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Albertine Zullo and David Toutevoix’s animated short The Cannonball Woman to have world premiere in competition at Locarno International Film Festival. A Hélium Films / Parmi les lucioles Films / NFB production,co-produced with RTS Radio Télévision Suisse.


July 12, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The Cannonball Woman (La femme canon), the first animated film by the directorial team of Albertine Zullo and David Toutevoix, will have its world premiere in Switzerland at the Locarno International Film Festival, where it will be competing for the Pardi di domani award for short and medium-length Swiss films. A story about a love that stands the test of time, the short was produced by Hélium Films (Switzerland), Parmi les lucioles Films (France), and the National Film Board of Canada, in co-production with RTS Radio Télévision Suisse. The Locarno International Film Festival runs from August 2 to 12, 2017. The film is the latest collaboration between producer Claude Barras and the NFB, which co-produced some of Barras’s animated shorts prior to the release of his animated feature film My Life as a Zucchini, a 2017 Oscar nominee.

About The Cannonball Woman (14 min)

Madeleine the Cannonball Woman and her husband are carnies. Their lives, like their show, seem to be perfectly under control. But in reality, Madeleine is unhappy and wants to break out of her routine. Without saying a word, she leaves her husband and becomes the Bearded Lady. Time passes, but their love for each other does not die. The film was produced by Claude Barras for Hélium Films (Switzerland), Jérôme Duc-Maugé, Marianne Chazelas and Maxime Fossier for Parmi les lucioles Films (France), and Maral Mohammadian and Michael Fukushima for the NFB (Canada), in co-production with RTS Radio Télévision Suisse.

About the filmmakers

Albertine Zullo
Albertine Zullo was born in Dardagny, Switzerland, in 1967. She draws illustrations for print media, designs posters and other items, and works with directors of animated films and theatrical productions. For 17 years, she taught silkscreen printing and illustration at the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD). She has published many books for children and for adults, including several in collaboration with author Germano Zullo. Their picture books have won numerous awards, including the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award, in 2012, and the Bologna Ragazzi Award in the fiction category in 2016. Zullo exhibits her work regularly both in Switzerland and elsewhere.

David Toutevoix
After earning his National Postgraduate Degree in Plastic Arts from the École des Beaux-Arts in Avignon, France, David Toutevoix pursued his education in the art of the image by working first as a camera operator and then as a camera operator and director of photography specializing in stop-motion animation. He worked as assistant to director of photography Renato Berta on the animated feature Max & Co. and as director of photography for director Claude Barras, first on his animated short films and then on his animated feature My Life as a Zucchini. In 2016, Toutevoix co-directed his first animated short, The Cannonball Woman, with Albertine Zullo; he also served as director of photography on this film.


Promotional Material

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: The Cannonball Woman (Only available in French)

Associated Links

Albertine Zullo
David Toutevoix
Locarno International Film Festival
Pardi di domani award
Hélium Films
Parmi les lucioles Films
RTS Radio Télévision Suisse

Hélium Films

Founded in 2002, Hélium Films creates and produces high-quality animation. Doubling as a stop-motion animation studio since 2010, Hélium Films has developed a network of expertise that includes screenwriters, illustrators, technicians, producers and directors—all of whom share a common passion and enthusiasm for animation.

Parmi les lucioles Films

Jérôme Duc-Maugé’s first company, cocottesminute, has been producing documentary films since 2004. In 2008, he founded Parmi les lucioles Films to produce animated and fiction films. While maintaining the same high standards for quality, Parmi les lucioles tells stories with fictional characters, sometimes inspired by real facts, but always with the goal of questioning the relationship between individuals and society.

About the NFB

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, and groundbreaking interactive stories, installations and participatory experiences. NFB producers are deeply embedded in communities across the country, working with talented artists and creators in production studios from St. John’s to Vancouver, on projects that stand out for their excellence in storytelling, their innovation, and their social resonance. NFB productions have won over 5,000 awards, including 18 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access many of these works, visit NFB.ca or download the NFB’s apps for mobile devices and connected TV.

Media Relations

  • Nadine Viau
    NFB Publicist – Montreal
    C.: 514-458-9745

  • Lily Robert
    Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
    C.: 514-296-8261