Falling in love with Bear 71 in its world & Interview with co-creator Leanne Allison

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

bear 71 - interactive doc from NFB

I just watched & experienced my first ever award-winning first-person-documentary! It got me to play along and fall in love with Bear 71! The online experience/first-person-documentary is FREE thanks to National Film Board of Canada. And today, after a year long global competition, Bear 71 was selected as Site of The Year Winner amongst 12 Site of The Month finalists by 58 international judges in 2 rounds of voting! To see how amazing this honour is, you should know that the Site of The Month finalists were in turn selected from 365 Site of The Day Winners!

I will watch & play with Bear 71 again for sure. (update: 3 times so far) Let me give you the permission to explore and to click and look at different things during the 20 minutes experience because there are endless ways and many interesting hidden surprise for people to “first-person” interact and discover within the documentary. I was imagining/hoping there was a “right” way to interact with the film but there isn’t one. At key moments, the gentle hands of the creators of the experiences will bring you right along into some memorable video that will hopefully stay with you. For me, the memorable experiences will stay with me and has reaffirm and be more aware of the beautiful environment we (and the animals) experience even things are changing rapidly (often in not so positive ways for the animals). Lets hope shows like Bear 71 will help us want to make our world a better place not only for us humans, but also for bears like Bear 71 and other wild animals before things are too late.

Bear 71 (Trailer without the fun of interactive hangout)

Jan 19th update: Here is my extensive video interview with co-creator Leanne Allison where we talk about the one million plus photos Leanne got to pick and choose to use. The raw & candid video footage of a variety of wild animals captured motion-triggered cameras. And down to a discussion of how best to protect bears from trains in high-speed. Leanne and I also got to chat about the awesome documentary Being Caribou (2004) which you can watch for free online.

Here are some selected praises from the 58 international judges which I whole heartedly agree with.

Tom Daly, The Coca-Cola Company:

“The team behind ‘Bear 71’ put interactive story telling at the new edge of how we should imagine things.”

Julie Campagna, Adobe:

“Innovative and memorable, yet disturbing.”

Steve Lemarquand, Resn:

“I felt emotionally compelled to trek the virtual landscape for Bear 71.”

Mathias Appelblad, BBDO:

“A beautiful experience that pulls you right in. A great example of how technology and interaction can tell a story in an innovative, engaging and emotional way.”

Wesley Ter Haar, MediaMonks:

A site that is steadfast, almost stubbornly interactive. It interweaves narrative with data in a way that creates something uniquely digital, while also managing to resonate far beyond the experience itself. I catch myself thinking of Bear 71 in the same way I do about books or movies that have made a lasting impression, it is proof that our industry can create compelling, emotive work and will be the standard-bearer (pun not intended) for years to come.”

Eric Jordan, 2Advanced Studios:

Bear 71 is masterful blending of documentary-style video and information graphics, which combine together to make the site deeply engaging and informative.”

Kim Jong Il is dead – Tiger Spirit

Monday, 19 December, 2011

In the wake of Kim Jong Il‘s death, have a watch of the award winning doc Tiger Spirit (free online) about the border separating South and North Korea.

“This full-length documentary tells the story of modern Korea, a nation divided in half. The psychic scar shared by families divided during the Korean War in the 1950s is symbolized by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing communist North from capitalist South. Along this infamous border, filmmaker Min Sook Lee begins an emotion-charged journey into Korea’s broken heart, exploring the rhetoric and realism of reunification through the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. An eloquent tale of longing and hope, Tiger Spirit is an unforgettable portrait of Korea at a crossroads.”

[HT NFB and filmmaker Min Sook Lee]

NFB Get Animated in Calgary FREE on Nov 6th, 2011

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

Check out NFB‘s annual program Get Animated, a FREE celebration of animation in Calgary, Alberta on Nov 6th, 2011.

NFB celebrates 40 years of China-Canada relations with FREE movie screenings

Friday, 1 October, 2010

Here is the press release from NFB. Check out some of these FREE screenings if you are in Toronto.

The NFB celebrates 40 years of China-Canada relations at the Toronto Mediatheque

Toronto, October 1st, 2010 – This October, Canada and the People’s Republic of China are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations. The two countries have maintained productive relations for several decades now, enriched by exchanges in such varied sectors as science, agriculture, trade, the environment, medicine and culture. To mark this memorable anniversary, the National Film Board (NFB) is presenting seven recent films produced by China’s movie industry at the Toronto NFB Mediatheque from October 8 to 13. Several of the films are making their Canadian premiere alongside a selection of films produced by the NFB. The screenings are FREE and are being organized jointly by China’s Film Office of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the NFB.

About the Program

Friday, October 8 at 6:30 pm

Forever Enthralled by Chen Kaige, 2008

An epic film on the life of the famed Chinese opera singer Mei Lanfang, starring Zhang Ziyi and Masanobu Ando, rising star Shaoqun Yu, who gives a remarkable performance, and Xueqi Wang in a supporting role. Named Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2009, Forever Enthralled has been presented in several competitions, including the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009.

Saturday, October 9 at 1 pm – program for the whole family

The Dream of Jinsha, animated film, 2010 (Canadian premiere)

Xiao Long, a schoolboy around ten years old, accidentally goes back in time to an ancient Chinese empire that existed 3,500 years ago. That’s when the problems start…

The film will be preceded by a screening of the NFB animated film The Friends of Kwan Ming.

Saturday, October 9 at 3 pm

Walking to School by Peng Jiahuang and Peng Cheng, 2009 (Canadian premiere)

Children of the Lisu tribe in the Yunnan mountains have a strange way of getting to school: they have to dangle from a hook above the gorges of the Nujiang River and slide along a steel cable. Read the rest of this entry »

The Trenches – TIFF 2010

Monday, 13 September, 2010

The Trenches is a great Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2010 short film. Check out more info and filmmaker interview from NFB.

Trailer of The Trenches.

The sound environment of The Trenches.

Matthew Talbot-Kelly “The Trembling Veil of Bones” interview

Tuesday, 10 August, 2010

Matthew Talbot-Kelly interviews (Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross iPad app & The Trembling Veil of Bones animation)

Matthew Talbot-Kelly (imdb), director & producer of the animated short film “The Trembling Veil of Bones” and creator of the “The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross” iPad app, is an animator that was trained in architecture. In the following Skype video interview, I chatted with Matthew about how his knowledge of architecture influences his animations, why he decided to find an actor to play Bones, the story’s protagonist, the meanings of some of the images in the film, and more. Enjoy.

The following are clips produced by the National Film Board of Canada.



Chat with Cam Lizotte, animator, at Banff World TV Festival 2010

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

The following is my video chat with Cam Lizotte, animator at Camosabee Animation Studios, at 2010 Banff World TV Festival. Also take a look of Cam’s demo reel & portfolio.

P.S. I found this video clip from NFB.

P.P.S. I met Cam by chance at a Banff breakfast. It was nice to see him again by chance the following day, this time, part way through his breakfast, he got a chance to pitch his animation projects to a broadcaster. :)

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