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Year: 1991
Language: English
Runtime: 5 min
Director: Christopher Hinton
Producer: William Pettigrew
Executive Producer: Barrie McLean, Douglas MacDonald
Cinematographer: Raymond Dumas, Lynda Pelley, Pierre Landry, Jacques Avoine
Animation: Christopher Hinton
Sound: Jacqueline Newell, Jean-Pierre Joutel
Music: Wade Hemsworth, Kate McGarrigle, Anna McGarrigle
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

This bouncy, light-hearted, imaginative animated film is based on “The Blackfly Song,” written in 1949 by Canadian folk singer Wade Hemsworth (whose “Log Driver’s Waltz” was interpreted as an animated film by the NFB in 1979). The song was inspired by Hemsworth’s own experiences as a surveyor confronting swarms of blackflies in Northern Ontario. Director Christopher Hinton’s characteristically frantic style conveys the frenzied activity of the flies – they are shown can-can dancing, swimming with scuba gear and drinking blood from martini glasses while sprawled out on deck chairs on a poor sod’s scalp – and the agitation they inspire. Blackfly won numerous international prizes and earned Academy Award® and Genie nominations for Best Animated Short.

By: Andrew McIntosh

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