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First look at Mercury Filmworks' National Canadian Film Day short!

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Mercury Filmworks’ head of studio, Jefferson Allen, and chief creative officer, Jerry Popowich, were on CTV Morning Live yesterday chatting National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150). The event, which launches April 19, 2017, will be the largest film festival in the world, held in 1,700 venues across Canada and in over 60 other countries via embassies and military bases. Presented by Reel Canada, it thrusts the Great White North and its greatest storytellers into the international spotlight.

Check out the video:

For NCFD 150, Mercury Filmworks felt it was practically their duty to participate. The 19-year-old studio has spent most of its life in the nation’s capital, Ottawa. Their enviable roster of ongoing and upcoming projects includes “The Lion Guard” and “Tangled: The Series” for Disney, “Hilda” for Netflix and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” for Amazon.

Such high-profile work by Mercury, alongside fellow studios such as Jam Filled, the Kratt Brothers Company, and leading educational institution and Toon Boom Centre of Excellence Algonquin College, has helped reposition Ottawa from government town to animation destination.

“Animation is a sleeping giant in this town,” says Allen, referencing Ottawa. Being so proximate to the growing excitement of Canada’s anniversary, it felt only natural to him that Mercury participate somehow.mercury_filmworks_ctv.pngMercury Filmworks’ Jefferson Allen and Jerry Popowich on CTV.

“Jeff came up and said, ‘Jerry, we have one of the largest animation companies in Canada and we’re based right in Ottawa — we have to do something for the 150th,’” says Popowich.

Mercury Filmworks ultimately decided on an animated short. For the direction, Popowich was inspired by an animation from his childhood, which covered Canada from east to west. However, he wanted to take it a step further.

Popowich decided to exhibit different art styles representing each province and territory across Canada. The studio worked with animators from each region to lead and showcase current and historic styles, all produced in Toon Boom Harmony. mercury_filmworks_nfcd150.png

A Newfoundland dog in Mercury’s National Canadian Film Day short.

Jefferson: “I think every Canadian realizes that diversity is really what gives Canada the beauty and strength we appreciate.” Given the current global socio-political climate, this is more important now than ever.

Mercury Filmworks’ special animated short film will be screened tonight, April 18, for free at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. (Get your tickets here.)

Can’t make it? Toon Boom will be hosting Mercury Filmwork’s National Canadian Film Day 150 animated short on our blog later this week. Stay tooned!

Are there any other films you are excited to see at NCFD 150? Let us know in the comments below!