The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), a leader in auteur animation, is taking part in the 18th Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal from December 3 to 8, 2019, with eight short films that incorporate diverse techniques and explore a variety of themes. This strong selection will include the festival’s closing film, Physique de la tristesse (The Physics of Sorrow) by Theodore Ushev, and the world premiere of Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) by illustrator Catherine Lepage, and a total of five short films in competition. Theodore Ushev will also be giving a major master class dedicated to his new film and has selected paintings from it for an exhibition called Theodore Ushev: Encaustic Paintings, presented as part of the Sommets program. In addition, former NFB director and producer Francine Desbiens will be receiving the festival’s René-Jodoin Award.
- Theodore Ushev: Sommets closing film, Physique de la tristesse (The Physics of Sorrow); plus a master class and an exhibition;
- International competition: Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) by illustrator Catherine Lepage, Le cortège (The Procession) by Pascal Blanchet and Rodolphe Saint-Gelais, Oncle Thomas – La comptabilité des jours (Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days) by Regina Pessoa;
- International very short film competition: The Fake Calendar by Meky Ottawa and XO Rad Magical by Christopher Gilbert Grant;
- Panorama Québec-Canada: Sans objets (No Objects) by Moïa Jobin-Paré, Shannon Amen by Chris Dainty;
- René-Jodoin Award: Recognizing exemplary work by a leading figure in Canadian animation, this award is presented this year to former NFB director and producer Francine Desbiens.
Physique de la tristesse(The Physics of Sorrow) by Theodore Ushev (27 min)
- Closing film: The festival will present the Quebec premiere of the French-language version of this short, with narration by Xavier Dolan and a special contribution by his father, Manuel Tadros.
- Master class: The NFB and the Sommets du cinéma d’animation present a major master class by Theodore Ushev, on Thursday, December 5, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise.
- Theodore Ushev: Encaustic Paintings exhibition: The filmmaker has chosen 15 paintings from his latest film, the first fully animated work to use the technique of encaustic painting.
These three short films will be screened for Montreal audiences for the first time.
– Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) by Catherine Lepage (5 min 19 s) – World premiere
The first film by this illustrator and author whose works have been translated and published all over the world (including 12 mois sans intérêt, Thin Slices of Anxiety and Zoothérapie), Le mal du siècle subtly explores issues around mental health.
– Le cortège (The Procession) by Pascal Blanchet and Rodolphe Saint-Gelais (11 min 23 s)
Selected to screen at festivals around the world, the film is the first collaboration between illustrator and graphic novel writer Pascal Blanchet, known for Rapide-Blanc and his work with Wes Anderson, among others, and animator and filmmaker Rodolphe Saint-Gelais, who first became known for his work on the opening sequence of the feature Dédé à travers les brumes.
World-renowned animator Regina Pessoa’s most personal film to date has won 18 international awards and mentions, including the Jury Award for a Short Film at the 2019 Annecy Festival.
International very short film competition
The Fake Calendar by Meky Ottawa and XO Rad Magical by Christopher Gilbert Grant were made as part of the NFB Hothouse apprenticeship program for emerging animation filmmakers. This 12th edition of the program aimed to address under-representation of Indigenous animation artists.