(Images provided by the NFB)
June 6, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
From June 12 to 17, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will have its sights set on the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it will be presenting a remarkable crop of Canadian works and international co-productions. They include four films in official competition, the world premiere of a collection of animated short films, a virtual-reality experience, a retrospective on Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, and four films selected for special screenings. The NFB will be holding a press conference in Annecy to mark the occasion, on June 14 at 10:30 a.m.
Following immediately upon its world premiere at the 56th Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival, THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT by Matthew Rankin will be screened in official competition at Annecy, along with Diane Obomsawin’s I Like Girls, which received the Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Guy L. Côté Award for Best Canadian Animated Film at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal. The third NFB film in competition at Annecy, Manivald, by Chintis Lundgren, will have just had its world premiere on June 6 at Animafest in Zagreb, where it will be competing in both the Short Films and Croatian Film categories. The fourth NFB film, Hedgehog’s Home by Eva Cvijanović, will be competing in the new Young Audiences category at Annecy. It has already been honoured at the Berlin Festival, where it received a Special Mention from the Children’s Jury in the Generation Kplus Competition, and will be contending in three categories at Animafest. All four of the filmmakers will be accompanying their films to Annecy.
The Annecy Festival will also be the venue for the much-awaited launch of Comic Strip Chronicles, a quartet of animated short films that celebrates the affinities between comic books and animated films. The four films are directed by five acclaimed cartoonists from Canada and France: Guy Delisle, Zviane, Aude Picault, Lewis Trondheim and Jean Matthieu Tanguy. These films will be presented in special screenings throughout the festival, with Guy Delisle and Lewis Trondheim in attendance.
In the out-of-competition program VR@Annecy, Blind Vaysha, an acclaimed film by Theodore Ushev that has travelled the world and been nominated for an Oscar, will be presented for the very first time in the form of an immersive virtual-reality experience.
The Annecy Festival will also be holding a retrospective on the work of Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, who will be on hand to present a master class on stop-motion animation. There will also be screenings of five of the films that they have produced with the NFB: Madame Tutli-Putli, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life, and their three films from the NFB’s Naked Island series—We Eat Shit, We Drink Too Much and Saint-Louis Square.
Lastly, four animated shorts from the NFB will be presented out of competition in special screenings: La Bastringue Madame Bolduc and Words by George Geertsen, along with La faim by Peter Foldès and Old Orchard Beach P.Q. by Michèle Cournoyer.
Four NFB films in official competition
- The Tesla World Light, directed by Matthew Rankin (8 min)
The Tesla World Light is an experimental animated film in which the visionary inventor Nikola Tesla writes to financier J.P. Morgan.
This film had its world premiere at the 56th Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival.
Produced by Julie Roy of the NFB’s French Animation Studio.
Originally from Winnipeg, filmmaker Matthew Rankin is now based in Montreal. This is his second film produced at the NFB; the first was The Radical Expeditions of Walter Boudreau. His film Mynarski Death Plummet received an award in the “Off Limits” competition at Annecy in 2015.
- I Like Girls, directed by Diane Obomsawin (8 min)
I Like Girls is an animated film in which four singular women reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves.
This film received the Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2016 and the Guy L. Côté Award for Best Canadian Animated Film at the 15th Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal.
Produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer.
Diane Obomsawin is a Quebec cartoonist and animator of Abenaki origin. I Like Girls is a film adaptation of her latest graphic novel, and her eighth collaboration with the NFB.
- Manivald, directed by Chintis Lundgren (12 min)
Manivald the fox has just turned 33. Overeducated, unemployed and generally uninspired, he lives with his overbearing, retired mother. It is an easy life, but not a good one. This unhealthy co-dependence changes when the washing machine breaks down and Toomas, a sexy wolf repairman, arrives to fix it, and them.
This film will have its world premiere on June 6 at Animafest in Zagreb, where it has been selected for official competition.
An international co-production produced by Chintis Lundgren (Chintis Lundgreni Animatsioonistuudio, Croatia), Draško Ivezić (Adriatic Animation, Croatia) and Jelena Popović (NFB), with Michael Fukushima as executive producer.
Chintis Lundgren is an animator from Estonia who now lives in Croatia. Manivald is the first film she’s directed for the NFB.
- Hedgehog’s Home, directed by Eva Cvijanović (12 min)
Hedgehog’s Home is a film centred on a hedgehog whose devotion to his home annoys a quartet of beasts who decide to confront him.
This film was screened in official competition in the Generation Kplus section at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, where it received a special mention from the jury. It will also be screened in three official competitions at Animafest in Zagreb: Short Films, Croatian Film, and Films for Children.
Screening in official competition in the Young Audiences category at Annecy.
An international co-production produced by Jelena Popović (NFB) and Vanja Andrijević (Bonobostudio, Croatia), with Michael Fukushima as executive producer.
Eva Cvijanović is an animator and filmmaker who participated in the Hothouse apprenticeship program for emerging Canadian filmmakers (The Kiss, 2011).
World premiere: Comic Strip Chronicles
The Annecy Festival will also see the launch of Comic Strip Chronicles, a quartet of animated shorts that celebrates the affinities between comic books and animated films. These three-minute films were created by five acclaimed cartoonists from Canada and France and will receive several special screenings throughout the festival.
The four short films:
- The Tooth, by Guy Delisle (Canada) – an adaptation of Delisle’s print cartoon collection A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting, published by Drawn and Quarterly.
- Sweet Childhood, by Zviane (Canada).
- Panoramic Chronicle, by Lewis Trondheim and Jean Matthieu Tanguy (France).
- Free Love, by Aude Picault (France).
An international co-production produced by the NFB (Julie Roy and Marc Bertrand), Canal+ and Sacrebleu Productions (Ron Dyens).
Guy Delisle and Lewis Trondheim will attend the event. They will participate in a signing session as well as in the master class “L’art de raconter, de la BD à l’animé” (in French only).
Blind Vaysha in virtual reality
World premiere of the immersive virtual-reality version of the film Blind Vaysha, by Theodore Ushev, which won the Jury Award at Annecy in 2016 and was nominated for the Oscar for best animated short film.
Produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer.
Bulgarian-born Canadian filmmaker Theodore Ushev has directed many award-winning animated films that have been distributed throughout the world. Since 2003, he has directed a dozen works at the NFB, notably Lipsett Diaries and Gloria Victoria.
Retrospective: Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
The Annecy Festival presents Clyde Henry Productions: Pataphysical Detectives, a retrospective celebrating 20 years of artistic creation by the duo of Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski.
The two filmmakers will be guests of honour at the festival, where they will give a master class entitled “Elementa: The Language of Stop-Motion.”
Four NFB films selected for special screenings
Four films produced by the NFB will be presented out of competition in special screenings at the Annecy Festival. They are La Bastringue Madame Bolduc and Words by George Geertsen, La faim by Peter Foldès, and Old Orchard Beach P.Q. by Michèle Cournoyer.
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: I Like girls | Hedgehog’s Home | Manivald | THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT | Blind Vaysha VR
Annecy International Animated Film Festival
Chintis Lundgreni Animatsioonistuudio
L’art de raconter, de la BD à l’animé
Elementa: The Language of Stop-Motion