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Film board wants to animate the public

Fourth annual festival features both family and adult-oriented films

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 06:00 am

Filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski bring the animated story of a terrier trying to find the secret of life to the NFB's Get Animated! film festival.
Filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski bring the animated story of a terrier trying to find the secret of life to the NFB's Get Animated! film festival.
Image supplied

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The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has traditionally received a short shrift by Canadian audiences. And that’s a head-scratcher considering it produces some of the world’s best and distinctive social issue documentaries, auteur animation, alt-drama and innovative digital content.

In support of International Animation Day, the NFB is launching the fourth edition of Get Animated!, a series of free animation screenings on Thursday, Oct. 28 at Metro Cinema, located in Citadel Theatre.

There are actually two screenings. At 7 p.m., NFB screens the family-oriented Fairy Tales for All with two animations. There’s Janet Perlemen’s Academy Award nominee The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin and Claude Cloutier’s Sleeping Betty, a comical take-off on Sleeping Beauty.

Later at 8:30 p.m. NFB runs the more eclectic and adult oriented New Releases program. “There’s a real range of techniques from the more simplistic pen and ink stills to the extremely complex hybrids with live action and computer generated images,” says NFB producer Michael Fukushima.

Leading the pack with its cutting edge technology is Higglety Pigglety Pop! based on the book by Maurice Sendak featuring an inquisitive little terrier that sets out to discover the secret of life.

Also high on the radar are the Lipsett Diaries, a penetrating look at famed Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett. It won an international jury prize at the Hiroshima Film Festival and on Sunday, Oct. 24 was awarded Best Canadian Film at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

“The tradition of the National Film Board is to experiment with different techniques and push the limits of what animation will do. We’re all about auteur driven animation. We modify our processes to what a filmmaker wants to try.”

New Releases Program

Higglety Pigglety Pop!: Filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski combine live action and puppets with animation and digital manipulation in this Warner release produced by Spike Jonze. Featured voices are Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker.

Lipsett Diaries: Filmmaker Theodore Ushev follows the tormented life of famed Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett, charting the meanderings of his psychological distress through imaginary diaries.

The Circus: Computer graphic artist Nicholas Brault gives us a young boy waiting to see his dying mother. While he waits, the noise and intensity of the hospital morphs into a grotesque circus.

The Trenches: Montreal filmmaker Claude Cloutier uses brush and India ink to follow the life of a young man facing battlefield explosions on the front lines.

The Formulation of Clouds: Quebec filmmaker Marie-Helen Turcotte combines pen and ink drawings to transform a young girl from childhood to a teenager.

The Trembling Veil of Bones: Director Matthew Talbot Kelly uses a combination of live action and computer generated imagery to fill a darkened studio with the sounds of ticking gears and cogs in the world of a solitary clockmaker called Bones.

The Barewolf: Animator Joke Van der Steen follows the life of young werewolf who strays far from home in the dangerous world of humans.

Mamori: Filmmaker Karl Lemieux transports us into a black and white universe of fluid shapes, dappled and striated with shadows and light.

The Bear Facts: At the Nunavut Animation Lab, Jonathan Wright reimagines the first contact between Inuit and Europeans.

Flawed>: Through animation, Halifax based Andrea Dorfman looks at a boy-girl romance and whether the young girl can accept herself.


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