Cannes Classic fetes Canuck

Fest celebrates 65th anni of NFB animation studio

MONTREAL — The Cannes Film Festival is helping the National Film Board of Canada celebrate the 65th anniversary of its animation studio with a retrospective of the work of toon helmer Norman McLaren.

The Scottish-born filmmaker, who died in 1987, founded the NFB animation studio in Montreal in 1941.

On Monday the Cannes Classic series will screen 13 of his short films including “Blinkity Blank,” which won the short film Palme d’Or in 1955, and “Neighbours,” which won the animated short Oscar in 1952.

“McLaren is the first Canadian and the first animator to be included in the Cannes Classic series,” said NFB spokesperson Nathalie Courville.

A seven-DVD box set of McLaren’s work — including 58 McLaren pics, plus never-before-seen-footage — will bow at Gaul’s Annecy Animated Film Festival (June 5 to June 10) and in North America in the fall, with Image distributing in the U.S. and Koch in Canada.

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