Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis' short film, "When The Day Breaks" won the
Grand Prize (Goldene Taube) at the 42nd International Leipzig Festival for
Documentary & Animated Films (Germany). This recent award is just another
accolade in "When The Day Breaks'" dazzling international career, which
started with the Palme d'Or for best short film at the 52nd Cannes
International Film Festival in Cannes, France, last June. "When The Day
Breaks" also won the coveted Grand Prix for best animated short film at
Annecy '99, and the Gold Hugo Award, animated short film category, at the
35th Chicago International Film Festival.
"When The Day Breaks" is a labor of love. It took four years for Amanda
Forbis and Wendy Tilby to finish the softly colored, wordless, but musical,
story of a pig whose world shifts after a car accident kills a stranger on
her block. They began the production by shooting High-8 video of the action
using real people. Forbis put on a cardboard chicken beak, and then Tilby
shot it. Then the footage was divided into individual frames and
photocopied. The two filmmakers penciled and colored each image, turning
people into pigs and other animals.
"When The Day Breaks" is just one of the many brilliant animated shorts
produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). The NFB was
established in 1939 to improve Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau
productions and to increase their distribution in England. Its first film
commissioner was British documentary filmmaker John Grierson. Norman
McLaren joined the NFB's Animation Studio in 1941. Over 6,000 titles --
documentaries, animation and live-action films -- have been produced at the
NFB in the past sixty years. The NFB has received more than twenty Academy
Award nominations, and four Oscars for its animated shorts: Norman
McLaren's "Neighbours" (1952); Co-Hoedmann's "Sand Castle" (1977); Eugene
Fedorenko's "Every Child" (1979) and Alison Snowden & David Fine's "Bob's
Birthday" (1994). Wendy Tilby herself was nominated in 1991 for "Strings."
With the exceptional accomplishments of its animation studios, the NFB
deserves to celebrate its 60th anniversary with honor and grace. For twelve
months beginning last May, a plethora of prestigious events are honouring
the NFB, its rich past and powerful impact. Various Canadian television
channels are airing NFB productions throughout this anniversary year at the
rate of over a hundred hours per month. Tributes at international festivals
are also honouring the NFB with special retrospectives, tributes and
exhibitions. Other interesting events include a partnership with Air Canada
which is offering in-flight screenings with an overview of sixty years of
NFB productions. A special upcoming event is an Anniversary Salute to the
NFB by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday,
November 18, 1999. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis will be attending the
event, as well as a series of screenings in Los Angeles and the Bay area
(see "site news" above). Don't miss this opportunity to meet the directors
of the extraordinary "When The Day Breaks!"
Don Duga's review of The Annecy International Animation Film Festival '99 includes a Quicktime clip of "When the Day Breaks."
For information about Alison Snowden and David Fine, visit their web site
on Animation World Network.
Alison Snowden and David Fine's prime time animated show "Bob And
Margaret," was reviewed by Maureen Furniss in the July 1998
issue of Animation World Magazine:
Original production cels from one of the NFB's most beloved animated
shorts, Richard Condie's "The Big Snit,"
are available for purchase
exclusively in the Animation World Store.