Private Project

DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver

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 off on 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 is 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. DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the film’s score was recorded live with the TSO in February of 2017 at Roy Thomson Hall, funded by the government of Canada.

  • Kjell Boersma
  • Kjell Boersma
  • Josh Clavir
  • Julie Flett
    Art Direction
  • Erica Procunier
    Original Music/Composer
  • Mark Jones
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    Family, animation, animals, music
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra Live Performance
    February 25, 2017
  • TIFF Kids International Film Festival 2017
    April 8, 2017
  • Busan International Children's Festival
    Korea, Republic of
    July 22, 2017
    Korean Premiere
  • Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia
    June 2, 2017
    Japan Premiere
  • TURSAK 14th International Children's Film Festival

    May 24, 2017
    Turkey Premiere
  • Animation Block Party
    New York
    United States
    July 29, 2017
    New York Premiere
    Best Animation for Kids
  • Breckenridge Film Festival
    United States
    September 22, 2017
    Colorado Premiere
  • Soho House Short Film Festival
    May 8, 2017
    Best Film
  • Bumbershoot 2017
    United States
    September 1, 2017
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival
    United States
    August 13, 2017
  • Palm Springs ShortFest 2017
    Palm Springs
    United States
    June 22, 2017
    United States Premiere
  • ViewFinders Atlantic Film Festival for Youth
    November 1, 2017
  • Ottawa International Animation Festival
    September 20, 2017
  • Montreal World Animation Film Festival (Animaze)
    August 17, 2017
Director Biography - Kjell Boersma

Kjell Boersma originally hails from deep in the woodlands of South River, ON, where, as a child, he could often be found cavorting in streams and ponds with wild animals. As a graduate of Ryerson University's Film Studies program, Kjell has since 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, as well as 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 featuring an all Navajo cast and stop-motion animated monsters in the style of Ray Harryhausen.

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

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