June 18, 2016 – Annecy, France – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Two films produced or co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have been honoured with awards at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival this year. The awards ceremony was held Saturday evening in Annecy, France. The Head Vanishes (Une tête disparait) by Franck Dion has won the prestigious Annecy Cristal for best short film. The film is co-produced by Papy 3D (Franck Dion, Richard Van Den Boom), the NFB (Julie Roy) and ARTE France (Hélène Vayssières) co-production.
Theodore Ushev’s Blind Vaysha (Vaysha l’aveugle), produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand and based on the short story “Blind Vaysha” by Georgi Gospodinov, has won the Jury Award. Blind Vaysha was also awarded the Junior Jury Award for a Short Film at the special prizes ceremony on Friday night.
The NFB has won awards for the seventh consecutive year at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, garnering a total of nine prizes from 2009 to 2015.
Making its world premiere, The Head Vanishes is Franck Dion’s fourth animated short and the second to be co-produced by Papy 3D, the NFB and ARTE France. The first was Edmond Was a Donkey in 2012, which received 30 awards and honours, including the 2012 Annecy Special Jury Prize, the Best Canadian Short Award at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, and the Gémeaux for Best Animated Show or Series.
This is the fourth award Theodore Ushev has won at Annecy, where most of his films have been screened. Previously, he received a special mention for the Lipsett Diaries in 2010 and the FIPRESCI Award for Gloria Victoria in 2014. Blind Vaysha had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The week-long Annecy International Animation Film Festival, one of the oldest and most important celebrations of animated film in the world, hosts the industry’s leading creators and professionals every year in June.
The Head Vanishes, directed by Franck Dion (9 min 30 s) – world premiere
- Jacqueline isn’t quite in her right mind anymore, but she decides to take a train ride to the seashore all by herself—just like a big girl!
- A Papy 3D (Franck Dion, Richard Van Den Boom), NFB (Julie Roy) and ARTE France (Hélène Vayssières) co-production.
- Franck Dion was born in 1970. He trained as an actor and taught himself sculpture and drawing before becoming a game illustrator. In 2004, he directed L’inventaire fantôme, produced by Les Armateurs. Two years later, he and a collective of animators that included Sarah Van Den Boom founded Papy 3D, the company that co-produced his subsequent films. In 2008, he wrote and directed Monsieur Cok, selected for the Sundance Film Festival, and in 2012, he made Edmond Was a Donkey (Papy 3D/ONF/ARTE France), which received 30 international awards and honours.
- Franck Dion is also an illustrator of children’s novels. He created the poster for the 2014 Annecy Festival and, with Chloé Delaume, co-created the app-enhanced novel Alienare in 2015.
Blind Vaysha, directed by Theodore Ushev (8 min 15 s)
- Vaysha is not like other little girls. Her left eye sees only the past; her right, only the future. “Blind Vaysha,” they call her.
- The film was produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand and executive producer Julie Roy, with the participation of ARTE France. Narrated by Actress Caroline Dhavernas.
- For his 13th film, the renowned filmmaker and animator adapted a philosophical short story by acclaimed young multidisciplinary Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov. With Blind Vaysha, Ushev reaffirms his virtuosity in visual experimentation using an expressive, powerful aesthetic poised between religious paintings and linocuts.
- In 2006, Ushev began work on an acclaimed trilogy about the relationship between art and power with Tower Bawher, which was soon followed by Drux Flux (2008) and Gloria Victoria (2013). In parallel, he made several short films that focused on artists and filmmakers and their relationship to the world, including Lipsett Diaries (2010), winner of 16 awards.
Annecy International Animation Film Festival
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca