Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nunavut Animation Lab: The Bear

I absolutely love stumbling across things that I hadn't known about, even - or especially - if it's old news. There's so much out there to discover, and speaking of discovering:
"In this animated short, a self-important colonial explorer emerges from a sailing ship and plants a flag on the Arctic ice, as a bemused Inuit hunter looks on. Then the explorer plants another, and another, and another, while the hunter, clearly not impressed that his land has been “discovered,” quietly goes about his business. In this charming and humorous re-imagining of first contact between Inuit and European, Jonathan Wright brings us the story of a savvy hunter and the ill-equipped explorer he outwits." - from the synopsis
Just wonderfully expressive linework and characterization, and I especially dig the juxtaposition against the textured watercolor background coupled with some impressive sound effects and creative camerawork.

The National Film Board of Canada routinely sponsors the production of fantastic work that for the Far North is culturally relevant and diverse - they were behind some wonderful animated shorts with one of my favorite cartoonists Alootook Ipellie (read more about him here in this post with the upcoming game Kisima Inŋitchuŋa: “Never Alone”).
In November 2006, the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and the National Film Board of Canada announced the start of the Nunavut Animation Lab, offering animation training to Nunavut artists. Films from the Nunavut Animation Lab include Alethea Arnaquq-Baril's 2010 digital animation short Lumaajuuq, winner of the Best Aboriginal Award at the Golden Sheaf Awards and named Best Canadian Short Drama at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. - Wikipedia
“It’s the start of a new film industry in Nunavut,” said Okalik Eegeesiak, president of IBC.
The NFB’s plan is to offer three intensive workshops in Iqaluit, Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung on the art of animation, the painstaking drawing or creation of action in sequence, which, when shown at rapid speeds, makes a cartoon or animated action.
Fifteen participants will be selected in each of the three communities. For two weeks, two instructors will teach them about storytelling using animation and filmmaking techniques. 

After the end of each workshop, participants will be invited to submit a proposal for an animated short film. Four candidates will be then chosen to make a short film and will spend a week in Winnipeg, participating in story workshops coordinated by the National Screen Institute to fully develop the proposals into film treatments.
Then, the chosen filmmakers will go to the Banff New Media Institute in Alberta to direct and animate their films, which will be available in French. Inuktitut and English.
- Nunatsiaq News

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