17. Januar 2022 Johannes Wolters

Terril Calder’s acclaimed NFB animated short Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics heading to the Berlin International Film Festival

January 14, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Toronto-based Métis creator Terril Calder’s award-winning NFB animated short Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics will be making its international premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, taking place February 10 to 20, 2022.

The 19-minute stop-motion film will be presented in competition in the festival’s Generation 14plus program, which gives young audiences an opportunity to watch a diverse offering of powerful, relevant stories that are cinematically innovative and unconventional.

It’s an acclaimed return to Berlin for Calder, whose 2016 independent animated short SNIP was also featured in the 14Plus program.

Quick facts

  • Métis creator Terril Calder charts a challenging journey for a precocious Métis baby girl as she contemplates her path to Hell.
  • Featuring the voices of Gail Maurice, Kent McQuaid and Lake Delisle, Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics was supported by a stellar Canadian crew including Jeff Barnaby (editor), Judith Gruber-Stitzer (music composer) and Sacha Ratcliffe (sound design).
  • The Berlin festival selection is the latest honour for Meneath, which had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.
    • Audience Award for Best Canadian Short Film, 2021 GIRAF Festival of Independent Animation in Calgary
    • Canada’s Top Ten Shorts, Toronto International Film Festival
    • Special Mention, Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation, 2021 Ottawa International Animation Festival

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics by Terril Calder (19 min 22 s)

Produced by Jelena Popović (NFB English Program Animation Studio) with Jason Ryle as consulting producer

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics (Trailer 01m05s) from NFB/marketing on Vimeo.


Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics dives deeply into the innate contrast between the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride and Envy) and the Seven Sacred Teachings (Love, Respect, Wisdom, Courage, Truth, Honesty and Humility), as embodied in the life of a precocious Métis baby.

Brought to life by Terril Calder’s darkly beautiful stop-motion animation, Baby Girl’s inner turmoil is laid bare with unflinching honesty. Convinced she’s soiled and destined for Hell, Baby Girl receives Anishinaabe Teachings from Nokomis that fill her with strength and pride, and affirm a path towards healing. Calder’s tour-de-force unearths a hauntingly familiar yet hopeful world that illuminates the bias of colonial systems.

MENEATH: THE HIDDEN ISLAND OF ETHICS (Clip #2) from NFB/marketing on Vimeo.


About Terril Calder

One of the foremost Métis media artists practising in Canada today, Terril Calder is a multi-disciplinary creator born in Fort Frances, Ontario, and currently living in Toronto. Calder’s Métis lineage is from the Red River Settlement and the Orkney Cree Métis. While her current practice is focused on stop-motion projects, which she writes, directs, crafts and animates, Calder also has an extensive background in performance art, visual art and media art.

Her 2016 short SNIP was named to Canada’s Top Ten Shorts and received an honorable mention from the short film jury at the Berlin film festival in the Generation 14plus program. More recently, Calder directed the animated short film Seeds: The Art of Alanis Obomsawin, presented by the Glenn Gould Foundation in celebration of Obomsawin’s lifetime achievement award.

MENEATH: THE HIDDEN ISLAND OF ETHICS (Clip #1) from NFB/marketing on Vimeo.

Associated Links

Berlin International Film Festival

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