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Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics

Terril Calder
2021 | 19 min 22 s
Stop motion animation
English with some Anishinaabemowin

Selections and Awards

  • Official SelectionTIFF - Toronto International Film Festival, Canada (2021)

  • Official SelectionOIAF - Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canada (2021)

  • Official SelectionimagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada, (2021)

Long Synopsis

One liner

Director's Statement

Terril Calder, Métis


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Terril Calder
Writer, Director and Animator
Photo : Julie Artacho

Terril Calder

One of the foremost Métis media artists practising in Canada today, Terril Calder is a multi-disciplinary creator born in Fort Frances, Ontario, and currently living in Toronto. Calder’s Métis lineage is from the Red River Settlement and the Orkney Cree Métis. While her current practice is focused on stop-motion projects, which she writes, directs, crafts and animates, Calder also has an extensive background in performance art, visual art and media art.

Calder attended the University of Manitoba’s Fine Arts Program, graduating with a major in Drawing and a minor in Film. While in Winnipeg, she exhibited her multi-media and performance artwork with the influential Student Bolshevik group and was a member of Video Pool. After moving to Toronto following her studies, Calder became a founding member of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, where she curated visual and performance art exhibitions. Since the 1990s, Calder has lectured and taught art at organizations such as the National Ballet School of Canada, the Toronto District School Board, Art in the Park, the University of Manitoba, Indigenous Roots and imagineNATIVE, and in numerous Indigenous communities in Canada.

Calder’s films have been screened at major festivals and venues across Canada and internationally, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam, the Berlinale, the Tampere Film Festival and imagineNATIVE. In 2019, the Winnipeg Film Group presented the first retrospective of her work, and in 2020, she received her first film festival retrospective, at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Calder’s notable film honours include Best Experimental Film from imagineNATIVE for The “Gift”, an Honourable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival, a Genie Award nomination for Best Animation and a Special Mention at the Berlinale (Generation 14+). Her films Choke (2011) and Snip (2016) were both selected for TIFF’s annual list of Canada’ Top Ten Shorts. Additional awards include best animation prizes at the Dreamspeakers Festival, the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, the Indianer Inuit film festival in Stuttgart, and the Intercontinental Biennale of Indigenous Art in Piura, Peru, as well as a Pixie Award for animation. In 2016, Calder won the prestigious K.M. Hunter Artist Award for her contributions to the media arts.

In addition to her most recent animated project, Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics, Calder is co-creating a stop-motion video game with Meagan Byrne, providing animation for Alanis Obomsawin’s Green Horse project, and creating an animated art installation with the Glenn Gould Foundation in celebration of Obomsawin’s lifetime achievement award.

Jelena Popović

Jelena Popović

Jelena Popović has been a producer at the NFB English Program Animation Studio since 2014, and her credits include several multi-award-winning films, notably Hedgehog’s Home by Eva Cvijanović, winner of over 30 prizes including the Prix du jeune public at Annecy, and Manivald by Chintis Lundgren, which garnered 20 awards at Animafest, OIAF, Aspen, Hiroshima, etcPopović also directed the documentary The Knights of Orlando and edited Patrick Doyon’s Academy Award-nominated short Sunday. 

Jason Ryle
Consulting Producer

Jason Ryle

Jason Ryle is a producer, curator, story editor and independent arts consultant based in Toronto. He is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin, Manitoba. From July 2010 to June 2020, Jason was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE, an Indigenous-run organization mandated to support Indigenous filmmakers and media artists. In this capacity, Jason oversaw all operational and artistic activities of the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest showcase of Indigenous screen content. He also oversaw the organization’s year-round initiatives, international partnerships and special projects, including On-Screen Protocols & Pathways, an influential framework for film and television production. Under his leadership, imagineNATIVE became the global hub for Indigenous film and a highly respected part of the Canadian industry.

