Bome Gnomeski is a little tree with big dreams. Despite all natural inclinations to stay put, his overwhelming curiosity compels him to grasp the eager hand of adventure and uproot! The musical tale that follows is a cautionary one that may leave our little hero forever changed.
Writer/director/producer: Curtis L. Wiebe
“The footage that became Bome Gnomeski was first filmed for a local event called Bands vs Filmmakers – a fundraising event for the Winnipeg Cinematheque theatre.
This annual event consists of a live concert in which each band is assigned a filmmaker whose job it is to create visuals that are projected on stage during the band’s performance. While projecting the images of the tree puppet it became clear to me, from the audience’s reaction, that this little character was making an impression.
After the concert, I had another look at the footage. What came first was the name. ‘Bome’ is close to the word for ‘tree’ in several languages. My brother, who had spent some time in Holland, gave me the idea for that.
As for Gnomeski: ‘Gnome’ implies diminutive and ‘ski’ just gives it the right amount of syllables for a singable song. And then there was the third element to be developed: the song. An old-time country shuffle. It almost wrote itself!
As for the film’s content, if it’s funny it’s because you may recognize yourself in this little bark-skinned critter. Some days you may find yourself, like Bome Gnomeski, staring at a far off land and wondering what it would be like to go there. Some days you may find yourself staring at that land wondering why you ever left home. And some days you may feel like a tiny tree who wears pants, plays the ukulele and drinks too much.”
About Curtis L. Wiebe
Curtis L. Wiebe is a shorts filmmaker, animator, musician and sculptor.
Identifiable by flights of the fantastic in settings of winter forests and prairie landscapes, Wiebe’s art is full of imaginative characters brought to life as puppets and elaborate costumes.
His films have screened at many film festivals around the world and won several awards, most notably, the best Manitoba short film award at the 2010 Gimli Film Festival.
He helped found the Winnipeg Puppet Collective and has worked on props and costumes for prominent local filmmakers Deco Dawson and Mike Maryniuk as well as Toronto’s Vision Entertainment.
His highest profile work of art to date is The Pigeon King, a nine-foot public stature which stands in front of the AirCanada building on Carlton Street in Winnipeg.
Curtis has a background working with children in day cares, summer camps, public schools and an inner-city community centre and currently works as an art instructor for children in Grades 5 to 8 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Studio.