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.
This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi'kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors. When an elder in the community offers him a small piece of pipestone, Maq carves a little person out of it. Proud of his work, the boy wants to impress his grandfather and journeys through the woods to find him. Along the path Maq meets a curious traveller named Mi'gmwesu. Together they share stories, medicine, laughter, and song. Maq begins to care less about making a good impression and more about sharing the knowledge and spirit he's found through his creation. 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.
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 introspective short animation takes place In the village of Carcross, in the Tagish First Nation. Neighbourhood pillar Grandma Kay tell the local children the tale of how Crow brought fire to people. As the story unfolds, we also meet 12-year-old Tish, an introspective, talented girl who feels drawn to the elder. Here, past and present blend, myth and reality meet, and the metaphor of fire infuses all in a location that lies at the heart of this Native community’s spiritual and cultural memory.
In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.
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.
Waseteg is the story of a young Mi'kmaq girl whose name means “the light from the dawn.” Sadly, her mother dies while giving birth and, though her father works very hard to provide for his family, Waseteg is surrounded by the bitterness and loneliness felt by her sisters.
As a young girl, Waseteg looks for solace in nature, and dreams of the stories she’s heard in the village – including one about Walqwan, the mysterious boy living across the river. Eventually, with the gentle care of the boy's grandmother, Waseteg succeeds in finding Walqwan, discovering the Spirit Path, and restoring love to her family.
A short story about dreams, courage, identity, creation and embracing our Elders, Waseteg showcases Phyllis Grant's signature style of bold lines, bright colours and simple movements. The film is beautifully narrated by legendary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.
This short animation tells the tale of the great spirit Glooscap and how he battled with the giant Winter in order to bring Summer to the North and the Mi'kmaq people. Silas T. Rand, a Canadian Baptist clergyman and ethnographer, and Charles Leland, an American humorist and folklorist, first recorded the legend of Glooscap at the end of the 19th century. Since then, the legend has been retold many times, but never more beautifully than in this colourful animated interpretation.
In this animated environmental parable, we find a people living in harmony with nature, until carelessness leads to the ravens' revenge. We follow a boy's courageous journey to the spirit world to find the only one who can save his village from the resulting darkness--the Lord of the sky. An artistic unity of form and content, Lord of the Sky is a dazzling combination of 3-D models, puppets, special effects and cut-out paper animation. Its intricate, beautifully rendered drawings reflect the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. The film speaks strongly of the need for ecological balance in the world.
Ages 8 to 18
Arts Education - Art
Geography - The Arctic
Indigenous Studies - Arts
Media Education - Film Animation
A beautiful animation that tells a story through art and traditional music. This film would be great for learning more about Inuit art forms and cultural practices of survival related to spirituality, land and animals. What are traditional Inuit beliefs in relation to the polar bear? What story is being told through images and sounds? What type of singing is heard and how is it unique to Inuit? Why is it important for Inuit to tell their own stories? How is animation a great choice for telling stories like this one?