The National Film Board of Canada (The NFB) is returning to the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival with a very diverse slate of films, including works by or about festival mainstays Janice Nadeau, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, Theodore Ushev and Diane Obomsawin. Taking place this year from June 11 to 17, the Annecy festival is the world’s largest event dedicated to animated films.
Young Audiences Short Films in Competition
HARVEY by Janice Nadeau (9 min)
Co-produced by Marc Bertrand (NFB’s French Program Animation Studio) and Reginald de Guillebon ( Folimage), with the support of the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. Head of Development: Corinne Destombes (Folimage).
- A luminous look at loss and bereavement, seen through the eyes of a child with an overflowing imagination. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Hervé Bouchard, illustrated by Montreal filmmaker Janice Nadeau (La Pastèque).
The NFB – Work in Progress Short
La jeune fille qui pleurait des perles by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
This piece directed by the Oscar-winning animation duo of Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, a.k.a. Clyde Henry Productions, is well known amongst Annecy circiles. Past works include Madame Tutli-Putli, which played at Annecy in 2007. Montreal musician Patrick Watson, who composed the film’s soundtrack, will also be in attendance and will perform live at the event.
- A fairy tale for all about a girl overwhelmed by grief, a boy who loves her, and how greed leads the purest of hearts to commit the vilest of actions. The film uses a hybrid technique of frame-by-frame animation, live-action and CGI.
The NFB Presents A Theodore Ushev two-for-one:
Filmmaker Theodore Ushev, an Annecy regular and winner of the festival’s top award, the Cristal, for his masterful short The Physics of Sorrow in 2020, is being honoured this year with a documentary about him and an exhibition at the Musée-Château d’Annecy. Details are as follows:
- Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections by Borislav Kolev (78 min)Co-produced by Borislav Kolev, Maria Landova and Eli Kovalev for Projector Ltd. (Bulgaria), and Marc Bertrand for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio in Montreal, this spotlight on Theodore Ushev is sure to enlighten!He is the auteur behind renowned animated shorts such as Tower Bawher and Oscar-nominated Blind Vaysha. In this documentary by Borislav Kolev, Ushev reminisces about the “ß√unseen connections” in his life—biographical and historical, cultural and subcultural, in Bulgaria from the time of his youth to today and in Canada. Connections that shaped him as a person and an artist. Theodore Ushev will attend the festival to present the film.
- Exhibition: Theodore Ushev, Mind and Matter This international exhibition presents “Theodore Ushev’s polymorphous works, where visual arts and literature collide,” in the words of the Annecy festival program. It is a co-production of the Musée-Château d’Annecy, the Cinémathèque québécoise and the artist, in collaboration with the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the NFB and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in France. From June 2 to October 2 at the Musée-Château d’Annecy.
Animation, Pride and Diversity – Hidden Queer Desires
The theme “Animation, Pride and Diversity” is in the spotlight at Annecy in 2023, with four programs of short films for festival-goers to choose from, including Hidden Queer Desires. Included in that program is J’aime les filles (I Like Girls), by Quebec graphic artist and animator of Abenaki descent Diane Obomsawin, which was in competition at Annecy in 2017.
J’aime les filles (I Like Girls) by Diane Obomsawin (2016, 8 min 12 s)
- In this animated short, four singular women openly and candidly tell the stories of their first loves.