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The NFB at the 2023 Festival du nouveau cinéma. Two powerful new works get their Quebec premieres: Marielle Dalpé’s Aphasia and Terril Calder’s Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics.


September 19, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada is back at the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) with the animated short Aphasia (Aphasie) by Montreal filmmaker Marielle Dalpé and the stop-motion installation Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics by award-winning Orkney Cree Métis artist Terril Calder.

The two works, which Montreal audiences can catch at their Quebec premieres, have already received acclaim on the festival circuit in Canada and internationally. Both offer up singular and uncompromising takes on hard-hitting topics: the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease leading to the loss of language capabilities in the first case, and the unveiling of hidden Indigenous values and the bias of our colonial systems in the second. The 52nd FNC takes place in Montreal from October 4 to 15, 2023.

Les nouveaux alchimistes short film competition

Aphasia (Aphasie) by Marielle Dalpé (3 min 45 s) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Les nouveaux alchimistes 5 program: Sunday, October 8,  at 9 p.m., main screening room, Cinémathèque québécoise; Friday, October 13, at 9:15 p.m., Salle Fernand-Seguin, Cinémathèque québécoise.
Producer: Marc Bertrand for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/aphasia

  • Aphasia is the debut professional animated short of Marielle Dalpé, daughter of well-known Franco-Ontarian author and actor Jean-Marc Dalpé. The film is an unsettling sensory experience that immerses us in the world of people with Alzheimer’s disease who are facing the loss of their language capabilities. Aphasia had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF) and was selected to screen at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). This will be the film’s first festival screening in its original French version, narrated by acclaimed actor Andrée Lachapelle, who died on November 21, 2019, making this one of her last creative projects.
  • A graduate of Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Marielle Dalpé has dedicated herself to multiple forms of expression, ranging from illustration to animation, multimedia installation to theatrical stage design. Her work has been featured in Shanghai, at Halo Park in Beijing, at the Quebec Winter Carnival and in a video mapping project of France’s Arras cathedral. She also animated Peter Gabriel’s drawings for the European and North American tour of The Musical Box: A Genesis Extravaganza. In 2022, she created the images and 2D animations for the stage show Pas perdus | documentaires scéniques by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Émile Proulx-Cloutier. She created this year’s mural in the lobby of Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in Montreal, marking the beginning of the new theatre season.

FNC Explore

Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics by Terril Calder (20 min) – QUEBEC PREMIERE
Producer: Jelena Popović for the NFB’s English Program Animation & Interactive Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/meneath-mirrors

  • The stop-motion installation Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics, winner of the New Voices Award at New York’s Tribeca Festival, charts the challenging journey of a precocious Métis Baby Girl as she contemplates her path to Hell. Reminiscent of a puppet theatre, this installation offers an immersive and intimate experience using interfering screens. Terril Calder forces our gaze below the surface to witness a dissection of the colonial narrative, physically shifting the dominant Christian perspective. Indigenous Teachings are reflected from the earth and fused into the story to create a unique and poignant viewing experience.
  • Terril Calder is one of the foremost Métis artists in Canada She is a multidisciplinary creator and an influential force in the realm of independent animation, producing work that is raw, unstable and haunting. While her current practice is focused on stop-motion projects, Calder also has an extensive background in performance, visual and media art.

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French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.