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Latest from the Oscar-nominated animation duo. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s award-winning NFB animated short The Flying Sailor coming to Sundance.


December 13, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s multi-award-winning animated short The Flying Sailor is headed to the 2023 Sundance Film Festival (January 19–29), as this National Film Board of Canada (NFB) production continues a stellar festival run.

The latest work by the Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning duo of Tilby and Forbis, The Flying Sailor is inspired by the incredible true-life story of a man blown two kilometres through the air by the 1917 Halifax Explosion—the largest accidental non-nuclear explosion in history—in an exhilarating meditation on the wonder and fragility of being.

Tilby and Forbis are Calgary-based animators who have shared Best Animated Short Film Academy Award nominations for When the Day Breaks (1999) and Wild Life (2011), with Tilby also nominated individually for Strings (1991). The NFB has a long and distinguished history at the Oscars, with NFB productions and co-productions garnering more Academy Award nominations than any other film organization based outside of Hollywood.

Sundance will be presented in hybrid form in 2023, combining in-person screenings with online streaming.


With more than 20 festival selections to date, The Flying Sailor has received nine awards and honours so far:

  • Best Narrative Film, Countryside Animafest Cyprus, Cyprus;
  • Best Animation, New York City Short Film Festival, United States;
  • Best Character-Based award, Los Angeles Animation Festival, United States;
  • Experimental award, Los Angeles Animation Festival, United States;
  • Audience Award for being one of the 10 favourite foreign films, São Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil;
  • Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canada;
  • Best Animated Short, Calgary International Film Festival, Canada;
  • Silver Award for Best Canadian Short Film, Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Canada;
  • Honourable Mention – Audience Award: Top Canadian Short Film, GIRAF International Festival of Independent Animation, Calgary, Canada.

More about The Flying Sailor (7 min 45 s)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-flying-sailor

  • The film employs a wealth of techniques and media (3D, 2D, live action, photographs) along with a bold mix of comedy, suspense, philosophy and playful abstraction.
  • The film was produced and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB’s North West Studio in Edmonton, Alberta.

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French version here | Version française ici.

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  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a leader in exploring animation as an artform, a storytelling medium and innovative content for emerging platforms. It produces trailblazing animated works both in its Montreal studios and across  the country, and it works with many of the world’s leading creators on international co-productions. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including seven Oscars for NFB animation and seven grand prizes at the Annecy festival. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.