Film Club
Screening Dates
  • November 19, 2023 11:00
Free Admission

Ishu Patel’s films are easily among the most inspired in animation, with their beautiful artistry typically backed up by equally powerful, allegorical, universally appealing stories and compellingly offbeat soundtracks.”

On the Ones

Born into a family of farmers, the self-taught animation artist Ishu Patel never forgot his roots, even as his path took him to the prestigious National Institute of Design in India followed by the National Film Board of Canada, where he worked, mentored, and developed new techniques for 25 years. My childhood memories from village life during the 1950s offered thousands of ideas and visual images,” Patel has said. No electricity, scary pitch-black nights in the village with only tiny fires burning, fantastic stories, superstitions, deaths, births, marriages, birds and animals, foliage and flowers, farming methods, folklore, travelling puppet theatres, etc.” His films, with their wondrous interplay of motion, music, and colour, sprang from these sources, along with early inspirations from animators like Norman McLaren and Giulio Gianini. This program includes Patel’s five major films, not a frame wasted in any of them, along with those films that made him see that animation could be an artist’s medium.

Best Animated Short Film (Nominee)
Academy Awards 1978, 1985

Using beads, intricately designed backgrounds, and back-lit plasticine figures, [Patel] creates abstract worlds … His masterpiece remains the Academy Award-nominated Paradise (1984), a parable about envy that is as luminous as the castle in which the tale is played out.” Canadian Film Encyclopedia

Perspectrum is a splendid example of Patel’s ingenuity, one born from years of working with minimal equipment and supervision in [a] self-guided learning environment … Prepare yourself for six minutes of dancing, folding geometric abstraction set to a recording of lovely koto music by Miyagi Michio.” Alexander Keefe, Sarkari Shorts

Lines Vertical
Canada 1960
Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambart
5 min. DCP

A Chairy Tale
Canada 1957
Norman McLaren, Claude Jutra, Evelyn Lambart
10 min. DCP

La gazza ladra
The Thieving Magpie
Italy 1964
Giulio Gianini, Emanuele Luzzati
11 min. DCP

Canada 1975
Ishu Patel
6 min. DCP

The Bead Game
Canada 1977
Ishu Patel
6 min. DCP

Canada 1978
Ishu Patel
7 min. DCP

Canada 1984
Ishu Patel
15 min. DCP

Divine Fate
Canada 1993
Ishu Patel
11 min. DCP


Special thanks to Tamara Ivis (NFB), Carla Rezza Gianini, and Lorenzo De Tomasi for making this free presentation of films possible.


All of the films in this program are full of music, but most are free of spoken dialogue. Divine Fate is narrated in English.

Upcoming in this Series

  • Singin In The Rain 1
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • USA1952
  • Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
  • 103 DCP
  • G
  • Film Club
  • Liz And The Blue Bird 1
  • Liz and the Blue Bird
  • リズと青い鳥
  • Japan2018
  • Yamada Naoko
  • 90 DCP
  • G
  • Film Club