Ushev at the 2016 Annecy International Animated Film Festival
Theodore Asenov Ushev
February 4, 1968
|Residence||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Occupation||Animator, Graphic designer, Illustrator|
|Known for||Blind Vaysha|
Life and career
He was born on February 4, 1968, in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, and graduated stage decoration, animation, and make-up at Plovdiv's School of Scenic Arts. He obtained a master's degree in graphic design from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia. He first made a name as a poster and graphic designer, before moving to Montreal in 1999. There he quickly gained a reputation as an animation filmmaker with for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), with films such as Vertical, The Man Who Waited, Tower Bawher, Tzartitza, Sou and Drux Flux, winner of the Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. In 2010, he completed a short animated documentary about Arthur Lipsett, entitled Lipsett Diaries. In March 2011, Lipsett Diaries received the Genie Award for Best Animated Short at the 31st Genie Awards.
He created live show multimedia and promo animations for the British band Public Symphony and David Gilmour’s “In an Island” album and live tour, and the illustrations for Chris Robinson' book "Ballad of a Thin Man: In Search of Ryan Larkin" (2008).
The third film from his 20th-century trilogy - Gloria Victoria was named Most Well Liked Animated Short of 2013. In a survey of fifteen respected festival programmers and critics who were each asked to name the best animated shorts of 2013, the film that came out on top was Gloria Victoria. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada, the film was selected by 11 out of 15 people surveyed. The film also got a nomination at 2014 Hollywood's Annie Awards.
Blind Vaysha won the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Animated Short at 5th Canadian Screen Awards. It received the Jury Award and Junior Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and had its North American premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. In September 2016, it received the Cartoon Network Award for Best Narrative Short Animation and the Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation at the 40th Ottawa International Animation Festival. Blind Vaysha was also included in the list of "Canada's Top Ten" shorts of 2016, selected by a panel of filmmakers and industry professionals organized by TIFF.
The film was also nominated for Best Animated Short at the 89th Academy Awards. Ushev stated that with 16 films to his credit to date, he had given up hope of ever being nominated for an Oscar because he worried that his films might be "too abstract, too avant garde, too elitist, too dark" for the Academy. He stated that upon hearing the news of his Oscar nomination, he had a strong emotional reaction: "When I heard the name of my film, I just stopped watching, because I fainted... I cried. At first I laughed and then I cried again. It's out of control.... It's all strange and exciting."
His keen interest for the new visual forms led him to experiments with installations, interactive works on public spaces and virtual reality. His last works are "Diagonales" on the facade of Montreal Public Library, the installation Third page from the Sun and the film-action 100 prints of Norman. Erased. in which he erases prints of the animation legend Norman McLaren during 10 days in an aquarium at the Museum of Civilisation in Quebec.
- "Theodore Ushev". NFB Profiles. National Film Board of Canada. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- "Awards". Drux Flux. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- "Lipsett Diaries". Film website. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
- Tremblay, Odile. "Huit prix Génie pour Incendies, dont meilleur film et meilleure réalisation". Le Devoir (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Amidi, Amid. ""Gloria Victoria" Most Well Liked Animated Short of 2013". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Milligan, Mercedes (4 August 2016). "NFB Animations Head to TIFF". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- Milligan, Mercedes (2016-09-25). "'J'Aime les Filles,' 'Louise' Take Ottawa Grand Prizes". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
- "Canada's Top Ten Film Festival Celebrates Homegrown Talent" (PDF) (Press release). Toronto International Film Festival. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- Ahearn, Victoria (24 January 2017). "NFB animated short 'Blind Vaysha' by Theodore Ushev among Canucks up for Oscars". Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 24 January 2017.