|Alma mater||Radcliffe College|
Caroline Leaf (born August 12, 1946 in Seattle, Washington) is a Canadian-American filmmaker, animator, director, tutor and artist. She has produced numerous short animated films and her work has been recognized worldwide. She is best known as one of the pioneering filmmakers at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). She worked at the NFB from 1972 to 1991. During that time, she created the sand animation and paint-on-glass animation techniques. She also tried new hands-on techniques with 70mm IMAX film. Her work is often representational of Canadian culture and is narrative based. Leaf now lives in London UK and is a tutor at The National Film and Television School. She maintains a studio in London working in oils and on paper and does landscape drawing
Biography and early work
Sciences from 1964-1968. for visual arts from 1964-1968. During her last year of studies she enrolled in an animation class. The class was taught by Derek Lamb as a creative practice not a professional training. Lamb encouraged his students to focus on movement. Leaf worked with beach sand spread on a lightbox. This is when she created sand animation. Using this technique, she produced her first film Sand, or Peter and the Wolf and was awarded a scholarship from Harvard University. After graduation, she moved to Italy for a year to focus on her drawing. Returning to Harvard, she made her second animated film, Orfeo
painting on glass (Paint-on-glass animation.) She then did freelance work from a studio in Boston and made How Beaver Stole Fire. Leaf moved to Montreal to work as an
animator/director for the National Film Board of Canada in 1972. She worked at the NFB in the French and English animation departments
until 1991. She made 9 animated and live puppet films and a documentary
Career She made The Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa with sand animation.
Leaf made her first film, Sand, or Peter and the Wolf, in 1969 at Harvard University. The short was made by pouring sand on a light box and
manipulating the shapes frame-by-frame. Her second film at Harvard, Orfeo, was painted on glass under the camera. In 1972 she was invited to
Making the film involved 2 trips to the Canadian arctic, first to collaborate on designs with the Inuit artist Nanogak and afterwards to record the sound
effects for the film. Her most renowned short film was The Street, which was drawn directly under the camera with a mix of paint and glycerin. It was adapted from the short story by Mordechai Richler, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 49th Academy Awards. It is also featured in the Animation Show of Shows.
Leaf co-directed an animated documentary film called Interview with Veronika Soul. She made a documentary film on the singers Kate and
Anna McGarrigle, produced by Derek Lamb. In 1990, she made her first animation in nearly a decade by scratching into the emulsion of exposed
black 70mm color film and reshooting it on 35mm film. She worked for 2 years using this technique on her her film Two Sisters original version called
Leaf worked as an animator/director at the NFB until 1991. In 1991 she left animation to establish herself as a fine arts artist working in oils. In 2004 she contributed animation to a film about the Underground Railroad produced by Acme Filmworks in Los Angeles called Suite for freedom. Her part was called Slavery.
Animation techniques and influence
Leaf discovered a spontaneous and artistic hand crafted way of animatingin her animation class at Harvard and developed it in her professional career, pioneering: Sand animation, Paint on glass, and hand etching on film stock. All of her techniques have been described as having "fluid transitions". She used different techniques to best tell the story of each of her films which showcased her narrative-based style. She created simple anecdotal and fictional stories based on literary works. Her films contain characters with relatable and complex issues. Her stories are mostly
Leaf is also considered an influential Canadian filmmaker for her long standing service with the National Film Board of Canada and her representation of Canadian culture in her films. This can mainly be seen in her films The Street, The Owl who Married the Goose, and Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
Painting and Drawing
Since 2000 Leaf has maintained a studio in London, UK, and developed a personal style of painting in oils as well as drawings on paper. Her work is abstract and very much guided by mark making and a personal search to create spaces a viewer is invited to enter. She has also developed a lively landscape style of direct observation from nature and works on field trips with paper and pencil and also ipad using programs called Brushes and ProCreate.
