‘Seth’s Dominion‘ by Luc Chamberland and ‘Jutra‘ by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre were nominated as Best Short Documentary Film, while ‘Me and My Moulton‘ by Torill Kove and ‘Soif‘ by Michèle Cournoyer were nominated as Best Animated Short.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television annually presents the Canadian Screen Awards in celebration of Canadian film, television, and digital talent both on-screen and behind the scenes. This year’s awards ceremony will take place in Toronto at the Sheraton Centre on February 24 and 25 during Canadian Screen Week. A 2-hour live broadcast of the awards gala will take place on CBC-TV on March 1st at 8 p.m.
Congratulations goes to the film makers and the NFB. Best of luck to everyone!
Christmas is almost here and our radios and televisions are packed full with Christmas programming specials. One of the most classic Christmas stories known to most people is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. There have been countless film and television adaptations of this story of repentance and second chances. The National Film Board even produced its own version in 1975 with a 10-minute version called “Energy Carol”.
Written and directed by Les Drew, this short was also made possible with assistance by the former federal Office of Energy Conservation, as well as the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. ‘Energy Carol’ is a humorous spin on the Dickens story, with Ebenezer Stooge as a CEO of power production company and his trusted employee, Mr Scratchit. Stooge believes in encouraging everyone to use energy as fast as his power company can make it. According to Stooge, energy waste equates to growth. However, just like his Dickens counterpart, Stooge is shown the folly of his ways by three ‘energy ghosts’ past, present and future.
‘Energy Carol’ was a very clever attempt at educating Canadians of the day at conserving energy in their daily lives. Without a doubt, the energy crisis of the 1970s was a catalyst in the production of this film. Although it was a short film, ‘Energy Carol’ followed the original Dickens story very well. It was also smart to present the film and energy conservation in a humorous manner; no one certainly wants to feel guilty about wasting energy or cajoled into changing a habit.
The film still resonates in these times, as household energy prices in Canada have been steadily climbing in the past few years. Even if your lifestyle already includes conservation practices such as using energy-efficient light bulbs and taking public transit, ‘Energy Carol’ is still a nice little film to watch at Christmas.
Are you a fan of the National Film Board (NFB) and living in British Columbia, or anywhere else in Canada? The NFB’s Pacific and Yukon office in Vancouver begins production on two new short documentaries this summer, ‘Rock the Box’ and ‘Debris’. These films are the first to be produced under Shirley Vercruysse, the NFB’s new executive producer for the Pacific and Yukon centre.
‘Rock the Box’ will be directed by film critic and author, Katherine Monck. The film will follow the efforts of Rhiannon Rozier, a 29 year-old Victoria resident who is seeking to take her place in the largely male-dominated DJ industry. ‘Rock the Box’ examines the issue of how women are valued and who defines what that value is.
From Vancouver film maker John Bolton, ‘Debris’ will focus on B.C. park ranger Pete Clarkson and his drive to build a memorial to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. It will be built in Tofino, B.C., out of wood from homes destroyed by this disaster in Japan. Not only is the project to serve as a memorial, but also as a warning to a possible underwater earthquake and tsunami to hit British Columbia one day.
Check the NFB‘s website and various film festivals for their release to the general public.
This animated NFB short by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis is a story about a young Englishman, known as a remittance man, who journeys to Alberta in 1909 in an attempt at a new life there as a rancher. The young man proudly writes home to his family about his ‘good fortune’. We see him having fun playing sports and admiring the nature that surrounds him. Later, his letters reflect a more somber tone as the struggles of living on the Canadian Prairie begin to make an impact on him.
I enjoyed the humour in the beginning and the seriousness at the end. The ‘interviews’ with the different people who knew the young man (I immediately recognized Luba Goy’s voice as the old lady) were funny, too. Their personal opinions of this young man gave the audience a better understanding of what he was really like. His exaggerated letters to his parents brought a smile to my face, as he clearly stretched the truth regarding the situations in which he found himself (such as his pride in having secured a herd of cattle, when there really is only a colony of ants running around on the ground).
This film reminded me of the saying, “the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side”. How many people have often moved from one city or province or country to another, only to find that the new location didn’t really live up to expectations? The film also speaks to one’s ability or inability to survive in new and unforgiving situations. The animation by Tilby and Forbis was refreshing, and the characters’ voices were well-chosen. Check out http://www.tilbyforbis.com/ for more information about their work.
As an added bonus, have a look at this ‘making of’ video of Wild Life: