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National Film Board of Canada Gets Three Nods at Sundance

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival – the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent films, taking place January 21 to 31 – with another outstanding selection of animated shorts. Cordell Baker’s satire Runaway, Bruce Alcock’s Acadian tale, Vive la Rose, and David Coquard-Dassault’s meditation on the rhythm of human activity, Rains have been selected for this year’s festival lineup.

Press Release from The National Film Board of Canada

Toronto, December 7, 2009 – The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is back at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival – the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent films, taking place January 21 to 31 – with another outstanding selection of animated shorts.  Cordell Baker’s satire Runaway, Bruce Alcock’s Acadian tale, Vive la Rose, and David Coquard-Dassault’s meditation on the rhythm of human activity, Rains have been selected for this year’s festival lineup.

Cordell Barker’s Runaway, which world premiered in Cannes, is the director’s third film with the NFB. His films The Cat Came Back (1988) and Strange Invaders (2001) were madcap, brilliantly rendered animations, which won 30 international awards and received Academy Award nominations. In his prescient new short, Barker asks what would happen if the world were a driverless train thundering recklessly over bumpy tracks. Driving the film’s vertiginous plunge toward disaster is music by Benoît Charest, whose score for The Triplets of Belleville, contributed to the animation feature’s popularity.

Runaway was produced in Winnipeg by Derek Mazur for the NFB. <NFB.ca/Runaway>

Bruce Alcock’s Vive la Rose, puts into images the words of a plaintive song about lost love. When illness takes the woman he loves, a simple man sings to her in a last farewell. Co-produced by the NFB and Global Mechanic, Alcock’s film is based on a version of the 18th-century song by the late Newfoundland musician Émile Benoit. Anchored in a beautiful corner of the province, Vive la Rose uses an innovative, triptych structure as it pays homage to its land, sea and the harsh lives of the local fishermen.

Vive la Rose was produced by Global Mechanic’s Tina Ouellette and the NFB’s Annette Clarke and Michael Fukushima. <NFB.ca/ViveLaRose>

Rains is a meditation on everyday life and our relationship with nature, as seen by the acute eye of David Coquard-Dassault, whose simple pencil drawings capture all the subtleties of scenes and actions.  As a sudden downpour lashes the city, everybody seeks shelter. Just for a moment, time stands still. Human activity almost grinds to a halt. Some wait in a bus shelter, others are set on going out, if their umbrellas will open. Wiser, the birds wait out the storm. When the rain stops, the bubble bursts and life goes on.

Rains was produced by Folimage’s Pascal Le Nôtre and the NFB’s Julie Roy. <NFB.ca/Rains>

About NFB Animation

The National Film Board of Canada has led the way in auteur animation since 1941, when cinema pioneer Norman McLaren founded its first animation unit. Since then, NFB animators have created groundbreaking films using a wide array of techniques and styles. Today, the NFB is creating visionary new works, at its renowned animation studios in Montreal and at NFB centres across Canada, as well as via international coproductions with many of the world’s leading auteur animators. As the digital media revolution changes the way animation is created and experienced, the NFB is exploring new approaches in 3D stereoscopic animation at its StereoLab and developing content for new platforms. It’s also working to develop the next generation of Canadian animation pioneers through its mentorship work with emerging filmmakers. In 2009, Neighbours/Voisins by NFB animation founder Norman McLaren was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

About the NFB

Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. In collaboration with its international partners and co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation – and more. Since the NFB’s founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. The NFB’s new website features over 1,400 productions online, and its iPhone app has become one of the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit <NFB.ca> today and start watching!

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