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Listen up, emerging animators:  now’s your time to shine in the 10th season of Hothouse

Listen up, emerging animators: now’s your time to shine in the 10th season of Hothouse

Listen up, emerging animators: now’s your time to shine in the 10th season of Hothouse

Got the animation itch? Now’s your chance to scratch it: we’re seeking submissions from emerging (young and not-so-young) Canadian filmmakers and artists intrigued by animation art for the 10th anniversary edition of Hothouse, a 12-week paid apprenticeship in full-on, all-inclusive, real-world animation filmmaking.

The details

Application Deadline: Monday July 7, 2014
Program Dates: September 8 – November 28, 2014
Theme: Overheard
Mentoring Director: Chris Landreth

Oh, sorry, did your eyeballs just pop out of your head? Yes, that’s the Chris Landreth, the acclaimed Oscar®-winning filmmaker behind Ryan and Subconcious Password. You can learn more about Chris Landreth on his official website.

Ryan , Chris Landreth, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The theme

And what about that intriguing theme (“Overheard”)? The organizers of this year’s Hothouse program have trolled through a wealth of archives and discovered 20 audio clips that are unusual, unnerving, or somehow full of subtext and hidden meaning. Applicants will select one clip and tell us how they will visually interpret the unscripted found sound to comment on or play with the original meaning. Click here to discover the raw audio files you’ll work with.

The history

A plethora of emerging talent has been developed through the annual iterations of Hothouse. In fact, we’ve got a delectable playlist of the best and brightest films produced through Hothouse right here. Check out Candace Couse’s Sick to see what kind of outside-the-box thinking takes place in this annual creative laboratory.


<a href="">Hothouse</a> is an apprenticeship program for emerging Canadian filmmakers. Located in Montreal, Quebec, it was created in 2003 by NFB Animation Studio producer Michael Fukushima and executive producer David Verrall. The aim is to re-imagine ways of making animation that are faster, more flexible and that celebrate the shortest of short forms while maintaining creative and technical excellence, all hallmarks of NFB animation.

This is not “quick and dirty” but rather “intense and amazing.” Think of horticultural hothouses where gardeners create optimal growing conditions to encourage the blossoming of exotic orchids and other blooms in weeks rather than months.

This program is for emerging creators from across Canada with the imagination, vision, experience and enthusiasm to relish the Hothouse challenge, to flourish in the Hothouse environment and to accomplish the making of a successful project within the program’s parameters.

Key aspects of Hothouse include the active participation of an experienced mentoring director, a team of NFB technical and post-production experts who support the filmmakers, and emphasis on the role of the producers and associate producers as creative partners, all of which highlight the collaborative process of NFB filmmaking.

Hothouse takes place over 12 consecutive weeks in the NFB’s Montreal Animation Studio. Not merely funding nor school: Hothouse is instead a paid apprenticeship in real-world animation filmmaking.

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Past Hothouse alumni include such distinguished filmmakers as Patrick Doyon, nominated for an Oscar® for his NFB animated short Sunday, and Howie Shia, whose NFB short Flutter received the Open Entries Grand Prize at the Tokyo Anime Awards.

Flutter, Howie Shia, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

For the first time, two emerging animators from Mexico will join the six Canadians selected for Hothouse this year, thanks to a partnership with the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía (IMCINE), Mexico’s public film institute.

The criteria

Submissions must be received by 5pm (Montreal time) on Monday July 7, 2014 and must be sent via email (no snail mail submissions will be accepted). The six successful candidates will be notified by Friday July 25, 2014.

Your proposal must be based on this year’s theme and one audio selection from the options provided. You are free and expected to be imaginative and bold in how you interpret the sound.

The fine print

For details on eligibility, techniques and technologies, evaluation criteria, a complete list of submission materials, and other important instructions, rules, and regulations, please refer to the Hothouse call for proposals and read the material carefully to make sure you meet all requirements.

The final word

Check out an array of blog posts that will give you a bit more insight about what kinds of fun, frantic, and fearless creation goes on during the Hothouse residencies each year. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to put together your best work yet!

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