Why bother dragging around one's shadow? A man agrees to a pact with a magician and swaps his shadow for riches. He soon discovers that the absence of a shadow can be a humiliating handicap. After fleeing to the far corners of the earth, he ends up in Bali, in a theatre of shadow puppets, where he discovers the true worth of shadows.
Swiss filmmaker Georges Schwizgebel animates this adaptation of Adelbert von Chamisso's The Strange Story of Peter Schlemil (1814), a fantastic tale inspired by Goethe's Faust. His film L'homme sans ombre is a reflection upon human nature and an allegory celebrating the magic of performance. Virtuoso Georges Schwizgebel's images are wonderfully mobile and textured, his composition formally elegant. (Each cel is freshly repainted with the characters and settings.) He is a master conjurer whose images become a bewitching choreography. The animator's eye guides the painter's hand, and vice versa. A film without words.
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 animation short is an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's short story "The Devil and the Mushroom." A tale of supernatural power, greed and violence, it involves a sinister stranger who single-handedly transforms a quiet village into the scene of a phantasmagoric nightmare.
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.
This gentle tale about mortality works in subliminal ways. When an old man is visited by Death at his home in the meadows, he has to delve deep to secure more time for himself. Does he have the strength to find the answers he needs? Can we negotiate our time on earth? How do we reconcile our mortal fate? A lyrical look at a reality as old as humanity, yet as young as today. Based on a story by Richard Kennedy.
This animated short, based on the book by Rachna Gilmore, is the story of Gita, an 8-year-old girl who can't wait to celebrate Divali - the Hindu festival of lights - in her new home in Canada. But it's nothing like New Delhi, where she comes from. The weather is cold and grey and a terrible ice storm cuts off the power, ruining her plans for a party. Obviously, a Divali celebration now is impossible. Or is it? As Gita experiences the glittering beauty of the icy streets outside, the traditional festival of lights comes alive in a sparkling new way.
Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
The NFB’s 74th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film tells the story of Vaysha, a young girl born with one green eye and one brown eye. But colour isn’t the only thing that’s different about Vaysha’s gaze. While her left eye sees only the past; her right sees only the future. Like a terrible curse, Vaysha’s split vision prevents her from inhabiting the present. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities. “Blind Vaysha,” they called her.
In this metaphoric tale of timeless wisdom and beauty based on the eponymous short story by Georgi Gospodinov, filmmaker Theodore Ushev reminds us of the importance of keeping our sights on the present moment.
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This short animation tells the familiar story of Christmas in an innovative and colourful way. Filmmaker Evelyn Lambart uses glowing zinc cut-outs to give this traditional tale a contemporary twist. Akin to a joyful medieval manuscript, the film is embellished by the artist's own whimsy—heraldic trumpet sounds, luminescent light, and wildflowers in every scene tell the message of rebirth. A film without dialogue.
A legend from India, interpreted by a filmmaker from that country. It is a story of gods and men, of suns and moons and Earth, interpreted with an animation style and a richness of colour and design as arresting to the eye as the story and the music are to the ear. Sometimes the illustrations are painted on cells, sometimes the figures are cut-outs moving across shining backgrounds, but always the pace is gentle, inevitable.
While on an airplane, a traveller's spirit plunges into a dream world. Here, under the influence of the unknown, the logic of his desires prevails, and a romantic saga takes shape. This animated film by Georges Schwizgebel masterfully transports us into a swirling world. Set to the twists and turns of a Rachmaninoff scherzo, Romance exuberantly marries music and movement, erasing the boundary between dreams and reality.
This short animation film is an “epic” adventure and a magical environmental fairy tale. Amy Lockhart uses cutouts, drawings and collage (captured and manipulated as digital multi-plane animation) to conjure up her whimsical world.
Produced as part of the second edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.