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NFB heads to Berlin International Film Festival with Catherine Lepage’s Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise).


January 22, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Catherine Lepage’s NFB animated short Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) will receive its international premiere in competition at the prestigious 70th annual Berlin International Film Festival, which runs February 20 to March 1, 2020. The film was selected to screen in the Generation 14plus program, which gives young audiences an opportunity to watch a diverse offering of powerful, relevant stories that are cinematically innovative and unconventional.

Quick facts

  • The Great Malaise will have its international premiere in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival – Generation 14plus program.
  • The short film had its world premiere at the 2019 Sommets du cinéma d’animation (Montreal Animated Film Summit), where it won the People’s Choice Award in the international category and a Jury Special Mention in the Canadian competition.
  • It is the first film by Catherine Lepage, an illustrator and author whose books (notably 12 mois sans intérêt, Fines tranches d’angoisse [Thin Slices of Anxiety] and Zoothérapie) have been translated and published around the world.


“It was my secret dream to have my premiere in Berlin, and I am absolutely thrilled that they have selected The Great Malaise! The NFB gave me the opportunity to follow my instincts in making my first film, and this honour has confirmed for me that if art is personal and honest it can achieve something universal.” – Catherine Lepage, Director

“Catherine Lepage’s sensitivity, her immense visual talent, and her intelligence as a storyteller set her apart as an animation filmmaker to watch. I hope we’ll get a chance to work together again soon. In her first film, Catherine offers a humorous take on a very troubling problem that can affect anyone.” – Marc Bertrand, Producer, NFB

About the film
Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) by Catherine Lepage (5 min 19 s)

A young woman describes herself and her life in glowing terms, but the visual narrative tells a different story: with heart-rending power it illustrates the heavy burden of anxiety carried by this worried overachiever.
Synopses, biographies, images: mediaspace.nfb.ca/malaise

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Related Products

Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopses: The Great Malaise

Associated Links

Berlin International Film Festival

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.