Alumnus Christopher Auchter’s Animated Short Film Rakes in Acclaim

Mos 4 Kk Canoe

By Erin Kirsh

Posted on October 11, 2017 | Updated August 06, 2019, 9:06AM

Christopher Auchter received his Bachelor of Media Arts in 2002.

Alumnus Christopher Auchter’s animated short film, The Mountain of SGaana, is earning accolades left, right, and center.

The ethereal ten minute twist on an old Haida tale earned Auchter an Official Selection from both Vancouver International Film Festival and ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival this year. The Mountain of SGaana additionally took home the award for Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences – Ages 6-12 at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Auchter is a Haida animator and illustrator who received his BMA in 2002. He has has worked in the gaming industry and illustrated several children’s books as well as a graphic novel. Known for his animated film, How People Got Fire. Auchter aims to create engaging films that connect the Haida people to the global community in an authentic way.

The Mountain of SGaana (Trailer)

The Mountain of SGaana spins a magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world, and the young woman who rescues him. Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter’s dream-like gem brilliantly entwines traditional animation with formal elements of Haida art, which are brought to life by a rich, evocative palette and stylized effects. As a young fisherman cruises along a rugged shoreline, a tiny mouse in Haida regalia appears and starts to knit a blanket. A story unfolds on the blanket as it grows longer, illustrating the ancient tale of Haida master sea hunter Naa-Naa-Simgat and his beloved, Kuuga Kuns. When a SGaana (the Haida word for “killer whale”) captures the hunter and drags him down into a supernatural world, the courageous Kuuga Kuns sets off to save him. Will the lovers manage to escape the undersea Mountain of SGaana, or will they, too, become part of the Haida spirit world forever?

Be sure to check out The Mountain of SGaana on October 12 at International Village as part of Vancouver International Film Festival.