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April 26, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The NFB will be part of the 20th Sommets du cinéma d’animation, taking place in Montreal from May 10 to 15, 2022, with eight of its short films screening at the festival. The strong, diverse selection includes two world premieres: Caresses magiques – Masturbation: la petite histoire d’un grand tabou (Magical Caresses – Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo), directed by Lori Malépart-Traversy, and What Rhymes with Toxic, directed by Lynn Smith; along with one Canadian premiere and three Quebec premieres. In all, five NFB shorts are entered in official competition sections at the Sommets. Most of these films were directed by women, who’ve taken original creative approaches to contemporary subjects ranging from sexuality to the environment, mental health and identity. The NFB will also be participating in several events organized by the festival, including a retrospective of films by Orkney Cree Métis creator Terril Calder, whose film Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics is in official competition.

Quick facts – the NFB at the Sommets:

  • Official Canadian Competition – Educational and commissioned films:
    Caresses magiquesMasturbation: la petite histoire d’un grand tabou (Magical Caresses – Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo)
    by Lori Malépart-Traversy
  • Special Presentation (non-competitive):
    Sérotonine anonyme
    (Brainstream) by Caroline Robert of Studio AATOAA
  • Wide-Angle (non-competitive):
    La liste des choses qui existent 2 – La banane (The Great List of Everything 2 – The Banana)
    by Francis Papillon
    The Hangman at Home by Michelle and Uri Kranot

Official Canadian Competition – Educational and commissioned films

Caresses magiquesMasturbation: la petite histoire d’un grand tabou (Magical Caresses – Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo) by Lori Malépart-Traversy
(NFB, 4 min) – WORLD PREMIERE
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/magical-caresses

  • A few years after her hugely successful film Le clitoris, animator Lori Malépart-Traversy is back with the animated documentary series Magical Caresses, which comprises five short films, including Masturbation: A Short History of a Great Taboo, selected for this year’s Sommets festival. This short looks back at the surprising story of our relationship with masturbation—and its repression—from prehistory to today.

Official Canadian Competition – Professional

What Rhymes with Toxic by Lynn Smith
(NFB, 4 min 59 s) – WORLD PREMIERE
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/what-rhymes-with-toxic

  • Chemical sludge is spilling into the lake. One turtle, in her desperate hour, summons up the courage to leave her home and speak truth to power.
  • Veteran animation filmmaker Lynn Smith has been making innovative, award-winning films since 1969, including: The Shout It Out Alphabet Film, “Teacher, Lester Bit Me!”, Happy Birthday, This Is Your Museum Speaking, The Sound Collector, Pearl’s Diner (Genie Award), Sandburg’s Arithmetic, Siena and, most recently, Soup of the Day. Mentor to younger generations, she has taught animation in the Cinema Department at Concordia University for close to 20 years.

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics by Terril Calder
(NFB, 19 min 22 s) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/meneath

  • In this stop-motion film, creator Terril Calder charts a challenging journey for a precocious Métis baby girl as she contemplates her path to Hell. The short film was selected to screen at the 2022 Annecy and Berlin festivals after its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and has garnered many awards.
  • One of the foremost Métis media artists practising in Canada today, Terril Calder is a multi-disciplinary creator born in Fort Frances, Ontario, and currently living in Toronto. This year’s 20th edition of the Sommets features a retrospective of her work.

Impossible Figures and other stories I by Marta Pajek
(Animoon/NFB, 16 min) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/impossible-figures-and-other-stories-i

  • Following an explosion, a mysterious and elegant elderly woman wanders deserted city streets, recalling what was and what could have been.
  • The final film (and first part) of Marta Pajek’s acclaimed trilogy, Impossible Figures and other stories I is a mysterious and haunting portrait of personal and societal self-destruction. This is the Polish filmmaker’s first collaboration with the NFB.

Comme un fleuve (Flowing Home) by Sandra Desmazières
(Les Films de l’Arlequin/NFB, 15 min) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/flowing-home-nhu-mot-dong-song

  • The child of a Vietnamese mother and French father, Sandra Desmazières has crafted an animated short telling the story of the intertwined destinies of two sisters separated by the Vietnam War.
  • This film has been selected for some 50 festivals in Canada and around the world, winning several awards in the process.

Special Presentation (non-competitive)

Sérotonine anonyme (Brainstream) by Caroline Robert
Created by studio AATOAA and produced by the NFB (long version: 20 min; short version: 5 min)
CANADIAN PREMIERE – live-performance presentation
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/brainstream

The 2022 Sommets du cinéma d’animation awards ceremony will open with a special live-performance presentation of the film Sérotonine anonyme (Brainstream) by Caroline Robert.

Wide-Angle (non-competitive)

La liste des choses qui existent 2 – La banane (The Great List of Everything 2 – The Banana) by Francis Papillon
(La Pastèque/NFB in collaboration with Télé-Québec, and with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-great-list-of-everything-season-2

The Hangman at Home by Michelle and Uri Kranot
(Late Love Production/Floréal Films/Miyu Productions/NFB, 14 min)
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/the-hangman-at-home-film

Other Sommets events with an NFB presence

  • Outside of the festival, screening of the entire series of Magical Caresses shorts by Lori Malépart-Traversy
    To mark the world premiere of Magical Caresses at the Sommets, the NFB will present all five short films in this animated documentary series at the Alanis Obomsawin Theatre, with screenings in both English and French and the director in attendance. Date: Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. Reservations required by e-mail at n.guerard@nfb.ca.
  • NFB-Sommets Artist’s Talk with Elise Simard
    During this one-hour master class offered in English, the filmmaker will share the ephemeral and exploratory process she uses to compose images. Date: Friday, May 13.
  • Tribute to Craig Welch
    Three animated films made at the NFB by the late Craig Welch, who died in 2020, will be presented as part of a tribute to him at this year’s festival.
  • Book signings
    Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet filmmakers Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (Femmes et cinéma d’animation: un corpus féministe à l’Office national du film du Canada 1939-1989) and Co Hoedeman (Frame by Frame: An Animator’s Journey).

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