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Blind Vaysha

Theodore Ushev
2016 | 8 min 13 s



  • Cartoon Network Award for the Best Narrative Short AnimationOttawa International Animation Film Festival

  • Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian AnimationOttawa International Animation Film Festival

  • Junior Jury Award for a Short Film & Jury AwardAnnecy 2016

  • Official SelectionToronto International Film Festival 2016

  • Official SelectionHiroshima International Animation Festival 2016

  • Official SelectionBerlin Film Festival 2016

  • Animation (Gold Plaque)Chicago International Film Festival 2016

  • Gryphon Award Generator +18 (Animation)Giffoni Film Festival

  • Silver PegasusPoznan Animator International Animation Festival

  • Honorary Award of BadenBaden Fantoche International Animation Film Festival

  • Audience AwardGenève Hôpital-de Belle-Idée

  • Professional Jury Special MentionAngoulême Festival Courant 3D

  • Student Jury Relief AwardAngoulême Festival Courant 3D

  • Relief Audience AwardAngoulême Festival Courant 3D

  • Jury Prize - Bucheon University President's Prize - Short FilmBucheon International Animation Festival 2016 (BIAF)

  • Audience Award for Best Short Film & Creative Revelation Award Anima Brussels 2017

  • Best Animated Short Subject SelectionAnnie Awards 2017

  • Best Animated ShortCanadian Screen Awards 2017

  • Best Short AnimationVictoria Film Festival 2017

  • Best ScriptAnima Mundi 2016

  • Trophy ABC "O Kaiser" to the Best AnimatorInternational Short Film Festival

  • Special Mention for the Best Short Animation of International CompetitionFestival du nouveau cinéma 2016

  • Audience Award for the Animation CompetitionFestival Séquence Court-Métrage

  • Best Animated Short for Ages 12 and UpSeattle Children's Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionRegard- Festival international du court métrage au Saguenay 2017

Short Synopsis

Long Synopsis

Interview with Theodore Ushev

Animation Technique



Promotional Materials


Theodore Ushev

Theodore Ushev

Theodore Ushev was born in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, in 1968 and graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. He first made a name for himself as a poster artist in his native country before settling in Montreal in 1999.

Ushev found fertile ground for developing his own original artistic style at the National Film Board of Canada. The Man Who Waited and Tzaritza (2006) quickly earned the respect of audiences and peers, as did his acclaimed trilogy on the relationship between art and power: Tower Bawher (2006), Drux Flux (2008) and Gloria Victoria (2013).

With Vertical (2003), Sou (2004) and Demoni (2012), Ushev solidified his reputation as an inquisitive and daring artist by exploring new content-delivery platforms. His 16-time award winner Lipsett Diaries (2010), narrated by Xavier Dolan, examined the pioneering work and tragic destiny of Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett.

Ushev quickly followed with Nightingale in December (2011), Joda (2012) and Third Page from the Sun (2014), a scathing reflection on the future of books. In Blood Manifesto (2014), a poetic and ferocious short which Ushev animated with his own blood, he ponders whether ideals are worth spilling blood for. His latest project, Blind Vaysha (2015), is a philosophical tale about the importance of living in the moment.

Marc Bertrand
Producer (NFB)
Photo : NFB

Marc Bertrand

Marc Bertrand joined the French Animation Studio as a producer in 1998 and has since produced more than 100 films, including such notable successes as the award-winning series Science Please! (2001), and Noël Noël (2003) by Nicola Lemay, which won Gémeaux Awards for Best Animated Series or Film in 2002 and 2004 respectively.  He also co-produced with Marcel Jean the Norman McLaren Master’s Edition (2006), an award-winning DVD box set featuring digitally restored masterpieces by McLaren, a pioneer in the fusion of music and animation. Bertrand’s interest in new technology has led him to become involved in working on 3D films. In 2008, he coproduced Facing Champlain: A Work in 3 Dimensions, directed by Jean-François Pouliot, and produced Private Eyes, a new 3D film by Nicola Lemay.

