Five animated shorts nominated for Genie Award

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Genie Award

Genie Award

Five nom­i­na­tions in the Best Ani­mated Short cat­e­gory of the 32nd Annual Genie Awards were announced Tues­day by the Acad­emy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion at simul­ta­ne­ous news con­fer­ences in Toronto and Montreal.

The Genies are the Cana­dian equiv­a­lent of the Oscars.

The nom­i­nees are Choke (Michelle Latimer), La Cité entre les Murs/Inner City (Alain Fournier), Muybridge’s Strings (Koji Yama­mura, Michael Fukushima, Shuzo John Shiota and Keisuke Tsuchi­hashi), Romance (Georges Schwiz­gebel, René Chénier and Marc Bertrand) and Wild Life (Amanda For­bis, Wendy Tilby, Marcy Page and Bon­nie Thompson).

Here are descrip­tions of the five hopefuls:

Choke
When Jimmy leaves his First Nations reser­va­tion, drawn by the lures of city life, he finds him­self con­fronting a world he could never have imag­ined. In his encoun­ters with the city’s lost souls, he is reminded that no mat­ter how far you travel, you can­not escape who you are. Inspired by the life of the late teenaged artist Kyle Mor­ris­seau (grand­son of famed painter Nor­val Mor­riseau), Choke uses stop-motion ani­ma­tion to explore themes of urban iso­la­tion and the indi­vid­ual search for iden­tity in mod­ern society.

La Cité entre les Murs/Inner City
In a city hung between two end­less walls, a boy with only pigeons for com­pany tries to seduce his remote neigh­bor with wacky inventions.

Muybridge’s Strings
In this med­i­ta­tion on the nature of time, Koji Yama­mura cre­ates a poetic clash between two worlds, explor­ing the irre­press­ible human desire to freeze our fleet­ing moments of hap­pi­ness. The film­maker moves freely between the lives of pho­tog­ra­pher Ead­weard Muy­bridge and a Japan­ese mother, observ­ing their attempts to sus­pend the course of life. Part rem­i­nis­cence and part day­dream, Muybridge’s Strings is an offer­ing of pure cin­e­matic joy by one of con­tem­po­rary
animation’s great masters.

Romance
While on an air­plane, a traveler’s spirit plunges into a dream world. Here, under the influ­ence of the unknown, the logic of his desires pre­vails and a grand roman­tic saga takes shape. Ani­mated with pen­cil, pas­tels and acrylics, this ani­mated film by Georges Schwiz­gebel is a daz­zling tran­scrip­tion of a Rach­mani­noff scherzo. Fol­low­ing the twists and turns of one of the composer’s sonatas, the film mas­ter­fully trans­ports us through music and move­ment, eras­ing the bound­ary between desire and reality.

Wild Life
In 1909, a dap­per young remit­tance man is sent from Eng­land to Alberta to attempt ranch­ing. How­ever, his affec­tion for bad­minton, bird watch­ing and liquor leaves him lit­tle time for wran­gling cat­tle. It soon becomes clear that noth­ing in his refined upbring­ing has pre­pared him for the harsh con­di­tions of the New World. This ani­mated short is about the beauty of the prairie, the pang of being home­sick, and the folly of liv­ing dan­ger­ously out of context.

Mean­while, direc­tor Jean-Marc Vallée’s Café de Flore received 13 Genie nom­i­na­tions, and David Cronenberg’s A Dan­ger­ous Method received 11 nom­i­na­tions. Both films are nom­i­nated for Best Motion Pic­ture and Achieve­ment in Direction.

Round­ing out the Best Motion Pic­ture cat­e­gory are the award-winning Mon­sieur Lazhar, the sus­pense­ful The Whistle­blower and the crowd-pleaser Starbuck.

2011 was a vin­tage year for Cana­dian films,” said Helga Stephen­son, Interim CEO of the Acad­emy of Cana­dian Cin­ema & Tele­vi­sion. “Acad­emy Mem­bers have a major chal­lenge ahead of them.”

The 32nd Annual Genie Awards will be broad­cast at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. New­found­land Time) on Thurs­day, March 8 on CBC Tele­vi­sion. Genie32 will be held at The Westin Har­bour Cas­tle in Toronto.

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