Caroline Leaf

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Caroline Leaf

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Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.


Caroline Leaf was born in Seattle, Washington on August 12, 1946.

Leaf is an award-winning Canadian-American animator who has produced a diverse collection of experimental animations, employing various mediums such as sand, silhouettes, paint on glass, and drawing directly on film. She is best known for her Oscar-nominated short, The Street (1976).

Leaf currently lives in London, England, UK and is a tutor at The National Film and Television School.


Career outline

Caroline Leaf was invited to work as an animator at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in 1972 based on her talent working on Sand, or Peter and the Wolf. Her first film with the NFB was inspired by Inuit storytelling, titled The Owl Who Married a Goose: An Eskimo Legend (1974). The film won a Canadian Film Award (CFA) for best short and was nominated for a BAFTA for animated short. Her second film, The Street is based on a short story written by Canadian writer Mordecai Richler. It is about the story of a boy from the Montréal Jewish ghetto who gets his own bedroom after his grandmother dies. The film won a CFA, the Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and was voted the second-best animation. Her third film, The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa (1977), was made by etching directly onto 70-mm film. It won best short at the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France, and Grand Prize at the Ottawa Festival.

Leaf worked at the NFB until 1991, where she went on as a producer for animated films, as well as live-action and documentary shorts. She has also been a jury member at several film festivals globally, provided workshops, and has taught at colleges and film schools.


Leaf was inspired by the experimental works of Norman McLaren, with Sand, or Peter and the Wolf being the product of such inspiration.


Vladermersky, Nag. “Caroline Leaf – An Interview.” Senses of Cinema, no. 25, 2003.

Wise, Wyndham. “Caroline Leaf.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2012.

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