September 26, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada returns to the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) with a highly diverse slate of seven works in a wide variety of formats and genres. The feature documentary La part du diable (The Devil’s Share), by Luc Bourdon, has its world premiere at the festival and is in official competition. The animated short Deyzangeroo, by Ehsan Gharib, also has its world premiere at FNC. Three other short films have been selected to screen in official competition: TESLA: LUMIÈRE MONDIALE (THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT), by Matthew Rankin, Hedgehog’s Home (La maison du hérisson), by Eva Cvijanović (Bonobostudio/NFB) and The Mountain of SGaana, by Chris Auchter. In addition, the FNC Explore section of the festival is featuring three works produced or co-produced by the NFB: the festival premiere of the 360-degree doc La 3e roue (The 3rd Wheel), by André Roy, the Quebec premiere of Bear 71 VR, by Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison, and Vaysha l’aveugle en RV (Blind Vaysha VR), by Theodore Ushev. The FNC runs October 4 to 15, 2017.
La part du diable (The Devil’s Share), by Luc Bourdon (102 min) – World premiere
Produced at the NFB by Colette Loumède.
- La part du diable offers a new and distinctive perspective on Quebec’s Quiet Revolution of the 1970s. For this unique, poetic film, director Luc Bourdon (The Memories of Angels) worked closely with editor Michel Giroux to delve deeply into a key period of Quebec’s history. Deftly selecting clips from nearly 200 films from the NFB archives, Bourdon crafts, without voice-over commentary, a compelling look at a decade in which Quebec society was profoundly transformed. The film follows a powerful narrative thread.
- This finely crafted feature-length documentary continues in the vein of Bourdon’s The Memories of Angels, composed entirely of footage from NFB films of the 1950s and 1960s. The film was a striking success when it was released in 2008, winning the prize for best Canadian short film (Focus – Cinémathèque québécoise Grand Prize) at the FNC, and received nominations for a Jutra Award (best documentary) and the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma award for the year’s best film. The documentary also had a successful theatrical run.
- Highly evocative excerpts from films by great directors including Denys Arcand, Pierre Perrault, and Anne-Claire Poirier highlight the powerful on-screen presence of a range of well-known personalities, including René Lévesque, Robert Charlebois, Michel Tremblay, Pauline Julien, and Jean Chrétien. The film invites each of us to become a committed observer of these events, and to lend an attentive ear to its passionate, lyrical statement on this momentous decade. The result is an exhilarating blend of sounds and images, a moving experience that also will inspire viewers to reflect.
- Luc Bourdon is one of the key figures in the art of videography in Canada. Over a period of more than 25 years, he has created some 50 works in a variety of genres—documentary, drama, experimental—with a focus primarily on history and memory. These themes also lie at the heart of The Memories of Angels and La part du diable, the two feature documentaries which he directed at the NFB.
“Nouveaux alchimistes” section
Deyzangeroo, Ehsan Gharib (4 min) – World premiere
Produced at the NFB by Maral Mohammadian, with executive producer Michael Fukushima.
- “Deyzangeroo” is a ritual performed in the Iranian port city of Bushehr, to ward off evil spirits and take back the moon. It works every time.
- This four-minute film features hand-painted animation, time-lapse photography and trick photography using mirrors.
- Deyzangeroo uses the haunting music of composer and virtuoso percussionist Habib Meftah Boushehri, who collaborated on the film.
- Born in Arak, Iran, in 1983, Ehsan Gharib is a designer and photographer who studied at the Soroush film school in Tehran and at Concordia University in Montreal. Deyzangeroo is his first professional film.
International short film competition
Tesla: Lumière mondiale (THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT), Matthew Rankin (8 min) – Montreal premiere
Produced at the NFB by Julie Roy.
Tesla: Lumière mondiale
- Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla writes to financier J.P. Morgan in this experimental animated film. Inspired by real events, this electrifying short is a spectacular burst of image and sound that draws as much from the tradition of avant-garde cinema as it does from animated documentary.
- The film had its world premiere at the 56th International Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival.
