Genie Awards 2012Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis are an Alberta born animation duo. On January 24, 2012, they received their second Academy Award nomination, for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animated short film, Wild Life. In addition to writing and directing the film, Forbis and Tilby drew and painted every animation frame in guache, and wrote the lyrics for the film’s final song. They were only able to work on Wild Life part-time, due to commercial obligations, and the film is reported to have taken them from six to over seven years, from concept to completion. On March 8, 2012 they will find out if their herculean efforts on Wild Fire results in a 2012 Genie Award, Canada’s version of the Academy Awards.

Synopsis: In 1909, a dapper young remittance man is sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching. However, his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. This animated short is about the beauty of the prairie, the pang of being homesick and the folly of living dangerously out of context.

Both originally from Alberta, Wendy and Amanda were friends and fellow students at what is now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. They teamed up again for the 1999, multi-award-winning animated short When the Day Breaks, which also received an Oscar nomination. (Tilbey had previously received an Oscar nod for her 1991 short Strings.)

Filmmaker’s Bios:

Amanda Fortis and Wendy Tilby

Wendy Tilby’s life, thus far, is a series of small events too numerous to list . Highlights include her birth in 1960 in Edmonton, Alberta; schooling at the University of Victoria and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design; and completion of When the Day Breaks(1999) which she co-directed with fellow Albertan Amanda Forbis. Previous work includes Tables of Content (1986) and Strings (1991).

Amanda Forbis was born in 1963 and raised upon the banks of the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta. She went to school (University of Lethbridge) and then she went to school some more (Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design) and then she went to work. She was Animation Director on the NFB production, The Reluctant Deckhand (1995) before co-directing When the Day Breaks with fellow Emily Carr graduate Wendy Tilby.

Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, co-directors of Wild Life, have many honours to their credit, including an Oscar nomination and Palme d’or for Best Short Film for When the Day Breaks, their first collaboration.

In 2003, they relocated from Montreal to Calgary, where they made Wild Life for the National Film Board of Canada.

See the complete list of 2012 Genie Award Nominees