NFB  logoThe National Film Board of Canada has opened the doors to Hothouse. This exciting venture includes a podcast series that follows eight emerging filmmakers as they create their first professional animated film via the NFB Animation Studio’s Hothouse Program. Mentoring the directors is none other than Torill Kove, who recently took a Best Animated Short Oscar for her direction on The Danish Poet.

NFB Heats Up With Bigger, Bolder and More Eclectic Hothouse 4

March 21, 2007 – What do you get when you cross a “taxiderm-ized” squirrel, a couple of fiddlers and some splashes of paint? Well, add a pinch of Brazilian flavour, bring to a boil over 3 months and you get a foretaste of the National Film Board of Canada’s Hothouse 4 films. Located at, this year’s Hothouse includes a regular behind-the-scenes podcast series beginning in mid-March and films from Hothouse.

Now in its fourth edition, Hothouse is a NFB project that encourages new talent, provides an A-Z experience in professional animation filmmaking and re-imagines ways of making animation: ways that are faster, more flexible and that celebrate the shortest of short forms while maintaining creative and technological excellence. The challenging and exciting order facing these eight emerging filmmakers is to spend twelve weeks at the NFB Animation studios in Montreal to create a 30-second film on the theme “A Chance Encounter.”

Torill KoveThis year’s participants are under the watchful eye of Academy Award-winning director Torill Kove, whose NFB/Norway co-produced The Danish Poet received this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Short. As mentoring director Torill will guide and advise the participants during their time at the NFB.

Over 80 applications were received for the six spots open to Canadians; the lucky participants in this year’s Hothouse 4 are James Braithwaite (Montreal), Maya Ersan (Montreal), Dale Hayward (Toronto), Carla Coma (Alberta), Jody Kramer (Vancouver) and Oliver Tsuji (Montreal). A new addition to this year’s mix was the inclusion of two young artists from Brazil; 150 proposals were submitted and Jonas Brandão (Sao Paulo) and Diego Stoliar (Rio de Janeiro) have joined the group in Montreal as part of the cooperation program signed between the NFB and the Minister of Culture of Brazil last March.

Hothouse was created in 2003 by NFB Animation Studio producer Michael Fukushima and executive producer David Verrall. According to Fukushima the hothouse-as-pressure-cooker is a model that has proved beneficial for the NFB as a whole. “It encourages the studio to continually question animation conventions and to re-imagine how we make our films. It also helps us discover new talent and sustains the experimentation and innovation that have always defined Film Board animation.” Hothouse 4 is under the direction of Maral Mohammadian, who has recently joined the NFB Animation Studio as associate producer after several years at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada produces and distributes bold and distinctive social issue documentaries, auteur animation and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. Since its founding in 1939, the NFB has created over 12,000 productions and won over 5000 awards, including over 90 Genie Awards. The NFB is committed to working with and supporting Canada’s new and emerging filmmakers – and to serving as a laboratory for new developments in filmmaking. As Canada’s public producer and distributor, the NFB has a responsibility to seek out and develop emerging filmmakers in every region of the country. Today, emerging filmmakers now account for fully one-half of all new NFB productions and co-productions. The NFB is leading the way in support for emerging filmmakers through our regular programming streams and special initiatives. For more information, please visit