In the vestibule of a hospital room, a young boy waits to see his dying mother. The clamor and spiralling movements of bodies around him intensify, forming a grotesque circus—a cacophonous circle that pushes the child back, depriving him of one final touch of his mother's hand. Using rotoscoped drawings suggestive of charcoal sketches, as well as 3D and object animation techniques, The Circus compels viewing with its unsettling realism. Colour is employed metaphorically to subtly express the promise and the memory of maternal affection. Nicolas Brault's highly personal film, suffused with poetic modesty, casts a poignantly sincere gaze on the heartbreak of a child facing the fearful, mysterious experience of his mother's death.
Gloria Victoria unfolds on the still-smouldering rubble of a furious 20th century, propelled by the exalting “invasion” theme from Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony (No. 7). Resembling a military march with bolero overtones, the music sweeps over imagery of combat fronts and massacres, leading us from Dresden to Guernica, from the Spanish Civil War to star wars. It is at once a symphony that serves the war machine, that stirs the masses, and art that mourns the dead, voices its outrage and calls for peace.
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.
This short animation takes a look at the redemptive power of food, wine, music and love through the eyes of our protagonist, Chuck. A husband and father, Chuck is jovially cooking dinner and listening to Chopin when his wife Sylvie spontaneously invites a group of boisterous colleagues over for dinner. The festivities begin to spiral out of control, and Chuck must find his way through a planned diner à deux that has turned into pandemonium. Filmmaker Bruce Alcock follows the fine tradition of beloved food films such as Babette’s Feast, using the preparation of a meal as a vehicle for exploring the grand themes of love and life through simple yet evocative line drawings.
This 3D stereoscopic animation tells the story of Matthew, a boy who is never afraid of the dark. Since he's been in darkness all his life, Matthew has eyes where other people only have hands, feet or ears. This week is Matthew's birthday and he's very curious about the surprise his parents are preparing for him. Can he find it?
In this short animated film, a Grade 7 boy’s mind starts to wander while dissecting a frog in Biology class. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself charged with God-like powers? Would you use them for good? For bad? Perhaps a little of both? The possibilities seem endless. Oh to have the power to toy with life and death, to create monsters who can punish those who torment him daily, or better yet, to create that one perfect day with Lily, the love of his 12-year-old life!
Drawing inspiration from the filmmaker’s own memories and using a variety of animation techniques, from traditional animation to stop-motion puppets and more, this darkly whimsical short explores the difficult gateway between childhood and adolescence, when the approaching power of adulthood is often mistaken for omnipotence.
If I Was God is the latest offering from two-time Oscar®-nominated animator (The Cat Came Back, Strange Invaders) and long-time NFB collaborator Cordell Barker.
This short animation is set to the words of poet Hélène Dorion. In the film, a man and a woman's love for each other rivals only their affection for the written word. Literature accompanies the murmur of their lives and the harmony of their feelings. Filmmaker Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s imagery parallels Dorion’s words to articulate the familiar cycles of longing, loss, and desire.
Under the African sun, a child walks in the desert with his kin. Death is prowling, but a mother's soul resurrected by music will return strength and life to the child when he becomes a man. Inspired by the grace and raw beauty of African rock paintings, Nicolas Brault paints a story without borders, with the humanity and elegance of a universal narrator.
In this short animation, a girl is so carried away by her love of music that she forgets about her household chores. Her father tells her to finish the dishes. Instead of washing them, she turns them into musical instruments, and he finally recognizes her talent. Based on Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this film illustrates children's right to develop their talents and abilities to their fullest potential.
This animated short tells the story of Oma, who is moving from her house on Maple Street where she lived most of her life to a senior's residence where she doesn't know anyone. Her granddaughter Emily, a young girl full of wide-eyed enthusiasm, senses that her grandmother isn't sure she will like her new home. Wishing to help, she comes up with an idea to ease the burden of this momentous change.
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.
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.
Ages 9 to 11
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
Family Studies/Home Economics - Aging/Death and Dying
Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
This animated short can open the door to engaging young children in conversation about the loss of a loved one and the importance of expressing one's feelings. Feelings can be expressed in many ways, including through conversation, writing, and drawing. It would also be interesting to establish the connection between the film's title and its content.