- Honourable mention ex-aequo at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, along with two prizes at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
- A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Montreal-based Rankin studied Quebec history at McGill University and Université Laval before turning to film. This is his second NFB film, following The Radical Expeditions of Walter Boudreau (2015). His Mynarski Death Plummet took the 2015 “Off-Limits” Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
“P’tits loups” international competition
Hedgehog’s Home (La maison du hérisson), Eva Cvijanović (10 min) – Quebec premiere
Produced by Jelena Popović (NFB) and Vanja Andrijević (Bonobostudio, Croatia), with Michael Fukushima as executive producer.
- Hedgehog’s Home is a film about a hedgehog whose devotion to his home annoys a quartet of beasts who decide to confront him. This sumptuous and delicately choreographed stop-motion fable—made entirely of needled felt—revives the timeless and timely notion of cultivating our own place of safety, dignity and comfort, no matter how big or small. The French narration is by France Castel.
- A winner of 15 international prizes, the film was screened in official competition in the Generation Kplus section of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, where it received a special mention from the jury. It was also screened in three official competitions at Animafest in Zagreb, where it received a special mention (Short Films category) and the Short Film Audience Award.
- The film also received an honourable mention for Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
- Eva Cvijanović is a Montreal-based animator and filmmaker who participated in the Hothouse apprenticeship program for emerging Canadian filmmakers (The Kiss, 2011).
The Mountain of SGaana, Chris Auchter (10 min) – Quebec premiere
Produced by Shirley Vercruysse and associate producer Teri Snelgrove, and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse and Michael Fukushima for the NFB.
- The Mountain of SGaana spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. Co-written with Annie Reid, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter’s dream-like gem brilliantly entwines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, which are brought to life by a rich, evocative palette and stylized effects.
- nspired by a traditional Haida legend, Auchter turns the ancient tale of master sea hunter Naa-Naa-Simgat and his beloved, Kuuga Kuns, on its head. When a sGaana (the Haida word for “killer whale”) captures the hunter and drags him down into a supernatural world, the courageous Kuuga Kuns sets off to save him in the magical Haida underworld.
- The film just received the award for Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences – Ages 6–12 at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
La 3e roue (The 3rd Wheel) by André Roy – Festival premiere in installation format and online release
Produced at the NFB by Jac Gautreau, with executive producer Dominic Desjardins.
- In this 360-degree short doc, a New Brunswick gym teacher aspires to make sports accessible to two sisters who have muscular dystrophy. In a surprising twist, students without disabilities soon ask for wheelchairs to play basketball with them. What emerges is a movement of reverse inclusion that expands to an entire community, where the majority adapts to the minority.
- Online release October 5 on all NFB platforms.
BEAR 71 VR, Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison – Quebec premiere
Produced at the NFB by Loc Dao, Dana Dansereau, Rob McLaughlin, Janine Steele and Bonnie Thompson, in collaboration with Google, IDFA DocLab, and Sound and Vision.
- Originally launched in 2012, Bear 71 is an acclaimed interactive multi-user online experience told from the point of view of an omniscient female grizzly bear―dubbed “Bear 71” by the park rangers who track her. Created by Jeremy Mendes, Leanne Allison and the NFB, Bear 71 explores how we coexist with wildlife in the age of networks, surveillance, and digital information en masse.
- Reinvented in VR with Chrome WebVR, in collaboration with Google.
- Original English version.
Vaysha l’aveugle en RV (Blind Vaysha VR)
- Vaysha l’aveugle en RV is a virtual-reality adaptation of Oscar-nominated animated short Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev.
- Produced by the NFB’s Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer and with the participation of ARTE France and ICI ARTV, this immersive experience using Samsung Gear equipment had its world premiere at the 2017 Annecy Animation Film Festival.
- Vaysha is not like other young girls: her left eye sees only the past, and her right eye only the future. “Blind Vaysha”—that’s what everyone calls her.
- Based on the short story Blind Vaysha by Georgi Gospodinov.
- Director Theodore Ushev embraced VR for one simple reason: to allow viewers to have a more visceral connection with his heroine. He uses this immersive technology to serve the purposes of narrative, not visual spectacle.
- Received a special mention for Best Immersive Encounters at the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol (UK).
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Bear 71 VR | Blind Vaysha VR | Deyzangeroo | Hedgehog’s Home | The Mountain of SGaana | THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT | The 3rd wheel
Electronic Press Kit only available in French: La part du diable
Festival du nouveau cinéma