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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

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Berlin International Film Festival

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  • 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.