NFB’s Hothouse seeks submissions from new artists

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National Film Board of Canada

National Film Board of Canada

Got an idea for an animation project created with new technologies?

For its eighth year, the National Film Board of Canada‘s Hothouse program is issuing a call for submissions for emerging animators across Canada, one that will feature an emphasis on digital technologies and a Genie-winning animator as mentoring director.

Hothouse offers new filmmakers, creative programmers and artists intrigued by animation art a 12-week paid apprenticeship at the NFB’s Oscar-winning Animation Studio in Montreal, where they can create their own short work with help from animation and digital media experts, as well as top-notch NFB technical and post-production personnel.

This year, the mentoring director for Hothouse is Theodore Ushev, whose 2010 film Lipsett Diaries received the Genie Award for Best Animated Short. He’ll be joined by associate producer Jelena Popovic and producer Michael Fukushima, who founded the Hothouse program in 2003 with former Animation Studio executive producer David Verrall.

Called “Sheep Dreams,” this eighth edition of Hothouse is designed for creators who are looking to use emerging tools and technologies, and take maximum advantage of new hardware, software or platforms in their projects. These projects can be anything from a traditionally animated story on an interactive mobile OS, to integrating sensing devices for spatial tracking and gesture/facial/voice recognition, to hacking a meaningful micro-narrative into existing game engines.

The goal is to help emerging artists create their own compelling 60-second experiences, driven by great animation storytelling and shaped by technology.

The Hothouse apprenticeship will take place in Montreal from March 5 to May 25. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Tuesday, January 24.

Submissions must be e-mailed to [email protected]. The six successful candidates will be notified by Friday, February 3.

For complete info, visit or contact Jelena Popovic at hothouse(at) or (514) 496-5466.

Forty-four short films have been produced through Hothouse over its seven-year history. Hothouse alumni include Patrick Doyon, whose animated short Sunday is currently nominated for an Annie Award by ASIFA-Hollywood, and Howie Shia, whose 2006 film Flutter received the Open Entries Grand Prize at the Tokyo Anime Awards.

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