The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is set to bring a healthy contingent of films and creators to the 19th Sommets du cinéma d’animation, taking place in Montreal from December 1 to 6, 2020, with a strong NFB presence as well in the festival’s Industry Component, a series of events presented free of charge online and accessible from anywhere in the world. Among the filmmakers participating in the Industry Component are a number of NFB collaborators, such as two-time Academy Award nominee Joanna Quinn and Les Mills (Affairs of the Art), who will be giving this year’s NFB-Sommets Artist Talk; Martine Chartrand, who’s receiving this year’s René-Jodoin Prize; and Patrick Bouchard, who will be looking back on his experience designing the poster and trailer for this year’s Sommets in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. There will also be a panel on how to prepare for the Academy Awards nomination season. In addition, four short films produced or co-produced by the NFB, representing a wide variety of themes and techniques, have been selected for the Sommets Competition, including the world premiere of Bad Seeds by Claude Cloutier. The festival is forging ahead with its competition this year despite theatres being shuttered for health reasons, and the awards ceremony will take place on December 6. Screenings with audiences are postponed until conditions permit.
- NFB participation in the Industry Component: NFB-Sommets Artist Talk with Joanna Quinn and Les Mills (Affairs of the Art); awarding of the René-Jodoin Prize for exemplary achievement by a Canadian animator to filmmaker Martine Chartrand; a panel on the Academy Awards nomination season featuring NFB Head of Marketing and Audience Development Christine Noël; and a masterclass by Patrick Bouchard, who designed the Sommets poster and trailer, co-produced by the NFB.
- International Competition: World premiere of Bad Seeds by Claude Cloutier.
- Panorama Québec-Canada: Quebec premieres of Jordan Canning and Howie Shia’s 4 North A and Daniel Gray’s HIDE; and I, Barnabé by Jean-François Lévesque.
- Best of Annecy Special Program: The Physics of Sorrow by Theodore Ushev, Cristal Award, 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
NFB-Sommets Artist Talk: Joanna Quinn and Les Mills – Thursday, December 3, at 2 p.m. (in English)
- Acclaimed British animator Joanna Quinn, who has won virtually every international award of note, will be joined by her producer and screenwriting partner, Les Mills, to talk about their latest short, Affairs of the Art, co-produced with the NFB and due for release in 2021. The film marks the return of Beryl, the unforgettable character who first appeared in Girls Night Out and was later seen in Body Beautiful and Family Ties.
Awarding of the René-Jodoin Prize – Saturday, December 5, at 4 p.m.
- The René-Jodoin Prize, which rewards the artistic process, influence, success and commitment of a Canadian animation personality, will be awarded this year to Martine Chartrand. She has directed a number of remarkable films with the NFB, including Black Soul, which won a Golden Bear in Berlin, and MacPherson, also the recipient of multiple awards.
Panel: A Sherpa for the Oscar Race – Friday, December 4, at 2 p.m. (in French)
- This panel will feature two specialists with expertise in the Academy Award nomination process: Christine Noël of the NFB and France-born Benoît Berthe Siward of The Animation Showcase. The goal of the event is to help industry members prepare for an eventual Oscars campaign. Moderator: Marco de Blois.
Masterclass: Patrick Bouchard – Wednesday, December 2, at 1 p.m.
- While complying with pandemic lockdown restrictions, Patrick Bouchard rose to the challenge of creating the poster and trailer for this year’s Sommets at home, using recycled materials. The filmmaker will recall the key moments of his adventure.
- Bad Seeds by Claude Cloutier (Unité centrale/NFB, 6 min 22 s) – World Premiere
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/bad-seeds
- 4 North A by Jordan Canning and Howie Shia (NFB, 11 min) – Quebec Premiere
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/4-north-a
- HIDE by Daniel Gray (La Cellule Productions/NFB/CUB Animation Studio, 11 min) – Quebec Premiere
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/hide-short-film
- I, Barnabé by Jean-François Lévesque (NFB with the participation of ARTE France, 15 min)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/i-barnabe
Special Program – Best of Annecy
- The Physics of Sorrow by Theodore Ushev (NFB with the participation of ARTE France, 27 min) – Cristal Award (Annecy 2020)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/the-physics-of-sorrow
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Online Screening Room: NFB.ca