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Press Releases & Media Kits

Chris Landreth's Subconscious Password selected by Sundance Film Festival

Press release


“Thanks to the wild, psychological musings of Landreth, we won't soon forget Subconscious Password.”
–    Bill Desowitz, Animation Scoop/Indiewire

Montreal, December 10, 2013 – Chris Landreth's award-winning National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animated short Subconscious Password has been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival as part of its Shorts Program 1. The film will have its Sundance premiere on Friday, January 17, starting at 6:45 p.m. at Broadway Centre Cinema 3 in Salt Lake City, with Chris Landreth in attendance.

It's the latest honour for the 11-minute short, which garnered the prestigious Annecy Cristal award for best short film at its world premiere this past June at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France. The film is produced by the NFB, with the participation of the Animation Arts Centre of Seneca College and Copperheart Entertainment. Marcy Page (NFB) and Mark Smith are the producers.

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Ryan (2004), which was co-produced by Copperheart Entertainment and the NFB, Landreth takes audiences on a mind-bending romp through a game show of the unconscious in Subconscious Password when his alter ego, Charles, cannot remember a friend's name at a party. It's Landreth's first film in stereoscopic 3D (S3D), and his third with the NFB, a world leader in auteur animation.

About Subconscious Password

The short features a wealth of animated celebrity guests, plus Charles's mother and his childhood babysitter, who desperately try to prompt him to remember an old friend's name. Iconic figures appearing in the film include Dick Van Dyke, Yoko Ono, Sammy Davis Jr., William S. Burroughs, James Joyce, H.P. Lovecraft, Ayn Rand, and no less than the Virgin Mary. Despite all their attempts to help, however, Charles fails to grasp even the most obvious clues. As his frustration increases, the film's S3D effects become more pronounced, mirroring his growing psychological imbalance. Finally, he realizes he will simply have to surrender himself to his predicament.

Subconscious Password combines dazzling computer animation with pixilation sequences featuring Landreth's friend and fellow animator, John Dilworth. The computer animation was created with * Autodesk Maya 3D animation software, designed with Landreth's input and used on both of his previous NFB films. Opening title sequences were modelled and animated with SANDDE (Stereoscopic Animation Drawing Device), a digital animation technology created by IMAX Corporation that allows artists to create hand-drawn animation in 3D space, and which has been licensed to the NFB to develop new creative applications.

About Chris Landreth

Chris Landreth is one of Canada's most celebrated animation directors and the creator of a style he calls “psychorealism.” Landreth studied Fluid Mechanics before taking up animation, with his first short film, The Listener, released in 1991. It was followed by the Oscar-nominated the end (1995) and Genie winner Bingo (1996).

In 2004, the NFB co-produced Landreth's Ryan, which won more than 60 awards, including the 2005 Academy Award and prizes at Cannes and the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Landreth's animated short The Spine (2009) continued his exploration of the human psyche. It was nominated for a Genie and was named one of Canada's top 10 films of the year by the Toronto International Film Festival. Striking a lighter tone than his earlier films, Subconscious Password continues to demonstrate his remarkable evolution as an artist.

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) produces groundbreaking animation at its studios in Montreal and at NFB centres across Canada, as well as via international co-productions with many of the world's leading auteur animators. The NFB is a leader in developing new approaches to stereoscopic 3D animation and animated content for new platforms. The NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.

*Autodesk and Maya are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. 

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Pat Dillon, NFB Publicist
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: p.a.dillon@nfb.ca
Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

Lily Robert, Director, Corporate Communications, NFB
Tel.: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: l.robert@nfb.ca