Discover six new animated shorts on nfb.ca in August. NFB’s Hothouse 13 program brings diverse round of animators and stories

National Film Board

This August, nfb.ca is featuring the free online premiere of six one-minute animated shorts produced through its Hothouse program, which brings together emerging animation talents from across Canada.

Now in its 13th season, the Hothouse theme for this year was “100,” which filmmakers were free to use as a quantifying descriptor, a playful graphic element, a musical guide or just a creative jumping-off point. In their shorts, the young animators have channeled this theme in ways that reflect their own richly diverse backgrounds.

The Hothouse 13 cohort features the talents of:

  • Louis Bodart, Lukas Conway and Noncedo Khumalo from Montreal
  • Grace An and Tarun Padmakumar from Toronto
  • karla monterrosa from Vancouver

Renowned animation filmmaker Howie Shia is this year’s mentoring director, with Maral Mohammadian producing.

This summer, the Hothouse animators have been able to take part in major animation events to build skills, make new connections and find out what’s happening in the industry. In June, they travelled to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market in France for a unique opportunity to meet and network with peers from around the world. In July, all six Hothouse 13 films premiered at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, with several of the filmmakers in attendance.

From Montreal

100 Miles by Louis Bodart

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/100-miles

  • SYNOPSIS: Are we there yet? When the kids act up in the back seat, a family road trip gets knocked hilariously off course.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Originally from Belgium, Louis Bodart grew up in the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions in Quebec before studying at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal. His graduation film, Teddy Bear Rescue, was widely screened at festivals, winning awards at the Feel the Reel, Short to the Point and Les Percéides fests.

Bang by Lukas Conway

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/bang

  • SYNOPSIS: In a frenzied attempt to break the isolation, a man drums his head against the wall, unleashing a battery of brightly hued hallucinations.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Lukas Conway is a graduate of Concordia University’s animation program. He co-directed End of Recording, which won the Ottawa International Animation Festival’s Best Student Animation Award. His most recent animated short, Post, took home the Best Documentary Award from the Yale Student Film Festival.

100 Ghosts by Noncedo Khumalo

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/100-ghosts

  • SYNOPSIS: A woman awakes to mysterious sounds-and confronts an astonishing surreal world summoned forth by her innermost fears.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Noncedo Khumalo was raised in Swaziland, South Africa and Botswana. She is a graduate of Concordia’s animation program and her student film, Continuum, was hailed by Cinema Politica as a “gorgeous, animated vision of Black queer community and solace.” It won the York University Award for Best Student Work and was programmed by Mubi.

From Toronto

Baek-il by Grace An

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/baek-il

  • SYNOPSIS: The Korean legend of ungnyeo, a bear reborn as a woman, becomes a percussive and mesmerizing riff on the themes of transformation and quarantine.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Grace An is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University in Toronto. She previously graduated from Concordia University’s film animation program. Her credits include Papier Accordéon, part of the NFB series Otherly for Instagram Stories.

The Commute by Tarun Padmakumar

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-commute

  • SYNOPSIS: The distinctive three-note chime of the Toronto subway kicks off a zippy tale of bike theft and survival in an unfamiliar new town.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Born in Kerala, India, Tarun Padmakumar studied in the Film and Video program at India’s National Institute of Design. Moving to Toronto, he continued his studies at Sheridan College, where he specialized in digital character animation. He’s worked as a 3D animator with Toronto’s Guru Studio and Industrial Brothers, and he’s been part of the team behind animated children’s series like Remy & Boo andSesame Street Mecha Builders.

From Vancouver

Lo 100to, by karla monterrosa

Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/lo-100to

  • SYNOPSIS: When Delia announces a breakup on group chat, she’s bombarded with inappropriate and comic remarks from her Salvadoran family.
  • ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, karla monterrosa now lives in Vancouver. She studied traditional drawing techniques at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design in Washington, D.C., obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in animation from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and has exhibited throughout the Americas.

Distinguished Hothouse alumni

The NFB’s Hothouse program in Montreal has helped kickstart the careers of acclaimed animators from across Canada. Over 50 animators have come through the program in the past 18 years, including Patrick Doyon, Paloma Dawkins, Philip Eddolls, Anne Koizumi, Alex Boya, Malcolm Sutherland, Eva Cvijanovic, David Barlow-Krelina and the creative duo of Dale Hayward and Sylvie Trouvé.

More about the Hothouse 13 team

  • Acclaimed animation filmmaker Howie Shia is this year’s mentoring director. Shia’s directorial credits with the NFB include the Canadian Screen Award-nominated shorts BAM (2015) and 4 North A (2020), which he co-directed with Jordan Canning.
  • Maral Mohammadian is a producer with the NFB English Program’s Animation and Interactive Studio in Montreal. Her recent productions include the shorts Hideby Daniel Gray, Impossible Figures and Other Stories I by Marta Pajek, and Paloma Dawkins’ VR work Museum of Symmetry.
  • Hothouse 13 associate producer is Johanne Ste-Marie, co-founder of the art collective Fluorescent Hill.

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