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NFB at Cannes


(April 17, 2018 – Montréal, Québec) The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) returns to Cannes for the second year in a row, this time with Patrick Bouchard’s animated short The Subject. Produced by Julie Roy, the film has been selected to screen in the 50th-anniversary edition of the Directors’ Fortnight, a section organized by the French Directors’ Guild and held in parallel with the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s Directors’ Fortnight takes place from May 9–19. The Subject is the first of Bouchard’s films to have made the cut of this international lineup. After Cannes, it will go on to screen in competition at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which runs from June 11–16.

With The Subject, for which he also wrote the soundtrack, stop-motion master Patrick Bouchard (Bydlo, Dehors novembre, The Brainwashers, Subservience) has created his most intimate work to date. In the 10 minute film, an animator dissects his own body, extracting memories, emotions and fears that will nurture his work. As he cuts into his skin, various symbolic objects recalling his past emerge. Reaching the heart, he succeeds in identifying the burden he’s been dying to cast off.

Bouchard took charge of every aspect of the creative process for this rich, constructive, and creative experience—from inception to post-production, up to and including the film poster. Sets and props by Dany Boivin; offline editing by Sacha Ratcliffe and Theodore Ushev; sound design by Olivier Calvert.

“The NFB has always played a leading role in the production of animated films, both in Canada and internationally,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson. “This one-of-a-kind creative centre has nurtured countless filmmakers and contributed to some of the major developments in the format. Being selected for the Directors’ Fortnight attests to the creative strength of our animation studios. Congratulations to Patrick Bouchard and the whole team!”

“Patrick Bouchard’s The Subject perfectly encapsulates production at the NFB’s animation studios,” said Julie Roy, Executive Producer, French Animation Studio, NFB. “Supporting an author (in this case, for the fifth time) by placing our full trust in him and giving him free rein in terms of the creative process—as it turned out, a process as risky as it was out of the ordinary—has resulted in a work that pushes the boundaries of animated cinema. We are very gratified that the Directors’ Fortnight recognizes the value of such a process.”