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NFB Sets World Premiere for ‘Minotaur’

Latest film by Munro Ferguson, master of hand-drawn 3D animation.

Toronto – Minotaur, the latest 3D short by Genie Award-winning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animator  Munro Ferguson, world premieres in Toronto over three nights, June 7–9, when it kicks off performances by Kid Koala at TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of the Luminato Festival.

Kid Koala, who provided original music for Minotaur, will be performing at TIFF Bell Lightbox from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On June 8, audience members can also join Kid Koala and Munro Ferguson for a talk following the concert. Admission for each show is $35.

Winner of a Genie for Best Animated Short for the 2003 NFB stereoscopic film Falling in Love Again, Ferguson is a world leader in developing new creative applications for the Sandde 3D drawing system developed by IMAX Corporation. Minotaur is Ferguson’s latest creation to explore the artistic potential of this revolutionary made-in-Canada animation technology.

“I wanted to see if I could tell a narrative purely with abstract images and sound. The story had to be something everyone could understand,” said director Munro Ferguson. “I was inspired by my old professor, Northrop Frye, and his interpretation of the hero’s quest. My job is weird. I sit in a dark room, wearing 3D glasses in front of a four-metre screen. I wave a wand around in a magnetic field to draw in space. Out of this comes an animated film. I think the NFB is the only place in the world where this would be considered a normal day at work. Working with Kid Koala was fantastic. Not only is he a wonderful musician, he’s a great storyteller as well.”

In Minotaur, Ferguson sweeps viewers through a series of powerful sensations as the mythic hero experiences the seven stages of the classic archetypal path. The seven-minute film is scored by Kid Koala and produced for the NFB’s Animation Studio by Marcy Page.

“Seeing Munro’s film inspired me to think three dimensionally in terms of music,” Kid Koala commented. “Scoring an abstract 3D film was unlike any other score work I had done before. When I looked closely, the music was already there in the drawings. Munro’s imagery moved, floated and pulsed in deliberate tempos and emotions. All I had to do was try to match it on the piano.”

Minotaur is the second collaboration this year between the NFB and Kid Koala, who created an innovative interactive soundscape for Phonophotopia, an installation at Place des Arts in Montreal that’s part of McLaren Wall-To-Wall, a participatory outdoor experience celebrating the 100th anniversary of Norman McLaren’s birth, from April 11 to June 1.

Minotaur draws its inspiration from a previous NFB breakthrough: the immersive experience In the Labyrinth, created for Expo 67 in Montreal―a pioneering, multi-screen production that also explored the universal story of the hero’s journey.

Source: NFB