The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) returns to Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival with six world premieres of animated shorts produced through its Hothouse program, which brings together emerging animation talent from across Canada.
Now in its 13th season, 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.
The Hothouse theme for this year was “100,” which the animators were free to use as a quantifying descriptor, a playful graphic element, a musical guide or just a creative jumping-off point.
Friday, July 15, 8 p.m. EDT:
Noncedo Khumalo’s 100 Ghosts has been chosen to help kick off the festival in “The Amazing Opening Night” program, presented as part of Les Fantastiques Week-Ends du Cinéma Québécois.
Electronic 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: Montreal’s Noncedo Khumalo was raised in Swaziland, South Africa and Botswana. A graduate of Concordia’s animation program, Noncedo’s 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.
Saturday, July 16, 8:30 p.m. EDT:
Lukas Conway’s Bang will be featured in the “Outer World” program, presented as part of Les Fantastiques Week-Ends du Cinéma Québécois.
Electronic 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, and currently based in Montreal, Lukas Conway is a graduate of Concordia’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.
Friday, July 29, 8 p.m. EDT:
Louis Bodart’s 100 Miles hits the road in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Comedy,” presented as part of Les Fantastiques Week-Ends du Cinéma Québécois.
Electronic 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: Quebec filmmaker Louis Bodart is a graduate of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. He earned widespread acclaim for his thesis film, Teddy Bear Rescue, which won awards from Feel the Reel, Short to the Point and Les Percéides festivals. Born in Namur, Belgium, and raised in eastern Quebec, he now lives in
Saturday, July 30, 5 p.m. EDT:
Three more Hothouse films will also be presented as part of Fantasia’s Circo Animato program:
Baek-il by Grace An
Electronic 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: Toronto filmmaker Grace An is a graduate of Concordia University’s Film Animation program and is now a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design program at OCAD. Her credits include Papier Accordéon, part of the NFB series Otherly for Instagram Stories.
Lo 100to, by Karla Monterrosa
Electronic 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.
The Commute, by Tarun Padmakumar
Electronic 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.
The Hothouse 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 & 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.
– 30 –
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca