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New NFB films to premiere at TIFF 2017

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The lineup of National Film Board of Canada films at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival features powerful stories and astounding visual delights. As well as featuring the NFB documentary Our People Will Be Healed, the 50th film from Alanis Obomsawin in the 50th year of her legendary filmmaking career, TIFF’S Short Cuts selection sees premieres of new work from Dominic Etienne Simard, Torill Kove and Matthew Rankin.

Premiering in Short Cuts, Charles is the second installment in Montreal animator Dominic Etienne Simard’s emotionally charged trilogy, which began with his Canadian Screen Award-winning 2011 NFB animated short Paula. The title character in Charles is a little boy who knows he’s not like other kids. At school, his classmates regularly remind him of just how different he is. At home, he doesn’t receive the care and attention that other children in his neighbourhood seem to get from their parents. To weather the daily ridicule and injustices, Charles invents a fantasy world inhabited by good-hearted little frogs. Simard won the Cours écrire ton court competition from Quebec’s Société de développement des entreprises culturelles for the script for Charles, which is a Canada/France co-production of DES animations, Les Films de l’Arlequin and the NFB, and is produced by Dominic Etienne Simard (DES animations), Dora Benousilio (Les Films de l’Arlequin) and Julie Roy (NFB).

Making its North American premiere in Short Cuts is Norwegian-born Montreal animator Torill Kove’s latest Mikrofilm AS/NFB co-production, Threads. The film explores the beauty and complexity of parental love, the bonds that we form over time, and the ways in which they stretch and shape us. It’s the fourth NFB-co-produced animated short for Kove, winner of the Academy Award for The Danish Poet (2006) and an Oscar nominee for My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts (1999) and Me and My Moulton (2014). A film without words, Threads speaks volumes about the attachments we crave, form and sometimes grieve, as they evolve in ways that can leave us feeling lonely or left behind—as any parent of an adopted or biological child knows only too well. With her signature style of minimalistic characters and simple line drawings, Kove takes us on a journey in Threads that is at once intimate in its telling and expansive in its scope. The film is produced by Lise Fearnley and Tonje Skar Reiersen for Mikrofilm AS and Michael Fukushima for the NFB’s English Animation Studio.

After making its world premiere at the 56th International Critics’ Week during the Cannes Film Festival and screening in the official competition at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Matthew Rankin’s visually stunning THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT comes home to Canada for its North American premiere in Short Cuts. Winner of Annecy’s “Off-Limits” Award for his 2014 short Mynarski Death Plummet, Rankin offers up a tragic fantasy in his new film about the father of alternating current, inspired by real events. This electrifying short by the Winnipeg-born Montreal filmmaker is a spectacular burst of image and sound that draws as much from the tradition of avant-garde cinema as it does from animated documentary. THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT is produced and executive produced by Julie Roy for the NFB’s French Animation Studio.

See more of this year’s TIFF lineup at

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