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THE NFB AT THE SOMMETS DU CINÉMA D’ANIMATION 2016. Strong NFB lineup includes two opening night films, five shorts in competition, and a master class by Diane Obomsawin.



November 14, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is taking part in the 15th Sommets du cinéma d’animation, November 23 to 27 in Montreal, with a rich selection of 11 films reflecting diverse perspectives and artistic approaches. For the first time, the festival’s opening night program will consist entirely of two films co-produced at the NFB, with the filmmakers in attendance: the Quebec premiere of the feature-length Window Horses / La vie en Rosie (Stickgirl Productions/NFB) by Ann Marie Fleming, and the world premiere of the short Je ne sens plus rien / I Don’t Feel Anything Anymore (Zorobabel/NFB), by Belgian filmmakers Carl Roosens and Noémie Marsily. Three shorts are screening in the international competition:  J’aime les filles / I Like Girls by Diane Obomsawin (Quebec premiere), I Am Here / Je suis ici by Eoin Duffy, and We Drink Too Much by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski. “Une journée avec Diane Obomsawin,” a rare opportunity to attend a master class given by the filmmaker, will take place on Thursday, November 24. Two other NFB productions have also been selected for the festival’s first-ever very short film competition: Poupons / Pumpers by Pascaline Lefebvre and Mindfork / Tête-Mêle by Catherine Dubeau.

The other NFB films screening at the Sommets are: in the Panorama section, the popular Vaysha l’aveugle / Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev (NFB), Une tête disparaît / The Head Vanishes by Franck Dion (Papy3D/NFB/ARTE France) and Mamie by Janice Nadeau (Folimage/NFB); and one short as part of the Animating Reality: The Creative Genius of Animation Meets Documentary retrospective, a collaboration between the Sommets and the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM): Oscar, by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (MJSTP Films/NFB, in collaboration with Télé-Québec). Filmmakers Ann Marie Fleming and Eoin Duffy will take part in a roundtable discussion, moderated by NFB executive producer Michael Fukushima, on issues around film funding and distribution, Frima Studio will host a 5 à 7 to introduce its new mobile geolocation game Where’s Monsieur Pug?, designed in collaboration with the NFB, and independent director Steven Woloshen will be receiving the René-Jodoin Award.

Opening films

  • Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (La vie en Rosie: L’épopée persane de Rosie Ming) by Ann Marie Fleming – Quebec premiere
    World premiere at Annecy International Animation Film Festival
    Winner of two awards at the Vancouver International Film Festival
    Jury Prize at the Bucheon International Animation Festival, South Korea

This is a feature-length animated film about love—love of family, poetry, history, culture―in which a young Canadian poet embarks on a whirlwind voyage of discovery. The film’s voice actors include such well-known talents as Sandra Oh, Ellen Page, Don McKellar, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Nancy Kwan. More than a dozen animators, including Kevin Langdale, Janet Perlman, Bahram Javaheri and Jody Kramer, worked on the film with director Ann Marie Fleming. Window Horses is co-produced by Stickgirl Productions (Ann Marie Fleming), Sandra Oh and the NFB (Shirley Vercruysse and Michael Fukushima).

  • Je ne sens plus rien (I Don’t Feel Anything Anymore) by Carl Roosens and Noémie Marsily – World premiere

A tale of two lovers who live an isolated life high in the sky, striving to make themselves useful while all is chaos down below. A rich animated satire of life in a world gone off the rails. A Belgium (Delphine Renard and William Henne for Zorobabel) / Canada (Marc Bertrand for the NFB) co-production.

International competition

  • J’aime les filles (I Like Girls) by Diane Obomsawin – Quebec premiere

Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the 2016 Ottawa International Animation Festival

Endearing anthropomorphic figures tell real-life stories, revealing the nitty-gritty about the first loves of four women who share funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression. Produced by Marc Bertrand and executive produced by Julie Roy.

On Thursday, November 24, the filmmaker will host a master class entitled “Une journée avec Diane Obomsawin,” presented in collaboration with the NFB. She will begin by presenting and commenting on her films, and then invite attendees to created an animated GIF inspired by her works, known for their distinctive sense of humour.

An exhibition of Obomsawin’s graphic work—comics, illustrations and painting—will also be presented, giving audiences the opportunity to appreciate the full scope of her talent.

