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I, Barnabé

Jean-François Lévesque
2020 | 15 min
Stop-motion animation, puppets, and traditional 2D animation

Selections and Awards

  • Craft Award for Best TechniqueOttawa International Animation Festival, Ottawa, Canada (2020)

  • Silver Spike for Best Short FilmValladolid International Film Festival, Valladolid, Spain (2020)

  • Winner - CG Animation Competition Best Short AwardShort Shorts Film Festival & Asia, Japan (2021)

  • Official SelectionAnnecy International Animation Film Festival, Annecy, France (2020)

  • Official SelectionSeoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF), Seoul, South Korea (2020)

  • Official SelectionSommets du cinéma d'animation, Montreal, Canada (2020)

  • Official CompetitionTokyo Anime Award Festival, Tokyo, Japan (2021)

  • Nominee - Best Animated Short Canadian Screen Awards (2021)

  • Official SelectionRendez-vous Québec Cinéma (2021)

  • Official SelectionPalm Springs International ShortFest, California (2021)

  • Official SelectionSanta Barbara International Film Festival, California (2021)

More Selections and Awards





Promotional Materials





Jean-François Lévesque

Jean-François Lévesque

Jean-François Lévesque was born in Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski, Quebec, in 1978. He studied traditional animation at Capilano College in Vancouver and was subsequently hired by Atomic Cartoons. In 2000, he moved to Montreal, where he worked in advertising (Productions Pascal Blais), directed his first independent film (La cigarette, 2003), and created animation for the television series Toupie et Binou (Spectra Animation). In October 2004, he won the NFB French Animation Studio’s 17th Cinéaste recherché(e) Competition. That creative residency allowed him to complete Le nœud cravate (The Necktie, 2008), which would go on to win 15 awards, including the Jutra Prize for best animated film and the Fabrizio Bellocchio de I Castelli Animati Prize (Genzano, Italy). With The Necktie, Lévesque achieved his goal of mastering a wide range of animation techniques, including traditional animation, stop-motion, and 3D. As an independent filmmaker he was involved in one project after another, notably in collaboration with Valérie Dupras on two music videos, Entre deux taxis for the band Les Cowboys Fringants and Ficelles for singer-songwriter Ingrid St-Pierre. He also worked as an animator on the 2010 short film Citrouilles et vieilles dentelles (Pumpkins and Old Lace) by Juliette Loubières. In I, Barnabé, his second project with the National Film Board, he continues the exploration of hybrid animation techniques he began with The Necktie.

Julie Roy
Executive Producer (NFB)

Julie Roy

As the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s French Animation Studio, Julie Roy has produced some 40 animated short films. She holds a master’s degree in cinema studies from Université de Montréal and has published numerous articles about women and animated films.

In 2019, she co-produced Regina Pessoa’s Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days (Ciclope Filmes/NFB/Les Armateurs), which won two awards at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, including the Jury Award in the short film category. She was also the executive producer for Theodore Ushev’s new film, The Physics of Sorrow. Other recent productions include Patrick Bouchard’s The Subject and Matthew Rankin’s The Tesla World Light, both of which screened at Cannes, at the 2018 Directors’ Fortnight and the 2017 Semaine de la Critique, respectively. In 2016, she co-produced Franck Dion’s The Head Vanishes (Papy 3D/NFB), which won the Cristal Award at Annecy. Among the many other artists whose work she has guided are Claude Cloutier and Michèle Lemieux.

Roy encourages diverse approaches to filmmaking. She is currently developing an interactive installation with Nicolas Brault and working with Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli, 2007) on their next short film.


The National Film Board of Canada  presents
With the participation of ARTE France

A film by
Jean-François Lévesque

Produced by
Julie Roy

Direction, Script, Animation, Design
Jean-François Lévesque

Props Fabrication, Illustrations, Set Finishing
Valérie Dupras

Director of Photography, Motion Control Operator
Stephan Ballard

Director of Photography, Lighting R&D
Mathieu Bergeron

Mélanie O’Bomsawin
Jean-François Lévesque
Stephan Ballard
Brenda López Zepeda

Script Consultants
Géraldine Charbonneau
Michèle Tougas

Annie Jean

Sound Design
Olivier Calvert

Music Score
Robert Marcel Lepage

Assisted by
Samuel Desrosiers

Set & Stained Glass Design
Marie Bloch-Lainé

Set Construction
Bertrand Lévesque

Assisted by
Lorraine Demers

Puppet Maker, Mechanisms for Rooster Heads
Brenda Baumgarten

Mechanisms & Skin for Barnabé Heads
Jim Randall

Armature Fabrication
Erik Goulet
Hamish Lambert

Assisted by
Marie Valade

Costume Fabrication
Allison Easson

Additional Props
Dominique Leroux

Puppet Repairs
Valérie Dupras
André Michaud
Carla Veldman

Stop-Motion Animation
Jean-François Lévesque
Valérie Dupras
Patrick Bouchard

Watercolour Animation
Adrien Calle
Catherine Manesse

Watercolour Painting
Valérie Dupras
Jean-François Lévesque

Live-Action Shoot
Stephan Ballard
Yannick Grandmont
Jean-François Lévesque

3D Modeling, Characters
Jean-François Lévesque
Valérie Dupras

Marie Magistry
Bronwyn Thies-Thompson
Rebecca Bain
Angèle Trudeau
Josée Lalonde
Ghislaine Deschambault
Kerry Bursey
Marcel de Hêtre
Arthur Tanguay-Labrosse
Normand Richard
Yves St-Amant
William Kraushaar

Recording Studios
Tone Studio
Studio 270

Lise Wedlock

Marcel Sabourin

Voice Direction
Manon Arsenault

Geoffrey Mitchell

Isabelle Lussier

Online Editors
Serge Verreault

Technical Directors
Eloi Champagne
Eric Pouliot

Technical Specialist – Animation
Yannick Grandmont

Technical Coordinator
Jean-François Laprise

Réjean Myette

Geneviève Bérard

Diane Régimbald
Karine Desmeules

Senior Production Coordinator
Camila Blos

Studio Coordinators
Michèle Labelle
Laetitia Seguin

Production Coordinator
Mélanie O’Bomsawin

Associate Producers
Anne-Marie Bousquet
Jocelyne Perrier
Mylène Augustin

Julie Roy

Thanks to
Annie Jean
Élodie Ponçon
Jean-Yves Blaquière
Luc Ostiguy
Luce Des Aulniers
Pierre M. Trudeau
Sylvie Trouvé
Keyu Chen
Yannick Grandmont

With the participation of ARTE France
Cinema Department
Short Film Program Manager: Hélène Vayssières

With the cooperation of

I, Barnabé
Animation Studio
French Programming and Production
Creation and Innovation

© 2020 National Film Board of Canada

  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a leader in exploring animation as an artform, a storytelling medium and innovative content for emerging platforms. It produces trailblazing animated works both in its Montreal studios and across  the country, and it works with many of the world’s leading creators on international co-productions. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including seven Oscars for NFB animation and seven grand prizes at the Annecy festival. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.

Press Relations

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