Animating Place into Character


Through the medium of animation, this panel explores the creative process and tools for geo-specific settings that serve as character in story—from something large and abstract like a “nation” to something detailed like a neighborhood or building structure. How does a place become a character? What are the political and cultural implications of foregrounding place? Join us in a thoughtful discussion with filmmakers who animate place into character. 



Maral MohammadianProducer, National Film Board of Canada Animation Studio

Maral Mohammadian is a producer at the renowned National Film Board of Canada’s Animation Studio in Montreal. Her award-winning films include Shannon Amen by Chris Dainty, Deyzangeroo by Ehsan Gharib and The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer by Randall Okita. She has recently worked with international talents Daniel Gray (Hide) and Marta Pajek (Impossible Figures and Other Stories I) as part of international co-productions. Maral has helped to develop some of Canada’s top rising talents through the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship program, which has spawned a series of one-minute hits. In addition to films, she has produced interactive projects with a distinct edge, such as Paloma Dawkins’ acclaimed VR work, Museum of Symmetry.


Shabnam RezaeiCo-Founder, Big Bad Boo Studios

Shabnam founded Big Bad Boo Studios to produce and distribute quality family programming. Shabnam has produced and directed Hulu Original Series “The Bravest Knight”, winner of 2020 GLAAD Award. She has also created and directed original shows such as “16 Hudson” (Amazon Prime/TVOKids), mini-series “Lili & Lola”(Oznoz/ICI TV), and musical series “ABC with Kenny G". Shabnam started her career producing series “Mixed Nutz”, and her first creation was “1001 Nights”, currently airing in 80 countries on Disney, Teletoon, Discovery Kids, Gloob Brazil, RTBF Belgium, and MTV3 Finland. Based in Vancouver and New York, the company’s own streaming channel Oznoz provides cartoons in 10+ languages including Thomas and Friends, Bob the Builder, Babar and more.

Ann Marie FlemingFilmmaker, Sleepy Dog Films

Ann Marie Fleming is an independent Canadian filmmaker whose work deals with themes of family, history and memory. Her films include the animated feature documentary, “The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam” about her Vaudevillian great grandfather, “Window Horses”, that takes place at a poetry festival in Iran, “Old Dog”, a contemplation about aging.

Ananya Ohri Producer and Writer

Ananya was the Executive Director at the Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF) for 7 years, where she founded and directed the Lieutenant General Award winning storytelling and preservation project, Home Made Visible. Ananya is currently producing and writing Mixed Up, a kids’ animated adventure mystery series headed to CBC Kids’, which she created with collaborator Fiona Raye Clarke.

Fiona Raye Clarke Writer, Creator and Producer

Fiona Raye Clarke is an award-winning Trinidadian-Canadian screenwriter and community-engaged artist. Her co-created short film, “Intersecting” screened at the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival and the Queer National Arts Festival. She was the winner of the CineFAM Short Film Challenge and a top ten finalist for the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award. Her co-created kids animated series, MIXED UP, was a recipient of the CBC/Radio-Canada and Canada Council for the Arts Creation Accelerator and is currently in development.

13 Nov, 2021 4:30 pm


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