13 short films by Aboriginal filmmakers for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games

Films

The following is a guest post by animation producer Michael Fukushima.

For better or worse (you choose your own side ’cause I’ve got mine), the Winter Olympics spectacle only comes around every four years and host nations pull out all the stops to showcase the snowy versions of their land, their people, their cultures; generally all the virtues of their particular way of winter life.

This year – Vancouver’s latest moment in the bright lights – is no different, and one of the NFB’s Olympic-sized celebrations of who we are is a public-private collaboration with APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). Walk-in-the-Forest is one of 13 shorts in the NFB-APTN Vistas Digital Nations collection, themed around the expansive idea of  nationhood.

Walk-in-the-Forest is a charming animated gem from the lively and eccentric hand of Montreal filmmaker, illustrator and bédéiste, Diane Obomsawin, with the Tarantino-esque (watch the short with sound and you’ll understand) music and sound design concocted by the equally lively and eccentric composer, Judith Gruber-Stitzer.

I haven’t seen all thirteen yet, for shame, and I won’t get a chance to see them in their glorious debut at the Olympic venues. But the ones I have seen are sparkling interpretations by young aboriginal filmmakers that are funny, poignant or simply pure joy.

As soon as the Olympic flame is doused at the end of the month, the collection will start its second life with festival screenings already programmed around the world. That’s always cool. And the collection was conceived as a multiplatform project, so they’re also about to start their viral lives on the interwebs. Also cool. Or groovy. Or bad. Whatever.

And to be a bit shameless here, for those of you not in Vancouver but instead in Montreal from 18-28 March, Walk-in-the-Forest will be at the Festival International du Film sur l’Art. Be there or be, oh I don’t know, a philistine.

***

Michael Fukushima is a producer in the National Film Board of Canada’s Animation Studio and produced the film Walk-in-the-Forest.