“Bydlo,” an animation directed by Patrick Bouchard for the National Film Board of Canada, was named Tuesday evening as one of Canada’s top short films of 2012.
The 12th annual Canada’s Top Ten list was announced at a Toronto gala organized by the Toronto International Film Festival Group. Actors Sarah Gadon and Don McKellar were the hosts.
An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, Bydlo is a tragic vision inspired by the fourth movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, Bouchard brings the earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a concrete and terrifying world, a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.
The film has been nominated for next year’s Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. It premiered June 7 at the Annecy International Animation Festival.
Others in this year’s list of Top 10 Canadian shorts are (in alphabetical order) Chef de meute (Herd Leader), directed by Chloé Robichaud; Crackin’ Down Hard, directed by Mike Clattenburg; Kaspar, directed by Diane Obomsawin; Ne crâne pas sois modeste (Keep a Modest Head), directed by Deco Dawson; Lingo, directed by Bahar Noorizadeh; Malody, directed by Phillip Barker; Old Growth, directed by Tess Girard; Reflexions, directed by Martin Thibaudeau; and Paparmane (Wintergreen), directed by Joëlle Desjardins Paquette.
A list of Canada’s Top 10 feature films was announced as well.
“From a hilarious sex quest to an apocalyptic satire, this year’s diverse list of documentaries, comedies, dramas and epics serve the country’s savvy moviegoers the eclectic cocktail of films they have grown to count on from Canada’s Top Ten,” TIFF senior programmer Steve Gravestock said in a statement.
Added TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey: “We couldn’t be more impressed by the calibre of films the industry has produced this year,”
TIFF will screen films from both Top 10 lists at its Lightbox headquarters in Toronto from January 4 to 13. The screenings will be accompanied by special introductions and question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers. Some of the films will come to other Canadian cities in the new year. Screenings are planned for Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton.
A panel made up of filmmakers, movie industry people and journalists across Canada chose the two lists.