(February 14, 2018 – Toronto, ON) Two National Film Board (NFB) shorts will screen at this year’s TIFF Kids International Film Festival: Christina Willings’ innovative short documentary Beauty, making its world premiere, and Christopher Auchter’s award-winning animated short The Mountain of SGaana.
In the 23-minute Beauty, we encounter a world of fixed positions and prescribed roles, expanding the definition of gender requires the courage to dive deep into understanding and acceptance. Written and directed by Christina Willings, Beauty explores the lives of five gender-creative kids, each uniquely engaged in shaping their ideas of what it means to be fully human. Claiming your own sense of gender when everything around you insists that you comply and conform can be challenging, and sometimes scary. But luckily, family and friends are there to help.
Free-flowing animated elements, ranging from images of octopuses to astronauts, draw together the kids’ shared experiences in beautifully rendered fantasias that celebrate the power of imagination and the flourishing force of self-determination. Playful, goofy, loving and brave—each of these remarkable kids has found their own way to break free and show the world what it really means to be your true self.
Beauty is produced and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the NFB’s BC and Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver. Teri Snelgrove is associate producer.
The Mountain of SGaana is a 10-minute production from Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter. The short spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. Inspired by a traditional Haida legend and co-written with Annie Reid, this dream-like film brilliantly entwines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, brought to life by a rich palette and stylized effects.
Named Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences – Ages 6–12 at the 2017 Ottawa International Animation Festival, The Mountain of SGaana is produced by Shirley Vercruysse and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse (BC and Yukon Studio) and Michael Fukushima (Animation Studio) for the NFB.
TIFF Kids International Film Festival runs March 9–18, 2018.