kao-Kuk is just coming back from a dangerous deep space mission in a transdimensional rift. But back home at the astro station, a deeper, even more deadly mystery awaits, threatening his impending doom.
An elderly Japanese man boards a ferry bound for an unknown island. As he looks out over the water, the falling rain triggers a string of memories, including of a childhood experience in Fukuoka and a brief encounter many years later, aboard a smoke-filled seaside train. The only constant is the rain, a woman and Mount Fuji. When the man arrives on the island, it begins to pour, and a mysterious woman on a motorbike greets him…
Directed by Latvian filmmaker Vladimir Leschiov, Rainy Days looks at three key moments in its protagonist’s life, when events that should have happened never come to pass, yet change the course of his existence. The unique animation technique used to create the film, consisting of black tea and ink on paper and precise, delicate drawn lines, conjures a warm and tranquil atmosphere that mirrors the man’s graceful acceptance of his fate—and his awareness that all we have is what is.
A modern adaptation of the myth of Hercules, BAM tells the story of a young boxer struggling to negotiate between his shy, bookish nature and a divinely violent temper. Where does this rage come from? Is it psychological or environmental - or is it something altogether more primordial?
This short animation adapted from a short story by Heather O’Neill, who also narrates the film, follows three fallen angels seeking companionship in Montreal’s red-light district. The survivor of traumatic childhood experiences, Johnny is a handsome thief who finds himself drawn to Mia’s fragile beauty. Both have a soft spot for Johnny’s best friend and partner in crime, Pinky. But when one of Pinky’s endearing quirks sets off a tragicomic chain of events, Johnny plots his revenge with methodical detachment. Peopled with characters living on the margins of society, this film casts light on the frailty of human relationships. The film features hand-drawn pencil and pastel animation rendered in stereoscopic 3D.
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.
This short animated documentary tells the story of 2 Chinese Canadian women making their theatrical debut playing “comfort women” in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Jia Tsu Thompson and Mary Mohammed spend long hours rehearsing at Mu Lan Teahouse in Halifax, where they read their lines over and over, sip tea, and recount buried stories of war. As they diligently practise together and at home, they come to have their own personal catharses. Fusing activism and performance, the film honours the thousands of girls and women from Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines who were forced into sexual slavery—into providing “comfort” to soldiers in the Imperial Japanese military during the 1930s and ’40s.
This short animation begins with a newspaper, discarded on a public bench, whose headlines warn of unusual phenomena. A gust of wind animates the paper's pages, conjuring strange and fantastical creatures: a bridge that becomes a caterpillar, a steeple turning into a bird, a dome transformed into an octopus. Elemental forces have been unleashed. Skilfully wielding paper cut-outs, origami, and a healthy dose of humour, filmmaker Emmanuelle Loslier plunges us into a fantastical world in which Montreal’s urban landscape has never been so alive.
This animated short presents a dilemma faced by a couple every time they go out to eat. Will their culinary differences douse the flames of romance, or will love prevail? Set to a rollicking doo-wop song by Canadian songwriter Alexander (Zander) Ary, the film brings Lynn Smith's gouache paintings to life as she animates directly under the camera. This short is a tasty comic narrative that skips along an array of tantalizing dishes. Vocalists Susie Arioli and Zander Ary each bring a unique interpretation to this funny, charming song.
An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, this animated short is a tragic vision inspired by the 4th movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, animator Patrick Bouchard brings earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.
This short animation draws on advanced digital technologies to offer a new vision of dance in cinema. With motion capture (MoCap) and particle processing, designers Denis Poulin and Martine Époque create virtual dancers free of their morphological appearance. In this balletic and hypnotic film, dynamic traces carry the motion of the real dancers behind the on-screen movements. Addressing environmental themes by way of metaphor, CODA is a fused universe where space and time collide, deploy, and dissolve. In this technically and formally innovative film, luminous bodies in the infinite space of the cosmos transform and evolve to the rhythms of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
In this short animation, Theodore Ushev signs a violent, brutal and troubling political statement in his own blood and narrates it in his own gravelly voice. All over the world, idealist revolutionaries shed their blood to denounce injustices. Yet blood is also the very symbol of life. Sketches drawn using the filmmaker’s own blood explore this paradox. Why fight for ideals, noble though they may be, if you must die for them in the end? Are rebellion and insurrection egotistical deeds, or are they lessons in pure altruism? Poetic and philosophical, the film explores these complex and important questions.