Since 2006, Jason has been a script reader for the Harold Greenberg Fund (which provides financial support to Canadian narrative screenwriters), a role that includes story development and market assessment. He currently serves on several voluntary boards of directors, including as the President of the Toronto Arts Council, as Chair of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, and as a director for The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and REEL CANADA. Jason is also a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee for the National Film Board of Canada.

From 2013 until 2020, he was an Advisor for Indigenous films at the Berlinale. He also oversaw the Indigenous Cinema stand at the European Film Market from 2015–2020, which promoted features and shorts made by Indigenous filmmakers to international sales agents, distributors and festivals. Jason has produced two award-winning short animations and is currently in development as a producer on several projects by Indigenous directors.

In February 2021, Jason received the Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. The award is bestowed to Canadians whose work has in some way enriched the understanding and appreciation of film in their native country.

Michael Fukushima
Executive Producer (NFB)
Photo : David Fine

Michael Fukushima

Michael Fukushima was the executive producer of the NFB’s world-renowned English Program Animation Studio from 2013 to 2021. After briefly freelancing following college, Fukushima joined the NFB in 1990 as a filmmaker before becoming a studio producer. During his distinguished tenure at the NFB he produced or executive-produced more than 200 films, including projects with Oscar winners Alison Snowden, David Fine and Torill Kove. In 2014 Fukushima became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His interests include a great passion for the outdoors, as both an avid skier and all-season cyclist.

Rob McLaughlin
Executive Producer
Photo : Emily Cooper

Rob McLaughlin

Rob McLaughlin is the Executive Producer and Head of the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver where he leads in the development of digital programming strategy, interactive and immersive documentary work. Rob has produced many of the NFB’s pioneering experimental projects since establishing the studio in 2008 including Bear 71, Welcome to Pine Point and Biidaaban: First Light VR

Prior to the NFB, Rob was a senior executive at Canada’s largest newspaper chain, responsible for leading staff through a time of radical transformation in the newspaper industry. Rob also worked for 10 years as a producer and executive at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation developing online audio-visual projects designed to attract new audiences for public broadcasting.


Written and Directed by
Terril Calder

Jelena Popović

Consulting Producer
Jason Ryle

Executive Producers
Michael Fukushima
Robert McLaughlin

Gail Maurice

Kent McQuaid

Baby Girl
Lake Delisle

Terril Calder

Jeff Barnaby

Darlene Naponse

Design, Animation and Compositing
Terril Calder

Erik Goulet

Puppets, Sets, Props, Costumes
Terril Calder

Traditional Costume – Baby Girl
Cassandra Cochrane

Lighting Consultant
Nadya Kwandibens

3D Animation
Zane Kozak

Music Composer
Judith Gruber-Stitzer
© 2021 National Film Board of Canada (SOCAN)

Kate Bevan-Baker, violin
François Jalbert, guitar
Sheila Hannigan, cello

Music Mix
François Arbour
Geoffrey Mitchell (NFB)

Sound Design
Sacha Ratcliffe

Karla Baumgardner
assisted by
Rod Thibeault

Foley Recording
Geoffrey Mitchell

Voice Recording
Luc Léger

Jean Paul Vialard
Shelley Craig

Technical Director
Eloi Champagne

Animation Technical Specialist
Randall Finnerty

Online Editor
Serge Verreault

Closing Credits
Cynthia Ouellet

Technical Coordinators
Luc Binette
Mira Mailhot

Studio Administrator
Rosalina Di Sario

Senior Production Coordinator
Dominique Forget

Studio Coordinator
Faisal Moula

Marketing Manager
Judith Lessard-Bérubé

Marketing Coordinator
Jolène Lessard

Anishinaabe Syllabic Chapter Titles
James Vukelich

Anishinaabemowin Translation
Margaret Pollock

Willie J. Ermine, M.Ed.
Tantoo Cardinal
John Christou
Jamie Whitecrow
Brandon Michael Mohammed
Emry Calder
Amanda Roy
Valdimar Brandsson
Adeeb Khan
Geeta Sondhi
Heather Haynes

© 2021 National Film Board of Canada

Press Relations

  • Nadine Viau
    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745

  • About the NFB

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