Martine Chartrand
Martine Chartrand, who was born in Montreal in 1962 of Haitian origin, studied social sciences and graphic arts at Ahuntsic College, then fine arts at Concordia University. At Concordia she was introduced to animation, and this led to her job with Atkinson-Crawley in 1986 in Ottawa, where for some months she designed sets for television series. The following year she joined Ciné-Groupe as one of the team making the feature film Bino Fabule. Christian Bénard later hired her for his company Bleu Réflex, where she worked as an illustrator and animator for sequences for several films in the series Conte pour tous, produced by Rock Demers. She became involved with the animation co-op Ciné-clic, where she gave workshops in creating backgrounds and took part in a number of animation projects.

 She joined the NFB officially as a colour artist, assisting Pierre M. Trudeau during the shooting of Enfantillages(1990). She then collaborated on Jours de plaine (1990), co-directed by Réal Bérard and André Leduc.

 After obtaining a teaching certificate while continuing to work as a poster designer and illustrator, she was approached by Thérèse Descary, who invited her to direct her first film as one of the series Droits au cœur (Rights of the Heart). The film was T.V. Tango (1992), which won prizes in Chicago, Zlin and Ottawa among other cities.

 In 1990, during the Ottawa Film Festival, she saw a screening of Alexandre Petrov’s La vache. She was impressed by the film and decided to prepare herself for an apprenticeship with the Russian filmmaker. She spent four years learning Russian and then in 1994, with grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, flew to Iaroslavl for a three-month stint in Petrov’s workshop. It was a crucial encounter, for while there she mastered the difficult technique of paint-on-glass animation. She then encouraged Petrov to come to Canada to film an adaptation of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (Pascal Blais Productions), for which he won an Oscar.

 In 1995 she decided to devote all her energy to making the film Âme noire/Black Soul, a project on which she had been working since 1993. It was completed in 2000, and was outstandingly successful, garnering twenty-two awards including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The film’s release sparked several exhibitions of her paintings. Martine Chartrand then began working on another personal film, MacPherson, inspired by a Félix Leclerc song.

Martine Chartrand’s work is notable for its generous humanism, its social commitment and a remarkable global approach. These qualities are already apparent in her first film, T.V. Tango (1992). It proved her to be a filmmaker with a highly developed social conscience, whose classically inspired imagery carries a lucid and cogent message, full of real sympathy for the children she portrays. However, it was in Âme noire/Black Soul (2001), her second short film, that she revealed the breadth and originality of her art. Abandoning drawing on paper and employing for the first time the demanding technique of painting on glass, Chartrand tackled the enormous subject of the history of Black peoples, depicting the Black Pharaohs of Nubian Egypt and the slave trade with the same brilliance, mixing on a single sound track the tribal music of ancient Africa and American jazz.
Publicaciones del autor
Âme noire (video)