Nastenka Alava Calle

Live event: 2D + Experimental Animation Premiere Screening | May 21, 7:00 pm

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Deep in the Andes mountains lives a forest being, a brother watching over all the lives of the forest. One day, he encounters a human girl, he stalks her quietly, curious as humans are rare to venture so far into the mountain ranges.

Dawn Trailer (2021)

Project Information


  • Director: Nastenka Alava Calle
  • Voice actress: Christy Ho
  • Sound design: Dario Acosta
  • Re-recording mixer: Doug Paterson, Mixed at Big World Sound
  • Production assistants: Celina Doubleday, Lia Fabre-Dimsale, Ngan Kim Luong, and Juan Jose Alava Calle

Special Thanks

  • Family and Friends
  • ECUAD Animation Class of 2021
  • Mattea Choi
  • Lorelei Pepi
  • Leslie Bishko
  • Celie Prowse
  • Martin Rose
  • Darren Brereton

Artist Statement

Dawn explores spiritual and mental healing through the land. The interconnection between the physical body’s death as the life force we give back to the earth for new life to grow. Our bodies are fragile, with diseases, genetic illnesses, and disorders work to destroy the body. The mind degrades our faith and weighs us down, but the heart gives us the willpower and strength to carry on. The forest gives unconditional love, supporting our weight, breathing life into the lungs, and is a home one can always depend on to embrace our being and all its faults. This visual narrative touches on all these notions, and the forest creature becomes part of that embodiment.

Visual Development

Project Stills

Nastenka Alava Calle

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Nastenka Alava Calle is an Ecuadorian-Canadian 2D animator and visual artist. She was awarded with an entrance scholarship to study 2D + Experimental Animation at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she completed her Bachelor of Media Arts. As a traditional fine artist, the introduction to animation during her first year in university became her newly discovered storytelling medium. Her current work depicts themes of inner beauty, physical and mental barriers with the interconnection of the natural world. Nastenka worked as a 2D animator for a large-scale multi-channel video projection at Janet Wang Studio in Vancouver. The internship gave an exciting insight and exploration of animated installations in the fine art world. Her film Dawn (2021) is a collision of fantasy, nature, and the bittersweet tragedy of the physical body in death, as it returns back to the Earth.
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