“Deyzangeroo” is a ritual performed in the Iranian port city of Bushehr. Influenced by the city’s colonial rule by the British and Portuguese, and the African slaves that followed, it is imbued with the terror and magic of the lunar eclipse. The ritual is believed to ward off evil spirits and take back the moon. It works every time. Directed by Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Ehsan Gharib, this animated short features hand-painted animation, time-lapse photography, trick photography using mirrors, and the haunting music of virtuoso percussionist Habib Meftah Boushehri.
This short animation artfully revisits the Greek myth of Icarus. The son of the master craftsman Daedalus, creator of the Labyrinth, Icarus attempts to escape the island of Crete by means of a pair of wings constructed by his father. Upon receiving these wings, made from feathers and wax, he is told to fly neither too low, where the sea’s dampness would clog his wings, nor too high, where the sun’s heat would melt them -- precious advice the hubristic Icarus tragically won’t heed.
Borrowing from classical mythology, this very short film illustrates the story of Syrinx, the nymph who attempts to escape the goat-god Pan’s amorous advances by fleeing to a nearby river for help, only to be transformed into hollow reeds. Syrinx is the first film by Ryan Larkin, an Oscar®-nominated director who began his animation career in Norman McLaren’s student group. The technique employed is charcoal sketches on paper; the accompanying music is Claude Debussy’s “Syrinx” for solo flute.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The NFB's 51st Oscar®-nominated film.
In this short animation film, a magnificent bird performs for the Emperor inside a glittering palace. Its plumage is a blaze of colour. A blackbird, watching enviously, strives to acquire what he so desperately covets, only to discover that a golden cage can’t compete with the open skies.
This animated short is a visual representation of Goethe's poem, The ErlKing that uses sand-on-glass animation set to the music of Franz Schubert. The moving images, resembling woodcuts, capture the haunting, nightmarish quality of the tale of the ErlKing who steals and kills a little boy.
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.
Ages 13 to 18
Arts Education - Art
Diversity - Diversity in Communities
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
History - World History
Media Education - Film Animation
Animated short film about deyzangeroo, a syncretic Iranian ritual with roots in colonialism and the African diaspora. Applicable for research projects, essays or class discussions about colonialism, Iranian history, plurality, and post-colonial art. List the ways sound, images, and animation techniques intertwine and work together in the film. What thoughts and feelings does the film evoke for you? Look up syncretism; what role does syncretism play in deyzangeroo and in the film itself? Discuss the relationship between cultural reappropriation, colonialism, and cultural blending in the deyzangeroo ritual. Can these influences be separated? Using the film as a jumping off point, think about which aspects, rituals, or traditions in your life are born from a melding of different cultures. Share them with your classmates.