As animation genius Norman McLaren said, “What
happens between two frames is more important than what happens on each frame.”
Now, young Canadians will be able to discover for themselves the mystery and
magic of this key animation principle. The NFB is happy to announce the online
animated film contest MAKE THE PIXELS DANCE!, open from now until January 15,
2007 on the NFB’s Focus on Animation Web site. Youth from 9 to 20 are invited
to grab a cell phone or digital camera and make a film up to three minutes
long, with the ordinary – or not so ordinary – materials around them.

“Animation is not nuclear physics,” says young contest spokesperson
Patrick Bouchard, already a two-time Jutra winner for his provocative short
films Brainwashing and Dehors novembre, both produced by the NFB’s French
Animation Studio. “It can start with any apparatus that allows you to capture
images one by one. The key, as always, is a good idea, finding a way to evoke
emotion in the action. But like anything, it’s trial and error – there’s no
reason not to give it a try.” As well as encouraging youth around the country
to enter the online contest, Patrick will invite two youths not registered in
the competition to help him with the selection of finalists.

Prizes will be awarded to ten finalists in each of two age categories,
9-14 and 15-20, and the works of each finalist will be broadcast on the site
throughout February, when the Canadian public at large will be invited to vote
online in three elimination rounds, thus choosing the national winners.

For inspiraton, youth are encouraged to explore the Focus On Animation
Web site, a veritable online film festival and virtual animation workshop at Here they’ll find 50 animated films, including
closed-captioned and described video for the hearing- and vision-impaired, as
well as interviews with award-winning artists, technical notes and background
on methods ranging from pixellation and paint-on-glass to state-of-the-art
computer techniques. Younger children can experience interactive play in clay
animation and storyboarding simulations, workshops, optical games, puzzles,
flips and more.

The Focus on Animation site is partly funded by Canadian Culture Online.
The NFB would like to thank the following sponsors for their valuable
contribution to the contest: Telus, MusiquePlus,, Teletoon, Nikon
Canada and YoungCuts.

The MAKE THE PIXELS DANCE! contest is yet another special event offered
by the NFB to mark its 65th year of animation filmmaking, an anniversary that
has been celebrated around the world and across the country with
retrospectives, museum exhibits, workshops, master classes and screenings, as
well as the international launch of Norman McLaren – The Master’s Edition, the
7-DVD box set of classic works from the man who founded the NFB animation
studios and captured the essence of animation.

For more details on the contest and prizes, visit the Focus on Animation
Web site, at or visit the CineRobotheque in Montreal or the
Mediatheque in Toronto.