EIFF Celebrates McLaren Centenary with World Premiere of Stereoscopic Films Alongside Industry Events
EIFF is delighted to announce the world premiere of four digitally restored animation stereoscopic films, as part of the ongoing centenary celebrations for Scottish filmmaker Norman McLaren. First screened at EIFF and the Festival of Britain in the early 1950’s, the films have been restored by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and are a historic precursor to today’s 3D films.
“The Festival of Britain (1951) asked the National Film Board of Canada to contribute two shorts for a program of stereoscopic and stereophonic films being shown at the Telecinema in London, with the specific request that the films be of a cartoon or animated nature... To our knowledge, no stereoscopic cartoon-type animated film had been made before.” Norman McLaren
The world premiere will take place as part of McLaren 2014 on 21 June in Edinburgh’s Filmhouse. NOW IS THE TIME (1951); O CANADA (1952); TWIRLIGIG (1952) and AROUND IS AROUND (1951) will be screened. TWIRLIGIG was originally made in 2D however Norman McLaren converted it into 3D, and the film has been restored with its original credits that were removed as a consequence of the 1950’s Red Scare.
In addition to the stereoscopic films, EIFF will host a number of McLaren 2014 related screenings, events and panels, as well as the 25th anniversary of the McLaren Award for Best British Animation, which is again supported in its anniversary year by the British Council. Following the stereoscopic films premiere, a panel discussion will include contributions from award-winning NFB producer Marcy Page, who produced the restored version of the films; Eloi Champagne, Digital Imaging Specialist at the NFB, who oversaw the technical restoration of the stereoscopic images; David Verrall, producer of McLaren’s final film NARCISSUS; McLaren’s long-time colleague and friend Donald McWilliams (director of documentary NORMAN McLAREN: CREATIVE PROCESS, which will be screened at Filmhouse prior to EIFF on 8 June) and Luigi Allemano from Concordia University, Montreal, who oversaw the sound restoration on the stereoscopic films.
“Norman McLaren’s creative vision seemed to know no bounds, and his work in 3D film put Canada at the forefront of developments in stereoscopic cinema. The NFB is proud to have been able to restore these four groundbreaking films for McLaren 2014. This year’s Edinburgh International Film
Festival marks the first time that audiences will be able to experience these restored works in 3D on the big screen, to be followed by more screenings across Canada as part of the centenary of Norman’s birth and the NFB’s 75th anniversary,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Acting Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson.
Contenders for the 25th McLaren Award will be screened as part of two programmes, McLaren Animation 1 and 2; the second programme reflecting on identity, memory and remembrance in the year that also marks the centenary of the First World War. Since 1990, Britain’s exceptional animators have competed for this coveted prize, the recipients of which have included Oscar® & BAFTA winners and one of the creative minds behind Peppa Pig. The 2014 selection continues to bring the best UK-produced animation to EIFF, with the Award’s outcome determined by public vote.
International Animation 1 will showcase a selection of films which reflect Norman McLaren’s life and practice through his deep rooted social conscience and pacifism, his skill as a teacher, his exploration of visual music, how film can embody a nation’s culture, sexual identity, and his ceaseless quest to innovate and experiment with materials, movement and technology. BBC Scotland’s recent documentary, NORMAN MCLAREN: BOOGIE DOODLER will also be screened.
Iain Gardner, Artistic Director of McLaren 2014 and EIFF animation programmer said: "I’m delighted that EIFF’s long association with McLaren’s name and work is being celebrated in his Centenary year, and I can’t wait to discover who the public votes as our 25th McLaren Award winner. I had the privilege of reviewing the progress at the National Film Board of the last remaining McLaren films to be digitally restored, and his use of stereoscopy resets your appreciation for his genius."
Continuing the theme of visual artistry and effects, the Industry facing facet of EIFF today announced an initial selection of events available to industry delegates in June. A Visual Effects Case Study will focus on Jonathan Glazer’s critically acclaimed Scottish-set horror sci-fi UNDER THE SKIN. Examining a key component of the film’s visually arresting design, visual effects supervisor Tom Debenham from Soho-based studio One Of Us, will guide the audience through early concept and visual development work, developing and using the hidden camera system, as well as planning and executing the involved visual effects.
Screenwriters can attend Developing Writing Talent, a panel discussion examining opportunities for up and coming writers through schemes including C4’s Coming Up. Contributors include C4’s Commissioning Executive Surian Fletcher-Jones; Touchpaper TV’s Clare Alan; Paul Ashton, Senior Film Executive for Creative England and BBC Scotland’s Writer in Residence, Kirstie Swain. Meanwhile screenwriter Moira Buffini (BYZANTIUM, TAMARA DREWE, JANE EYRE) will be In Conversation with co-chair of the Writers Guild of Great Britain Film Committee, Andrea Gibb.
In association with Film London, So You Didn't Get Your Public Funding? will be chaired by Film London’s Head of Talent Development and Production, Deborah Sathe; while festival favourite Market Place Live returns, presenting an entertaining journey through the life of a hypothetical film project from development through to release – wrapped inside an unique 90 minute live panel event.
Industry & Talent Development Manager for EIFF, Holly Daniel, commented: "We are thrilled to confirm some of the fantastic events scheduled for this year’s EIFF Industry programme. With a wide selection of topics covering all areas of the filmmaking process, there will be something for everyone, with further events to be announced. Complementing EIFF's film programme, the industry office will deliver events, screenings and networking opportunities for industry professionals and filmmakers at every level."
Industry and Press delegate accreditation for EIFF 2014 is now open, and further details can be found at: http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/industry
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.