September, 2023




Christopher, tell us a bit more about yourself. Where does your desire to be a director come from?

I’ve been impacted by films since I was a child. I want to make films that impact others in a similar way. Also, it’s where my aptitudes lie. 

What is your background ?

I come from a farming background in rural Manitoba, Canada. My background had little connection to the arts or film, and I travelled into the city to pursue animation. 

What were your references for Hinter-Land?

Hinter-Land is based on short vignettes which played on Canadian television. They were little educational snippets about various creatures in Canada’s vast, untamed natural world.

Christopher you won an Honourable Mention for Best Fantasy at the RED Movie Awards, what does that mean to you?

From what I can tell, the festival is screening some high-end films, so it is an honour and exciting. This is the first film festival that the film has been a part of, and it is encouraging for the film’s future. 

An animated film is often a long job how long did you have to make this film?

The story, design, and animation took around four and a half years. Then there were a few months spent on music and sound effects. I had a five-year window to complete the film. 

What animation process did you use?

It is almost all hand drawn using the TVPaint animation program and a Wacom tablet.

What was the biggest challenge in this shooting?

Initially, there was a slightly different ending. The backgrounds were completed, but then I concluded that it wasn’t going to work as well as what I have now, so a lot of time was spent on the new ending.

We feel the ecological message through your film, can you tell us how this theme affects you?

I think the film has more of a conservationist bent than an environmentalist view, in that it has a view of care for the environment but doesn’t go much further in regards to various views of ecological disaster or how to fix it. This would fit with the Hinter-Land segments that the film is riffing on. 

For me, one of the key themes is that the film is like the natural world (the Hinter-Land) in that we all feel that it speaks to us, yet our various interpretations of this can be quite different. It’s as if we are interpreting “hints” in the natural world, and likewise, the “Hinter-Land” of the film (as in the natural world) is interpreted through the lens of our previous worldview. What the sunflowers represent, etc., is very much going to be interpreted that way – but of course, I, being the creator, know what it was intended to mean, and I hope that there is enough in the film for some to conclude that their interpretation is true.

The leaning towards seeing an ecological message in the film suggests a previous worldview, by which the film was at least partially interpreted. This will likely be a dominant interpretation in the current zeitgeist, but it is not the only possible one. 

Thus, the film is built on two Canadian traditions – short segments about nature, and animated film with philosophical aspects – whereby the philosophy is based on what the natural world may “speak.” Therefore, the ideas within my film are related to notions we glean from the natural world, and from there, the worldview or perspective that has the best interpretation, just as the film is best interpreted when considered through a certain perspective.

What is your next project?

I am working on an 8-minute animated film interacting with apocalyptic films but with the apocalypse turning out to be the end of a person’s psychological state.