Oscar Nominated

While the horse-crowd favourite – Buck, the film about Buck Branaman’s life – did not make the short list of Oscar-nominated documentaries, a pair of Calgarian film-makers, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, were nominated for their whimsical, short animated film about a young Englishman who emigrates to Canada to become a rancher in Alberta.

The Englishman in fact, is a “remittance man.” These were men who were considered somewhat useless, perhaps over-educated, non-achievers back home – often the second sons – and were shipped off by their families (a favorite destination being the Canadian prairie), and paid a “remittance” to stay here. Predictably, they were as unable to succeed, prosper, or fit in to the community as they had been in their homeland.

It’s a rather forgotten part of our Alberta history – the remittance men who were sent here. A colorful aspect of our Canadian West.

The film is sweetly animated, and cleverly entitled Wild Life. I won’t spoil the ending by telling the story, but you can watch it right here.

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