  • Je suis ici (I Am Here) by Eoin Duffy (whose The Missing Scarf was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2014)

Selected to screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma

This animated short is an exploration of existence itself, as a mysterious traveller journeys across space and time in search of the origin of the universe, life, and God. The film was produced by the NFB’s studio in Vancouver (Shirley Vercruysse, producer and executive producer) and its Animation Studio (Maral Mohammadian, producer; Michael Fukushima, executive producer).

  • We Drink Too Much by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski – World premiere

A film about living beyond our means. Produced at the NFB by Jelena Popovic and Maral Mohammadian, in collaboration with Clyde Henry Productions, this is the creative brainchild of Genie Award winners Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life). Puppets used in some of their films will be exhibited during the Sommets festival.

International very short film competition (new section this year)

  • Poupons (Pumpers) by Pascaline Lefebvre

Inspired by found sound of baby noises, Pumpers takes a good hard look at the bizarre behaviour of people working out in a gym.

  • Tête-mêle (Mindfork) by Catherine Dubeau

Inspired by found sound of an English language lesson, Mindfork depicts a visual descent into madness triggered by the effort to keep it all together—even when it seems damn near impossible.

Both films emerged from the 11th season of the Hothouse program for emerging animators, produced by the NFB’s Maral Mohammadian.


  • Vaysha l’aveugle (Blind Vaysha) by Theodore Ushev

World premiere at the Berlinale

Jury Award and Junior Jury Award for a Short Film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, along with several other Canadian and international distinctions, including two prizes at the 2016 Ottawa International Animation Festival and a special mention at the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montreal

Vaysha is not like other young girls: blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she’s unable to see the reality that exists in the present. Adapted from a story by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov and narrated by Caroline Dhavernas, Blind Vaysha was produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand and executive producer Julie Roy, with the participation of ARTE France.

  • Une tête disparaît (The Head Vanishes) by Franck Dion

Cristal Award for Best Short Film at the 2016 Annecy International Animation Film Festival

Best Animation Short at the New York City Shorts Festival

Franck Dion takes us inside the faltering, fragile mind of a woman living with dementia who is determined to take the train to the seaside, as she does every summer. The film was co-produced by Dion and Richard Van Den Boom for Papy3D, Julie Roy for the NFB, and Hélène Vayssières for ARTE France.

  • Mamie by Janice Nadeau

Selected for several Canadian and international festivals, including Annecy

Mamie lives as a recluse in Gaspésie, in a house that faces away from the sea. Her granddaughter often wonders: “Why isn’t Mamie interested in anything I do?” The film was co-produced by Corinne Destombes for France-based production company Folimage and Marc Bertrand for the NFB. Quebec actress Isabelle Blais is the narrator. Mamie is Janice Nadeau’s solo directorial debut and follows her first animated film, No Fish Where to Go, co-directed with Nicola Lemay and produced by the NFB; the short was widely shown at festivals and won several awards.

  • Retrospective: Animating Reality: The Creative Genius of Animation Meets Documentary — a joint presentation of the Sommets du cinéma d’animation and the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM)
    The program features one short co-produced at the NFB:
  • Oscar by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, which blends animated sequences and archival footage in its touching portrait of Montreal piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson. Co-produced by MJSTP Films (Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre and Jocelyne Perrier) and the NFB (Marc Bertrand), in collaboration with Télé-Québec.

Roundtable: Money and Eyeballs, with filmmakers Ann Marie Fleming and Eoin Duffy

Moderated by NFB executive producer Michael Fukushima, this roundtable will explore these two Vancouver-area filmmakers’ experiences with new models for funding and distributing films in the age of the Internet. Fleming, for example, with her company Stickgirl Productions, set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for her film Window Horses, raising $80,000 in 50 days from 730 contributors in 28 different countries.

5 à 7 hosted by Frima Studio

Frima Studio will present its new mobile geolocation game, Where’s Monsieur Pug?, which blends augmented reality and geocaching, designed in collaboration with the NFB and inspired by the animated short Monsieur Pug by filmmaker Janet Perlman (NFB, 2014).

René-Jodoin Award

The René-Jodoin Award, named in honour of the renowned filmmaker, producer and founder of the NFB’s French Animation Studio, recognizes exemplary work by a leading figure in Canadian animation. This year, the award will be presented at the Sommets to independent filmmaker Steven Woloshen, who is also a conservation and laboratory technician at the NFB.


Associated Links

Sommets du cinéma d’animation
ARTE France
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal

Media Relations

  • 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.