ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER VI | SYMPOSIUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION STUDIES | ANIMAFEST SCANNER VI - PANEL 1: ANIMATION AND HISTORY
Feminism and Animation: Feminist Discourse Analysis of Quebec Animation from the National Film Board of Canada (1970-1979) - Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre
"It is clear that opportunities vary enormously between countries. Canada’s National Film Board has done perhaps more, historically, than any other institution to support the development of animation as an art form and has provided opportunities for many women filmmakers. There is a need for a detailed study of its role, and the results, in this area." (Pilling, 1992).
The cultural view of animated film as a lesser art practice and the institutionalization of a specific cinematic discourse have broadly marginalized female animators, discounting their voice as a result, producing a biased and incomplete cultural perspective on animated film.
The 1970s represent a momentous time for women’s liberation in Quebec. On the feminist visual arts continuum, women’s animation has been politically driven by the socioeconomic issues of the time, while challenging the iconography traditionally associated with the feminine sphere. Animated film provides a unique cinematic language, one that this communication conveys through its intersection with feminist theory. This analysis and restoration of the feminist discourse of female animators and strong female role models in the field serve to acknowledge their realities.
This communication offers an alternative and critical historical view of a little-known and under-researched discipline that tends to be overlooked: the feminist animated film from the National Film Board of Canada and how the institution has shaped their discourse.
Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre founded in 2004 the independent company MJSTP Films Inc. within which she produces her own films at the junction of documentary and animated cinema. In the course of her original creations, two major themes emerge: motherhood and artistic creation. Selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, Jutra (2014) has won three prestigious Canadian awards (Gemini, Jutra and Canadian Screen Awards). During her career, her film work has won more than 55 international awards. A graduate of Concordia University (BFA Film Animation and MFA Film Production), she is a PhD student in Arts Studies and Practices at UQAM with a postgraduate degree in Women’s Studies. She is a Vanier scholarship recipient. The title of her research thesis is: Animated Cinema and Feminism: The Influence of the Conditions of Creation of Women Directors of the National Film Board of Canada in their works (1970-1979).