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NFB Animation Hothouse 6 Call for Submissions

The National Film Board of Canada seeks submissions from emerging filmmakers (young and not-so-young), and artists intrigued by animation art, for the 6th edition of Hothouse, a 12-week paid apprenticeship in full-on, all-inclusive, real-world animation filmmaking.

From the National Film Board of Canada

Deadline: February 19, 2010

Program Dates: April 05 – June 25, 2010

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Theme: “Inside Out”

Tell it in a minute. Do it in 3 months. Make it Stereoscopic 3D.

The National Film Board of Canada seeks submissions from emerging filmmakers (young and not-so-young), and artists intrigued by animation art, for the 6th edition of Hothouse, a 12-week paid apprenticeship in full-on, all-inclusive, real-world animation filmmaking.

A new dimension this year -- and a giant experiment -- Hothouse 6 will be produced in stereoscopic 3D! No need to dust off your red and blue glasses or script elaborate face-poking scenes; this is about using space as an essential story device and expressive tool (intimacy, fantasy, paradox, etc).

Hothouse is about making animation faster and more flexibly, embracing animation’s many possibilities while maintaining creative and technical excellence. We’re looking for six new talents who are willing and able to jump head-first into this intensive, immersive experience.

Submission Criteria:

Submissions must be received by 5pm (Montreal time) on Friday February 19 and must be sent via email or post. The six successful candidates will be notified on Friday February 26.

Your submission must include:

(all writing and images should be sent in .pdf format)

1. A one-page statement outlining your idea and intent, artistic approach, technical notes and motivation for participating in Hothouse. Explain clearly the connection between your idea and this year’s theme “Inside Out” and 3D (ie. How does your idea embrace space, perspective, movement and immersion? How does it challenge 3D conventions? How is it different or more interesting expressed in 3D than it would be in 2D?).

Note: You can apply with any animation technique that is feasible within the Hothouse framework (ie. stereoscopic 3D does not restrict you to CGI). Technical notes should reflect your animation technique and 3D ambitions. The NFB StereoLab will work with you to figure out how to actually do it in 3D.

2. Two or three design samples (in 2D)

3. One-page résumé

4. One example of a previous film (animation or otherwise) no more than 5 minutes, or an excerpt from a previous film, no more than 5 minutes. Please send only 1 film/excerpt. Media must be submitted using Youtube. See instructions here. Do not send hard copies. If you don’t have a finished film don’t worry, but make sure you show off what you can do in your writing and design samples.

Selection Criteria:

We look for: strength of idea; your ability with the chosen animation technique; your conviction of vision, creative maturity, originality; your willingness to embrace the Hothouse challenge. Some knowledge of stereoscopic 3D is useful but experience in the technique is neither expected nor required.


Submissions are accepted from across Canada. You must:

* Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.

* Have some experience in animation filmmaking or a related artistic field.

* Have sufficient know-how and confidence in your chosen animation technique to begin working right away while remaining flexible and willing to adapt to a 3D pipeline (tools + process) as advised by StereoLab experts.

* Be relatively new to auteur animation filmmaking.

* Be prepared to live in Montreal and work at the NFB Animation Studio for the entire twelve-week period.


1. Do not propose an idea specifically because you think the NFB might like it. We don’t like that and will roll our eyes at you.

2. Propose the film you want to make (if 1 and 2 happen to be the same, that’s ok too).

3. Pay attention to clarity of idea and intent in your proposal. If you’re unsure about something, admit it, and explain why and what you intend to do about it.

4. The theme is a test of your creativity and ingenuity; don’t be afraid to play with it, both in content and in form.

5. Think carefully about how you intend to use 3D as part of your concept or story and how you will embrace or challenge current conventions. Make this explicit in your proposal.

6. Remember that stereoscopic 3D does not necessarily mean CGI, though CGI proposals are also welcome.

7. Become familiar with Hothouse and the NFB’s work in stereoscopy. Check out the films and behind-the-scenes videos from past Hothouse editions for a better idea about the projects and process. Check out the NFB 3D playlist for a brief introduction to some of our previous stereoscopic work and especially the Facing Champlain Making of (11 short clips) for a glimpse into the process.

8. Be sure to read the Rules & Regulations for a better understanding of what we expect from you and what you can expect from us.

How to Submit:

By email

By mail

National Film Board of Canada

Animation Studio (P-16)

attn: Hothouse 6

3155  Côte-de-Liesse Road

Montreal, Quebec, H4N 2N4

For more information contact Maral Mohammadian at or 514-283-2510

The National Film Board of Canada

Created in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a public agency that produces and distributes films and other audiovisual works, which reflect Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world. Since its beginnings, the NFB has played a crucial role in Canadian and international filmmaking.

Animation at the NFB

Initiated by Norman McLaren sixty five years ago, animation filmmaking at the NFB has been recognized ever since as a cornerstone of NFB activity, garnering many international awards for excellence and innovation. Today’s NFB continues the commitment to a diversity of eclectic and experimental exploration of animation as art. The panoply of artistic visions, driven by the passion and imagination of their creators, reflects novel styles, methods, subjects and cultures and is expressed across the country.