August 28, 2018 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada
Featuring powerful and emotional stories both gripping and hilarious, the lineup of National Film Board of Canada (NFB) films at the Calgary International Film Festival (September 19–30) includes three Alberta premieres from award-winning Alberta and BC filmmakers.
Calgary filmmaker Laura Marie Wayne’s feature documentary debut, Love, Scott, follows the journey of a young gay musician who is attacked and paralyzed from the waist down.
A filmmaker who tells personal, funny, and ultimately inspirational stories about his childhood and teenage years in Edmonton, Hart Snider is at the festival with his NFB animated short Shop Class.
From Vancouver, the legendary animation duo of Alison Snowden and David Fine are back at the NFB—25 years after their Academy Award-winning 1993 NFB/Snowden Fine Animation/Channel 4 co-production Bob’s Birthday—with Animal Behaviour, which just received the Grand Prix at Rio de Janeiro’s Anima Mundi festival.
Love, Scott (75 min.)
While walking down the street one night in a small Canadian town, Scott Jones—a gay musician—is attacked by a stranger he encountered earlier that evening and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. What follows is a brave and fragile journey of healing and the transformation of this young man’s life, in Love, Scott, directed by his close friend, Calgary filmmaker Laura Marie Wayne, making her feature documentary debut. Filmed over three years, the film follows Scott from the first raw moments in the hospital to a trip back to the place he was attacked, as he’s faced with the choice of losing himself in grief or embracing love over fear.
Set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós, Love, Scott was named Best Canadian Feature (Narrative or Documentary) at the Toronto LGBT Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at its US premiere at the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, in addition to receiving a Special Mention at Ireland’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival. Love, Scott is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.
Laura Marie creates in the tradition of “personal cinema,” drawing from her own lived experience as the primary palette with which to paint. In 2015, she was selected by Hot Docs as an up-and-coming Canadian filmmaker, and her lyrical memoire film, Most of Us Don’t Live There (2015), premiered in competition at DOK Leipzig.
Shop Class (9 min.)
In this animated short, writer/director Hart Snider takes us back to junior high school in the late ’80s for a dark but funny coming-of-age story, inspired by his own adolescence in Edmonton, in the days of the Walkman, Pac-Man and Wayne Gretzky. Voiced by Fred Ewanuick (Corner Gas), Shop Class is an honest look at growing up, exploring themes of high-school alienation, old-fashioned gender roles and becoming comfortable in your own skin—through the eyes of a teenager who is no longer a boy but is not quite sure what it means to be a man. The nine-minute short is produced and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the BC and Yukon Studio in Vancouver.
Hart’s first animated short, The Basketball Game (2011), won Best Animated Film at the ViewFinders International Film Festival and was recognized by the Alberta government for being “innovative and thought-provoking” and “informing audiences on how hate and discrimination impact children.”
Animal Behaviour (14 min.)
Dealing with what comes naturally isn’t easy, especially for animals. In Animal Behaviour, five animals—including a leech who suffers from separation anxiety and a bird with guilt issues—meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist. This hilarious yet emotional short deals with animal issues that are not unlike our own. Should we learn and adapt, or should others just accept our true nature?
Created with digital hand-drawn animation, Animal Behaviour marks the return of Alison Snowden and David Fine to the NFB after Bob’s Birthday, which inspired the acclaimed Comedy Central/Channel 4/Global TV series Bob and Margaret. Snowden and Fine had previously collaborated on two other Oscar nominees: the NFB short George and Rosemary (1987) and Snowden’s student film, Second Class Mail (1984).
Animal Behaviour is produced and executive produced by Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English-language Animation Studio in Montreal.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Animal Behaviour | Love, Scott | Shop Class
Calgary International Film Festival
Snowden Fine Animation