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NFB Launches Free ‘Get Animated!’ Online Screening Series

In commemoration of International Animation Day, the National Film Board of Canada launches the seventh edition of ‘Get Animated!,’ a free online screening series including a selection of recent films, two filmmaker showcases, and six brand-new films.

‘Edmond was a Donkey’

To mark International Animation Day (October 28), the National Film Board of Canada is launching the seventh edition of Get Animated!, which runs from October 28 to November 30.

Launched in 2002 by the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA), International Animation Day commemorates the first public performance of Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique at the Musée Grévin in Paris on October 28, 1892. This celebration is held in over 40 countries

This year, for the first time ever, all films will be offered online at, and foreign productions from other catalogues will also be shown, providing audiences in Canada and around the world with greater access to a remarkable and FREE selection of the best films from the NFB’s Oscar-winning animation studios.

This online edition will feature the year’s award-winning films, including several premieres, as well as spotlights on two acclaimed filmmakers, Theodore Ushev (Gloria Victoria) and Chris Landreth (Subconscious Password), who have made several films with the NFB. Both animators will present two favourite films from the NFB collection and a foreign production that has influenced them. Finally, Cinéma Excentris is partnering with the NFB to offer a selection of animated films on the big screen on October 28.

You can enjoy a selection of recent films that picked up awards this year at home and abroad: Patrick Bouchard’s Bydlo, which was honoured at the Jutras and at the Clermont-Ferrand festival; Diane Obomsawin’s Kaspar (Inspired by the Life of Kaspar Hauser), which won an award in Poznan, Poland; Franck Dion’s Edmond Was a Donkey, which garnered 24 awards, including the special jury prize at Annecy and a Gémeaux; Michèle Lemieux’s Here and the Great Elsewhere, which collected nine awards, including the grand prize at Cinanima in Portugal; Martine Chartrand’s MacPherson, winner of two awards at the Montreal World Film Festival; Dominic Etienne Simard’s Paula, honoured at Interfilm Berlin and at the Canadian Screen Awards; and Renaud Hallée’s The Clockmakers, which won an honourable mention at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Six new films online at

Petra’s Poem, a sensitive and touching film by Shira Avni; Paul Driessen’s Oedipus, a Canada-Netherlands co-production that collected prizes in Portugal and Brazil; Jenn Strom’s Assembly, inspired by Studio D filmmakers and dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Shannon; Sylvie Trouvé’s Reflection, an exploration of Montreal through an abstract lens; Jeffrey St. Jules’s Let the Daylight into the Swamp, winner of two awards at Yorkton, including best film; and Élise Simard’s My Little Underground, a sombre and beautiful autobiographical story.

Filmmakers in the spotlight

Theodore Ushev

This year, the prolific Theodore Ushev released Gloria Victoria, produced at the NFB by Marc Bertrand in stereoscopic 3D. Ushev won the FIPRESCI award for a short film from international critics at the latest Annecy International Animation Film Festival as well as the grand prize at the Fantoche Festival in Baden, Switzerland. Get Animated! offers a special spotlight on this talented animator, including a selection of his own works and his favourite films.

Programmed films: For a limited time, see Ushev’s internationally acclaimed trilogy on the relationship between art and power: Tower Bawher (2006), Drux Flux (2008) and Gloria Victoria (2013). Also on the program are Lipsett Diaries (2010), his best-known film and winner of 16 awards; Yannick Nézet-Séguin: No Intermission (2010), a portrait of the young conductor that combines animation and documentary; and Tzaritza (2006), which explores Bulgaria through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. All the films were produced by the NFB.

Other works: Ushev’s experimental film Nightingales in December (2011) and music video Demoni (2012) will also be offered online.

NFB favourites: René Jodoin’s Rectangle & Rectangles (1984), a bold, computer-designed short and a highly kinetic work of art; and Arthur Lipsett’s Very Nice, Very Nice (1961), an experimental film that looks behind the business-as-usual face we adopt and reveals the fears we try to conceal.

Non-NFB favourite: Joung Yumi’s Love Games (Korea, 2012), recently screened at the Berlin Festival.

Chris Landreth

This showcase includes a selection of Chris Landreth’s films produced at the NFB and elsewhere, as well as his favourite NFB and non-NFB productions.

Programmed films:  The trailer for Subconscious Password (2013), Landreth’s mind-bending romp through the unconscious that won the Cristal d’Annecy for best short; Ryan (2004), an Oscar-winning short inspired by the life of Canadian animator Ryan Larkin; and The Spine, which took home the grand prize at Cinanima in Portugal and examines the relationship of a couple trapped in a spiral of mutual destruction after 26 years of marriage. All the films were produced or co-produced by the NFB.

Other works: The End (1995) and Bingo (1998), the first two computer-animated shorts by Landreth.

NFB favourites: Norman McLaren’s Pas de deux (1968), a sort of magic mirror of dance; and Pjotr Sapegin’s Aria (2001, a Canada-Norway co-production), a puppet-animated short inspired by Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly.

Non-NFB favourite: Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein’s Balance (Germany, 1989, Oscar winner).

Screening at Cinéma Excentris in Montreal

On Monday, October 28 at 7 p.m., the NFB, together with Cinéma Excentris, offers Montreal audiences a chance to see a remarkable program of award-winning films on the big screen, including films not available online. Filmmakers Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Martine Chartrand, Patrick Bouchard and Élise Simard will attend the event.

  • Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s The Day Is Listening (only at Excentris)
  • Hefang Wei’s The Banquet of the Concubine (Canada-France co-production), jury prize at the Montreal World Film Festival (only at Excentris)
  • Patrick Bouchard’s Bydlo, winner of a Jutra
  • Diane Obomsawin’s Kaspar (Inspired by the Life of Kaspar Hauser), honoured at the Animator Festival in Poznan, Poland
  • Dominic Etienne Simard’s Paula, winner of a Canadian Screen Award
  • Martine Chartrand’s MacPherson, winner of two awards at the Montreal World Film Festival, including the first prize for a short film
  • Michèle Lemieux’s Here and the Great Elsewhere, winner of nine awards including the grand prize at Cinanima in Portugal
  • Élise Simard’s My Little Underground
  • Franck Dion’s Edmond Was a Donkey, winner of 24 awards including a Gémeaux and the special jury prize at Annecy

Source: National Film Board of Canada

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.