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Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival: 3 unmissable events this weekend

Feeling daunted by a staggering 88 features from 26 countries? Check out the director's picks
September 25, 2015

The Little Prince | © 2014 (LPPTV / ON Entertainment / Orange Studio/ M6 Films) The Little Prince | © 2014 (LPPTV / ON Entertainment / Orange Studio/ M6 Films)

From Norman McLaren’s 1952 Oscar-winning anti-war film Neighbours to the hilarious machinations of Wallace and Gromit, the abiding popularity of stop-motion cinema is hard to match. In fact, the medium brought life to inanimate objects as far back as the late 1890s.

The annual Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival continues that tradition this weekend, from Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. Directed by Erik Goulet — a part-time animation instructor at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema — the fest is playing host to 88 films from 26 countries in J.A. DeSève Cinema.

This year’s highlights include a master class by PES, director of the 2013 Academy-Award nominated short film Fresh Guacamole, at 7 p.m. on Friday. And on Sunday Laurie Sitzia, lead animator for Shaun the Sheep, takes festival attendees behind the camera of the critically acclaimed children's hit.

Wondering what else to see? Here are festival director Erik Goulet’s top three picks.

Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival: what not to miss 

1. Behind the Scenes of The Little Prince
7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26 in J.A. DeSève Cinema

Shot in Montreal by Les Films Séville, the latest film version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s tale is set for release later this year.

At tomorrow’s event, crew members who participated in puppet construction, sets and animation will provide rare insight into some of the magic that went into its production. 

“We’re proud to support the local community by putting forth the work of our Montreal artists,” says Goulet.

2. If I was God by Cordell Barker

4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26 in J.A. DeSève Cinema

Oscar-nominated director and National Film Board collaborator Cordell Barker teaches a master class prior to the Quebec premier of his most recent film, If I Was God.

“This is a wonderful story about youth,” says Goulet. “If you had the power to do anything, what would you do?” 

Cordell will be joined onstage by members of the film’s crew.

3. Free screenings for fans of all ages

11 a.m. on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27

The festival will be holding two free stop-motion showcases targeted at families.

“It’s an excellent way to see very cool films from around the world,” says Goulet.


Bonus picks: 3 classics of stop-motion cinema

Just for fun, we asked Goulet to also provide us with his all-time favourite examples of stop-motion animation.

1. Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers

“The best train chase scene ever!”

2. The Twin Girls of Sunset Street

“For the chills I get down my spin every time I watch it!”

3. Fantastic Mr. Fox

“For the light-hearted story it provides us in regards to this crazy world of ours!”

Find out more about the 2015 Montreal Stop Motion Film FestivalOr take a class at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.

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