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A Projector Ltd./NFB co-production about a world-renowned animation filmmaker. Borislav Kolev’s doc Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections opens at the Cinémathèque Québécoise on May 19.


April 18, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Borislav Kolev’s feature doc Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections (Theodore Ushev: liens invisibles) will open on May 19 at the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montreal, in its original Bulgarian and English version with French subtitles. The film is co-produced by Projector Ltd. and the NFB. Named the world’s most influential animator of the last 25 years by a group of leading animation critics, journalists, curators and festival directors, Theodore Ushev is a prolific, groundbreaking and Oscar-nominated director whose films have won more than 200 awards, including the Annecy Cristal. Ushev was born in Bulgaria and since 1999 has lived in Montreal, where he’s directed 15 films at the NFB. In this documentary he reveals his inner creative universe, formed by a half-century of personal experience acquired in a constantly changing world.

Theodore Ushev will attend some of the screenings. His first live-action feature, the Bulgaria/Canada co-production Phi 1.618, will have its theatrical release on May 5.


“The goal of this film is to help viewers see the unseen connections between key moments in Theodore Ushev’s personal and artistic life. […] A man looking back at his path from child to adult—through childhood games, maturity, love, separation, life-changing decisions, the loneliness of both geographical and spiritual emigration, the creative drive—[in a] film [that] offers the essential balance between sad and funny, serious and merry. As seen in every good artwork. As seen in life.” – Borislav Kolev, Director

About the film

Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections (Theodore Ushev: liens invisibles) by Borislav Kolev
Co-produced by Borislav Kolev, Maria Landova and Eli Kovalev for Projector Ltd., and Marc Bertrand for the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/theodore-ushev-unseen-connections

  • Theodore Ushev is the auteur behind renowned animated shorts such as Tower Bawher, Gloria Victoria, Oscar-nominated Blind Vaysha and his masterful The Physics of Sorrow, winner of the prestigious Cristal Award for Best Short Film at the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. In this documentary by Borislav Kolev, Ushev reminisces about the “unseen connections” in his life—biographical and historical, cultural and subcultural, in Bulgaria from the time of his youth to today and in Canada. Connections that shaped him as a person and an artist.
  • Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections (Theodore Ushev: liens invisibles) had its world premiere at the CineLibri International Book-to-Film Festival and was selected to screen at the Master of Art Film Festival, where it won the Best Bulgarian Documentary Award. It was also presented at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the Festival du nouveau cinéma and the Festival Cinéma du monde de Sherbrooke.

About the director

Borislav Kolev is a leading Bulgarian director, screenwriter and producer. His debut documentary, Stoichkov (2012), broke box office records and screened around the world. It was followed by award-winning docs, including Salto Mortale (2015), The Eye of the Minotaur (2017) and Rock’n’Roll (2019). Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections (Theodore Ushev: liens invisibles) is his latest feature documentary.

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French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

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

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

  • 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.