Animating Regina

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National Film Board of Canada celebrates animation with Get Animated!

Natasha Tersigni
News Editor

This weekend, moviegoers can head downtown to the Regina Public Library to take in some free animation events hosted by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). This event is one of 20 being held across the country in the NFB’s Get Animated! series.

“Since the film board was started in 1939 it has always been involved with animation,” said Roddy McManus, executive producer for the NFB.

McManus is excited for this event, not only because it is getting back to the NFB’s animation roots, but also how they use to show films.

“The NFB used to take films out to the people,” he said. “Watching movies has changed; everyone watches them on their [computers] now. It is a much different experience watching them in a theatre.”

On Saturday, Get Animated! is hosting its family programming, which is being advertised as “a fun-filled selection of NFB films, featuring some of the NFB’s newest animation for kids of all age.”

The list of films include Big Drive by Anita Lebeau, Private Eyes by Nicola Lemay, The Girl Who Hated Books by Jo Meuris, Waseteg by Phyllis Grant, and Animate Everything!

Animate Everything! introduces kids to the world of animation through animation. The film is divided into four chapters, so kids can easily follow along and get engaged.

Lebeau’s film, Big Drive, is the story of a family road trip across the Canadian prairies during the 1970s.

“In an era before in-car movies and video games, four sisters squeeze into the back of the family car for a long journey,” reads the press release. “While the parents keep a steady watch on the road ahead, restlessness gradually gives way to mayhem in the car’s close quarters. Just before the ride becomes unbearable, the sisters are inspired to combine their creative energy and the big drive becomes an even bigger adventure.”

Private Eyes is a black-and-white 3D stereoscopic animation about a blind boy named Matthew who is never afraid of the dark.

Waseteg is film mixing art and culture. Narrated by legendary Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, this story is about a Mi’kmaq girl, Waseteg, whose mother dies while giving birth. Waseteg, whose name means “the light from the dawn”, looks for solace in nature, and dreams of the stories she’s heard in the village.

The Girl Who Hated Books is a film that discuses literacy by using a young girl named Meena, who hates books, even though they are everywhere in her life.

Those wanting to learn about more about animation can participate in master classes on Sunday scheduled for 10 a.m. at the library. The films’ directors will be there not only screening their films, but sharing insights of what goes into make an animated film.

Co Hoedeman, an Oscar winner for his animated short The Sandcastle, will be speaking on Making Peace Through Animation. His class will be aimed at teenagers and young adults as “he discusses the creative process, the importance of working collaboratively, and why he strongly believes in telling stories that promote values such as consideration for the environment, social inclusion, respect for diversity and fostering peaceful resolution.” Hoedeman’s class will also include screenings of The Sand Castle (1977), The Garden of Ecos (1997) and his latest film, 55 Socks (2011).

After his class, Hoedman will hold a workshop that will teach those taking part the basics of animating by using paper cutouts on a light box. In small groups, participants will then have a chance create a short film on the theme of peaceful resolution, under Hoedman’s guidance.

Other master classes including Making Music for Animation with Luigi Allemano, which is aimed at animators and covers effective ways to communicate, collaborate, and create with music composers, Making CMYK with Marv Newland, where he will present the original artwork used in his films and discusses the techniques used to animate the material, and Traditional Drawing in a 3D World with Marc Bertrand and Nicola Lemay, where they will delve into the history and nature of stereoscopy and the challenges of 3D design.

The NFB has a collection of 13,000 productions and has earned 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and 90 Genies. For more information on this weekend’s events, go to films.nfb.ca/get-animated.

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