www.onlinegallery.site ‘Two Artists One Drawing’ 2022
www.onlinegallery.site ‘Spaces’ 2021
Playing with Perception, The Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar
Square, London, 2015
The Leper Chapel, Cambridge, England, 2008
The Shop Gallery, Vallance Road, London, 2006
The Corridor Gallery, London, 2004
Krakow Animation Festival, Krakow, Poland, 1998
Zagreb International Animation Festival, Zagreb Croatia, 1996
Michael Nock Foundation, Hong Kong, 2014
Abbaye de Fontevraud, France, 2014
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, residency, summer 1997
|1969||Sand, or Peter and the Wolf||animator, director|
|1972||How Beaver Stole Fire||animator, director|
|1976||The Owl Who Married a Goose: An Eskimo Legend||animator, director|
|1976||The Street||animator, director|
|1977||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa||animator, director|
|1981||Kate and Anna McGarrigle||director|
|1981||The Right to Refuse||co-screenwriter, co-producer, director|
|1982||An Equal Opportunity||director, co-screenwriter|
|1983||War Series||animator, director|
|1985||The Owl and the Pussycat||director, producer, designer|
|1986||The Fox and The Tiger: A Chinese Parable||director, designer|
|1986||A Dog's Tale: A Mexican Parable||director|
|1988||Paradise Found||animator, director|
|1990||Two Sisters||animator, director|
|1991||I Met a Man||animator, director|
|1993||Bell Partout||animator, director|
|1994||Fleay's Fauna Centre||animator, director|
|1995||Brain Battle||animator, director|
|1995||Radio Rock Detente||animator, director|
|1975||Emilie Reynaud Special Award||France International Animated Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1975||Etrog for Best Animated Film||Canadian Genie Awards||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Victorian Government Prize||Australia International Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Third Prize - Silver Boomerang||Australia International Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||First Prize||Australia International Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||First Prize - Films for Children||Ottawa International Animation Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Silver Cindy Award||USA Cindy Competition||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Special Award for Animation||USA Cindy Competition||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Silver Award||USA Information Film Producers Association Convention||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1976||Grand Prix||Ottawa International Animation Festival||The Street|
|1976||Wendy Michener Award||Canadian Genie Awards||The Street|
|1976||Etrog for Best Animated Film||Canadian Genie Awards||The Street|
|1977||Blue Ribbon Award - Language Arts||American Film and Video Festival||The Street|
|1977||Special Prize||Australia International Film Festival||The Street|
|1977||First Prize - Animated Films||Ireland Cork Film Festival||The Street|
|1977||Chris Bronze Plaque||USA International Film and Video Festival||The Street|
|1977||First Prize||Film Festival of High Plains - Texas Tech. University||The Street|
|1977||Special Jury Mention||International Festival of Short and Documentary Films||The Street|
|1977||Red Ribbon Award - Language arts||American Film and Video Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1977||First Prize||Austria International Short Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1977||Special Jury Mention||Finland International Arctic Film Festival||The Owl who Married a Goose|
|1977||Critic's Award||France International Animated Film Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1978||Award for Best Animation||Spain International Short Film Festival||The Street|
|1978||Merit Award||USA Annual International Film Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1978||Grand Prize||Poland International Film Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1978||Special Jury Award||Ottawa International Animation Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1978||Certificate for Outstanding Achievement||Golden Gate Awards Competition & International Film Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1979||AMER Golden Eye Award||Annual AMER Film Awards||The Street|
|1979||Jury Award for Best Short Film||Montreal World Film Festival||The Interview|
|1979||First Prize (5-15 mins)||World Festival of Animated Film||The Interview|
|1980||Certificate for an Outstanding Film||Hong Kong International Film Festival||The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa|
|1981||Grand Prix||Australia International Film Festival||The Interview|
|1991||Best Film Award||France International Animated Film Festival||Two Sisters|
|1991||Grand Prix||Los Angeles International Animation Celebration||Two Sisters|
|1991||Best Animation Award||Sweden International Short Film Festival||Two Sisters|
|1992||Honorable Mention||American Film and Video Festival||Two Sisters|
|1992||Special Jury Award||Shanghai International Animation Film Festival||Two Sisters|
|1992||Alberta-Quebec Award||Quebec-Alberta Prizes||Two Sisters|
|1992||Best Film Award||Finland International Film Festival||Two Sisters|
|1992||Silver Apple Award||National Educational Media Network Competition||Two Sisters|
- 1994: Norman McLaren Award
- 1996: Life Achievement Award, World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb
- 2017: Winsor McCay Award (Life Achievement, Annie Awards)
- 2019: Dragon of Dragons Award, Krakow Film Festival
- Roberts, Eric (1998). "Hand-Crafted Cinema Animation Workshop with Caroline Leaf". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- Hamel, Jean-François (2010). "Grandeur et Humanisme". Ciné-Bulles. XXVIII (1): 32–33.
- McDougal, Dana (January 2000). "Caroline Leaf". The St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia. 18 (4): 88.
- Maurice, Elia (January 1978). "Caroline Leaf". Séquences (91): 102–117.
- "National Film Board of Canada". National Film Board of Canada.
- Petrolle, Jean (2005). Women and Experimental Filmmaking. Urbana: University of Illinois. pp. 193–201. ISBN 0252072510.
- Leaf, Caroline. "The Street". NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- The Street on Animation Show of Shows
- Leaf, Caroline. "Two Sisters". NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Pagliano, Jean-Pierre (2003). "ENTRETIEN: Caroline leaf: Je n'aime pas les contes de fées". Positif (508): 93–95.
- "2017: Caroline Leaf Receives the Winsor McCay Award". Zippy Frames. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Dragon of Dragons 2019 for Caroline Leaf – pioneer of animation". Krakow Film Festival. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Filmmaker Caroline Leaf to Receive Dragon of Dragons Award at Krakow Film Festival". Vimooz. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- Short Film Winners: 1977 Oscars