NFB Roundtable NFB Roundtable

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is driven by characters. The studio doesn’t stick to the tried-and-true script, instead opting to stick to the original visions of its artists who tell one-of-a-kind stories from brand-new points of view.

On December 6 at noon PST, the NFB will team with The Animation Showcase to host a roundtable with some of the most successful storytellers the NFB has been able to work with.

Come join Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, Terril Calder, and Marta Pajek along with NFB executive producer Robert McLaughlin and producer Maral Mohammadian as they discuss the intersection of story, art, history, and animation, and answer your questions.

To be a part of the conversation, RSVP here.

As an artist-first studio and global leader in short films, the National Film Board creates groundbreaking animation for international audiences. Its productions and co-productions have earned 76 Academy Award nominations and 12 Oscar wins. In the past decade alone, six films were Oscar-nominated for best animated short: Affairs of the Art (Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, 2021), Animal Behaviour (David Fine and Alison Snowden, 2018), Blind Vaysha (Theodore Ushev, 2016), Me and My Moulton (Torill Kove, 2014), Wild Life (Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, 2011), and Sunday (Patrick Doyon, 2011).

Every second counts in a short film. Hear how each filmmaker has distilled thousands of hours and unique lifetimes into highly captivating minutes.

Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby mark their return to the awards circuit with their latest film The Flying Sailor. Engaging and reflective, they will discuss their evolving and storied careers and their artistic and philosophical approach to being a filmmaking team.

Métis filmmaker Terril Calder will discuss strengthening Indigenous voices by leaving specific storytelling tropes behind, and how her passion for stop-motion and fine arts influences her approach to animation.

Marta Pajek dedicated 13 years of her life to creating the Impossible Figures trilogy. A Poland-based award-winning filmmaker, her stark minimalism reveals how world history is more prescient than ever. She will discuss how politics and dance shaped her vision and the importance of understanding the audience as a filmmaker.

During the discussion, attendees can engage with the filmmakers as they reflect together on the importance of shorts, staying true to the story, creative collaborations, and how filmmaking offers a unique point of view on the world.


Animated shorts that reveal unseen dimensions of the human experience.

The Flying Sailor marks the return of the Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning duo of Forbis and Tilby (When the Day Breaks, Wild Life). Employing a wealth of techniques (3d, 2d, live action, photographs), along with a bold mix of comedy, suspense, philosophy, and playful abstraction, The Flying Sailor is an exhilarating meditation on a few seconds of a life, and a celebration of the wonder and fragility of being.

Presented by The New Yorker and the NFB (Producer and Executive Producer: David Christensen)


Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics illuminates the innate bias of colonial systems. Embodied in the life of a precocious Métis baby, the contrast between the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride, and Envy) and the Seven Sacred Teachings (Love, Respect, Wisdom, Courage, Truth, Honesty and Humility) is revealed. Convinced she’s destined for Hell, Baby Girl receives Anishinaabe teachings that fill her with strength and pride, affirming her path toward healing. Brought to life by Métis filmmaker Terril Calder, this darkly beautiful stop-motion short explores Baby Girl’s inner turmoil with unflinching honesty.

Producer: Jelena Popović (NFB); Consulting Producer: Jason Ryle
Executive Producers: Michael Fukushima (NFB), Robert McLaughlin (NFB)

Impossible Figures and other stories I is a mysterious and haunting portrait of personal and societal self-destruction from award-winning filmmaker Marta Pajek and a co-production between Animoon and the NFB. Using striking black-and-white imagery and occasional brushes of color, this post-apocalyptic animated story is told with gentleness, compassion, and a dash of hope. In the aftermath of a massive explosion, only a few souls remain, including an elegant elderly woman. Wandering deserted city streets, the tired, stoic woman painfully recalls what was and what could have been.

A Polish Film Institute co-financed production between Animoon (Piotr
Szczepanowicz, Grzegorz Wacławek) and the NFB (Maral Mohammadian).



An incubator for unique and diverse films released every year, the NFB is proud to continue our legacy of award-winning titles in this year’s Animation Showcase. See the thought-provoking films of NFB filmmakers online at

Pictured at top: Terril Calder (photo by Julie Artacho), Marta Pajek (photo by Zosia Zija and Jacek Pioro), Amanda Forbis, and Wendy Tilby (photo by Wendy Tilby).

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