DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver

Join Kit the eager beaver on an odyssey through four seasons in a Canadian forest as she learns about compassion, failure, survival and community.

This short, commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and funded by the Government of Canada, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, features an original score from Erica Procunier, performed live by the TSO.

Creative team

Writer/director: Kjell Boersma
Producer: Josh Clavir
Co-producer: Mark Jones

Filmmaker’s statement

DAM! is an animated film that’s not about your average beaver. It’s the tale of Kit, a very independent (and easily distracted) young beaver who loves to explore the sounds of the forest she lives in.

While Kit is busy discovering the world, her clan is busy building a dam. According to Papa Beaver, working on a dam is the most important thing a beaver can do, because, well … just because!

Kit tries hard to fit in and to help with the dam’s construction by gathering wood from the forest, but each time she starts a new task, she winds up feeling like a failure.

During her adventures, Kit teaches her clan about the value of working with others and she learns that progress can come in many forms. Through generosity and compassion we can build relationships that strengthen and grow in ways that we could never imagine.

The creative process of this film was truly collaborative. Writer and director Kjell Boersma and producer Josh Clavir joined forces with Seneca College, working directly with select students to develop and animate this project with artistic direction from Julie Flett, an acclaimed Cree-Metis children’s illustrator and author. Toronto-based composer Erica Procunier worked directly with the creative team to compose all the music and sounds effects heard in the film.

About Kjell Boersma

Kjell Boersma

Kjell Boersma originally hails from deep in the woodlands of South River, Ontario, where, as a child, he could often be found cavorting in streams and ponds with wild animals.

A graduate of Ryerson University’s film studies program, Kjell has worked on broadcast animation and feature documentaries, as well as a plethora of music videos, experimental modern dance films and more commercial endeavours.

In 2010 he abandoned Toronto for the desolate wastes of New Mexico settling in Gallup, a small but bustling frontier town on the border of the Navajo Nation. While in Gallup, Kjell collaborated with National Geographic photographer Adriel Heisey, shooting aerial video for the United States National Park Service and a variety of archaeologists, environmentalists and documentary filmmakers.

Over the next four years, Kjell worked with local artists and cultural organizations to co-found the arts council gallupARTS, and he directed his most recent film, Monster Slayer, a contemporary retelling of the Navajo story of the Hero Twins.

Kjell is now a filmmaker and animator residing in the concrete forest of Toronto where he lives with two cats and one human.

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