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NFB Heats Up Hothouse 4

The National Film Board of Canada has launched the Hothouse 4 website at, which includes a regular behind-the-scenes podcast series.

Hothouse is a NFB project that encourages new talent, provides an A-Z experience in professional animation filmmaking and re-imagines ways of making animation: ways that are faster, more flexible and that celebrate the shortest of short forms. Eight emerging filmmakers spend 12 weeks at the NFB Animation studios in Montreal to create 30-second films on the theme "A Chance Encounter."

This year's participants are under the watchful eye of Academy Award-winning director Torill Kove, whose NFB/Norway co-produced THE DANISH POET received this year's Oscar for Best Animated Short. As mentoring director Kove will guide and advise the participants during their time at the NFB.

More than 80 applications were received for the six spots open to Canadians; the lucky participants in this year's Hothouse 4 are James Braithwaite (Montreal), Maya Ersan (Montreal), Dale Hayward (Toronto), Carla Coma (Alberta), Jody Kramer (Vancouver) and Oliver Tsuji (Montreal). A new addition to this year's mix was the inclusion of two young artists from Brazil; 150 proposals were submitted and Jonas Brandão (Sao Paulo) and Diego Stoliar (Rio de Janeiro) have joined the group in Montreal as part of the cooperation program signed between the NFB and the Minister of Culture of Brazil last March.

Hothouse was created in 2003 by NFB Animation Studio producer Michael Fukushima and exec producer David Verrall. According to Fukushima the hothouse-as-pressure-cooker is a model that has proved beneficial for the NFB as a whole. "It encourages the studio to continually question animation conventions and to re-imagine how we make our films. It also helps us discover new talent and sustains the experimentation and innovation that have always defined Film Board animation." Hothouse 4 is under the direction of Maral Mohammadian, who has recently joined the NFB Animation Studio as associate producer after several years at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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