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If I Was God

Cordell Barker
2015 | 8 min




Cordell Barker

Cordell Barker

Cordell Barker is a two-time Oscar®-nominated animator who began his professional career creating animation forSesame Street while he was still in high school. After three years of apprenticing at the animation production house Kenn Perkins Animation, he went freelance, working on animated TV commercials that aired across Canada. Barker’s long association with the National Film Board of Canada began in 1982. He created his first three animated short films at the NFB: The Cat Came Back (1988), Strange Invaders (2001) and Runaway (2009). The first two received Oscar nominations; the third won the Petit Rail d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was an official selection at the Sundance and Toronto international film festivals. Collectively, the three films have won him some 45 international awards.
Throughout this period Barker also worked on numerous national and international TV commercials for major corporations such as Coke, Bell and Nike. In 2010, he became Creative Consultant on Animation for the NFB’s Northwest Centre, overseeing its animation projects in the Canadian Prairies, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Barker’s latest NFB film and most ambitious project to date, If I Was God, is a darkly whimsical stop-motion animation memoir about a particularly awkward day in Grade 7. He used a variety of techniques, from traditional animation to stop-motion puppets, to give this short its organic, hand-made feel.

Michael Fukushima
Executive Producer

Michael Fukushima

Michael Fukushima has been making films since 1984. He joined the NFB in 1990 to direct the animated documentary Minoru: Memory of Exile (1992), winner of the Hot Docs Best Short Documentary award. Michael became an NFB animation producer in 1997, co-founding the NFB’s flagship emerging filmmaker program, Hothouse, in 2002 and was appointed executive producer of the NFB’s fabled Animation Studio in 2013.

Some notable films in his filmography include Genie Award winner cNote (2004), by Chris Hinton; Shira Avni’s animated documentary Tying Your Own Shoes (2009), which won the Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig and the prestigious NHK Japan Prize; Muybridge’s Strings (2011), by Oscar-nominated Japanese filmmaker Koji Yamamura; Oscar-nominated films Dimanche (2011), by Patrick Doyon, and Me and My Moulton (2014), by Torill Kove; and, most recently, Cordell Barker’s If I Was God… and Ann Marie Fleming’s Window Horses. Michael now mostly produces the producers and offers up sagacity, but he continues to keep his hand in—this year, on the first short film in two decades by Oscar winners Alison Snowden and David Fine, and on Oscar winner Torill Kove’s new film, Threads.

David Christensen
Producer & Executive Producer

David Christensen

David Christensen is a Producer and Executive Producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s North West Studio, one of the NFB’s six English language studios. Some of his recent films include If I Was God, recently Oscar-shortlisted for Best Animation Short, the NFB co-produced feature documentary Hadwin’s Judgement, which premiered at the 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, and the feature film The Forbidden Room, directed by Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson and winner of the best Canadian Feature by the Toronto Film Critics Association.

Other works that David has produced include the acclaimed documentary Everything Will Be, a devastating co-production about Indian Residential Schools entitled We Were Children, the Oscar-nominated animated short film Wild Life, and Bear 71, an online interactive web documentary that was named FWA Site of the Year. He is also very involved in emerging filmmaking and digital programmes for Nunavut filmmakers.

Filmography: Awards and Recognitions

Interview with the filmmaker


Animated Gifs


a film by
Cordell Barker

Written and Directed by
Cordell Barker

Designed and Edited by
Cordell Barker

Stop-motion Animation – Classroom
(See Creature Animation)
Lead Animator
Sylvie Trouvé

Dale Hayward

Stop-motion Animation – Fantasy
Cordell Barker

Stop-motion Supervisor
(See Creature Animation)
Dale Hayward

2D Animation
Cordell Barker

2D Animation Assistant
Chris Cormier

Compositing and Stereography
Fred Casia

Stéphanie Weber Biron

Rig Removal Compositing
Dale Hayward
Sylvie Trouvé

Lighting Assistant
Peter Lavender

Online Editor
Denis Pilon

Puppet Fabrication
(Studio Jako Lanterne)
Laurent Canniccioni
Emily Bélanger

Puppet Costumes
Susana Vera

Classroom Sets & Props
Deborah Sullivan
Samantha Scafidi

Fantasy Props & Puppets
Cordell Barker

Puppet Armatures
Thea Pratt
Erik Goulet
François Pilon
John Sadowy
Adrian Vedady

Music Recording
Geoffrey Mitchell
Padraig Buttner-Schnirer

Cordell Barker
Natalie Viebrock

(Channels Audio & Post Production)
John Schritt

Foley Artists
Andy Malcolm
Goro Koyama
Sandra Fox

Foley Recording Mixer
Jack Heeren

Foley Recordists
Jenna Dalla Riva
Stephen Muir

Foley Recorded at
Footsteps Post-Production Sound Inc.

Jean-Paul Vialard

Script Consultant
Jason Sherman

Dillon Barker
Joshua Barker
Jackson Barker
April Barker

Production Supervisor
Mark Power

Technical Coordinator
Steve Hallé

Technical Director
Eloi Champagne

Centre Operations Manager
Darin Clausen

Studio Administrators
Bree Beach
Ginette D’Silva

Production Coordinators
Faye Yoneda
Jasmine Pullukatt

Marketing Manager
Christine Noël

Executive Producer
David Christensen

Michael Fukushima
David Christensen
A National Film Board of Canada Production
© 2015 National Film Board of Canada

  • 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.