Among his other productions are acclaimed films such as Imprints (2004) by Jacques Drouin and works by Theodore Ushev: Tower Bawher (2006), Drux Flux (2009) and Lipsett Diaries (2010), winner of a Genie for Best Animated Short and a Special Mention at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Bertrand has worked on numerous productions, including the Studio GDS/NFB co-production Romance (2011) by renowned Swiss animator Georges Schwizgebel, winner of the 2012 Genie Award. In 2011, he produced Sunday (2011) by Patrick Doyon, which earned an Oscar® nomination and won the 2012 Jutra Award for Best Animated Film.

In 2013, Marc became an AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences) member and completed the co-production Hollow Land (Michèle and Uri Kranot) and Gloria Victoria (T. Ushev), which won the FIPRESCI award in Annecy 2013.

In 2014, it was another of Marc’s production, No fish where to go, that received the same honor. The same year, the film Jutra (Marie-Josée St-Pierre, a co-production with MJSP Film) was selected at the Fortnight of directors in Cannes and in February 2015 won a Jutra, a Gemeaux and a Canadian Screen Award for best short animated film.  In 2016, his production of Théodore Ushev’s Vaysha the Blind won both the Jury Prise and de Children Jury prize in Annecy and in 2017 the film was nominated for an Oscar® in for the Best Short Animated film category.

Julie Roy
Executive Producer (NFB)
Photo : NFB

Julie Roy

As the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s French Animation Studio, Julie Roy has produced some 40 animated short films. She holds a master’s degree in cinema studies from Université de Montréal and has published numerous articles about women and animated films.

Her notable productions include The Subject by Patrick Bouchard and THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT by Matthew Rankin, both of which screened at Cannes, at the 2018 Directors’ Fortnight and the 2017 Semaine de la Critique, respectively. In 2016, she co-produced Franck Dion’s The Head Vanishes (Papy 3D/NFB), which won the Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Among the many other artists whose work she has guided are Claude Cloutier, Michèle Lemieux, and Regina Pessoa.

Roy encourages diverse approaches to filmmaking, and is currently developing an interactive installation with Nicolas Brault and working with Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli, 2007) on their next short film.



Desislava Bineva
Photo : © Desislava Bineva
Desislava Bineva
Photo : © Desislava Bineva
Desislava Bineva
Photo : © Desislava Bineva
Desislava Bineva
Photo : © Desislava Bineva
Desislava Bineva
Photo : © Desislava Bineva


A film by
Theodore Ushev

Based on the short story “Blind Vaysha” by Georgi Gospodinov
© Georgi Gospodinov, 2001

Caroline Dhavernas

Voice Direction
Julie Burroughs

Sound Design
Olivier Calvert

Lise Wedlock

Foley Recording
Geoffrey Mitchell

Serge Boivin


Composed by Nikola Gruev
Performed by Kottarashky
From the album Opa Hey!
Published by Asphalt Tango Records 2009

Music for the funeral of Queen Mary, Z. 860
Burial Service March
By Henry Purcell
Performed by Oxford Camerata
Courtesy of Naxos of America

Technical Director
Pierre Plouffe

Technical Coordinator
Daniel Lord

Production Coordinator
Michèle Labelle

Online Editor
Serge Verreault

Marketing Manager
Geneviève Bérard

Diane Régimbald

Administrative Team
Diane Ayotte
Karine Desmeules

Thanks to
Mélanie Gleize
Olivier Catherin   

This project was developed with the support of the Odyssée Artist-in-Residency program of the Abbey of Fontevraud – ACCR, with additional support from the  Ministry of culture and communication and the Pays de la Loire Region.

With the participation of ARTE France
Cinema Department
Short Film Program Manager:  Hélène Vayssières

Executive Producer
Julie Roy

Marc Bertrand

French Program
French Animation studio

© 2016 National Film Board of Canada

Press Relations

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    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745

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    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a leader in exploring animation as an artform, a storytelling medium and innovative content for emerging platforms. It produces trailblazing animated works both in its Montreal studios and across  the country, and it works with many of the world’s leading creators on international co-productions. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including seven Oscars for NFB animation and seven grand prizes at the Annecy festival. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.