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Ottawa Enchanted: OIAF Presenting First Canadian Animated Feature

Ottawa International Animation Festival debuts remaster of ‘The Enchanted Village.’

OTTAWA, ON - The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival, has announced a special presentation of Canada’s first animated feature, The Enchanted Village, thanks to an enormous effort by Cinémathèque Québécoise’s and Elephant, The Memory of Quebec Cinema.

“[We] acquired the original printing elements of The Enchanted Village at the beginning of the ‘70s,” explained Marcel Jean, Executive Director of the Cinémathèque Québécoise. “They have since been preserved in optimal conditions. Thanks to our partner Elephant, The memory of Quebec Cinema, a 4k restoration of this unknown piece of Canadian animation will now be accessible to a wide audience. We are honored that the world premiere of the restoration will take place at the OIAF at the occasion of its 40th anniversary.”

Set in the Abitibi Territory colony in the Province of Québec, The Enchanted Village follows a Catholic family who have recently settled in the area. With the other settlers they help build a village, then a church. Their only wish now is to find a bell for the church. Soon, they find a tiny but magical bell that enriches their lives, until a menacing figure appears in the village one day.

Brothers Réal and Marcel Racicot, who directed the film, worked six years in their evenings with four assistants to make this cell-animated fantasy. The film was released in December 1955 and played in Montréal, Québec City, Hull and Sherbrooke. Naïve and sometimes technically awkward, dealing with Catholic themes and folklore, offering some Hollywood-cartoon slapstick jokes, The Enchanted Village is a tour de force considering that it was made in very modest conditions.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival takes place September 21 – 25, 2016 in various venues throughout the city of Ottawa. The Enchanted Village will be showcased on Friday, September 23 at 5:00PM at the National Gallery and Saturday 24 at 5:00PM at the Arts Court Theatre - for more information, including tickets, passes, and venue information, please visit the OIAF website.

Source: The Ottawa International Animation Festival