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NFB Hothouse 11: ‘UFO’ (Rhayne Vermette)

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Hothouse11_RhayneVermetteThis week on Skwigly we’re delighted to meet the participants of the National Film Board of Canada‘s 11th Hothouse apprenticeship scheme for emerging Canadian animators.

With a background in architecture, Rhayne Vermette has pieced together an informal film education through self-teaching, Winnipeg Film Group workshops “and personal failures”. Her 16mm work is generally slanted toward experimental and surreal takes on documentary film and has been screened internationally at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Images Film Festival and the European Media Arts Festival to name several.

On the production of UFO:

My film explores the material qualities of 16mm film while engaging in various image tropes. I work with film and have excavated a large part of my practice through an appreciation for hand-made films, films made of film, often without a camera. The future of celluloid practices always in detriment, dumped into trash bins in exchange for 4K, pierce-your-eyes-out sharpness… I just wanted to highlight this somewhat forgotten idea of crafting a film, which in fact I initially discovered by way of older experimental NFB productions.

On the benefits of Hothouse:

I liked the idea of presenting the experience of an experimental film as a UFO—an abstracted event in a tenuous relationship with the surveyors, who perpetuate their impulse to assign some sense of understanding, an overbearing “what does it mean?”
The primary motivation behind this project was to get over a fear of the Film Group’s recently refurbished Oxberry animation stand (an NFB artifact salvaged from a garage). The sense of intimidation eventually subsided and I’m now quite pleased to have acquired the knowledge to use this amazing tool.

What next?

I am in the final phases of completing a new animated experimental documentary, Domus. I’ve also begun research for my first feature-length script and will spend the rest of this year writing.

Keep your eyes on Skwigly over the coming days to hear more from the Hothouse 11 participants. To learn more about the work of Rhayne Vermette visit

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