Montreal – The award-winning animated short film The Flying Sailor is available on The New Yorker’s digital channels today, November 18, as part of the magazine’s award-winning Screening Room series. A National Film Board of Canada (NFB) production, the film is the latest work by the Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning duo of Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby. Inspired by the incredible true-life story of a man blown two kilometres through the air by the 1917 Halifax Explosion—the largest accidental non-nuclear explosion in history—The Flying Sailor is an exhilarating meditation on the wonder and fragility of being.
Forbis and Tilby are Calgary-based animators who have shared Best Animated Short Film Academy Award nominations for When the Day Breaks (1999) and Wild Life (2011), with Tilby also nominated individually for Strings (1991). The NFB has a long and distinguished history at the Oscars, with NFB productions and co-productions garnering more Academy Award nominations than any other film organization based outside of Hollywood.
The Flying Sailor debuts on The New Yorker’s digital channels after a world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, a North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and a U.S. festival premiere at the New York City Short Film Festival, where it received the award for Best Animation.
The film is the latest NFB animated short to be published by The New Yorker, following Joanna Quinn and Les Mills’ acclaimed 2021 Beryl Productions International–NFB co-production Affairs of the Art, last year. The New Yorker’s award-winning Screening Room series is a collection of fictional films that will make you laugh, cry, and challenge your view of the mundane and the extraordinary.
With more than 20 festival selections to date, The Flying Sailor has already won six awards:
- Best Narrative Film, Countryside Animafest Cyprus, Cyprus
- Audience Award for being one of the 10 favourite foreign films, São Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil
- Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation, Ottawa International Animation Film Festival, Canada
- Best Animated Short, Calgary International Film Festival, Canada
- Silver Award for Best Canadian Short Film, Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Canada
- Best Animation, New York City Short Film Festival, United States