Jun 21, 2010

Women Animating: Caroline Leaf

Caroline Leaf is a Canadian-American filmaker and animator. She was born in in 1946 in Seattle, and she made her first film, Sand, or Peter and the Wolf, in 1968 at Harvard University. The short was made by dumping sand on a light box and manipulating the textures frame-by-frame.

Her second film, Orfeo (1972), had her painting directly on glass under the camera. Later that year she was invited to join the National Film Board of Canada's English Animation Studio.

She mixed paint with glycerine to produce The Street, adapted from the short story of the same name by Mordechai Richler, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 49th Academy Awards.

From 1981 until 1986 she worked on various live action documentary films. In 1986 she produced her first animation in nearly a decade by scratching on 70mm color film and reshooting it on 35mm. "Two Sisters" (1990) won the award for best short film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 1991.

She worked as an animator/director at the NFB until 1991 and she left animation temporarily to work on documentary films. In the last years, she contributed animation to a film about the Underground Railroad in 2001.

Caroline Leaf currently lives in London and is a tutor at The National Film and Television School.

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