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The Great Malaise

Catherine Lepage
2019 | 5 min 19 s
Hand-drawn animation, computer animation, camera animation

Selections and Awards

  • People's Choice Award - International Competition Les Sommets du cinéma d'animation, Montreal, Quebec (2019)

  • Jury's Special Mention - Canadian CompetitionLes Sommets du cinéma d'animation, Montreal, Quebec (2019)

  • Official Selection - Generation 14plusBerlinale, Berlin, Germany (2020)

  • Best Short FilmManchester Animation Festival (2020)

  • Official SelectionVictoria Film Festival (2021)

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

More Selections and Awards


Meet the Artist


Creative Process


Catherine Lepage
Director and Animator
Photo : Kelly Jacob

Catherine Lepage

Catherine Lepage studied design at the Cégep de Sainte-Foy, then completed her professional training in illustration at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg. She worked as an art director for advertising agencies for several years before founding the design studio Ping Pong Ping with her partner, Simon Rivest. The duo have put their unique style and creativity into numerous projects for clients in the cultural sector.

A confessed sufferer from anxiety, Lepage has skillfully explored mental-health issues in her books 12 mois sans intérêt, Fines tranches d’angoisse (Thin Slices of Anxiety), and Zoothérapie. She has also created numerous children’s books, including Le tragique destin de Pépito, Mon abominable belle-mère and, most recently, Marivière. Her books have been translated and published all over the world.

Marc Bertrand
Photo : Stephan Ballard

Marc Bertrand

Since joining the NFB’s French Animation Studio in 1998, Marc Bertrand has produced more than one hundred films, including a number of award-winning titles. He’s worked with Theodore Ushev for many years, producing some of the filmmaker’s most significant works, including Tower Bawher (2006); Drux Flux (2009); Lipsett Diaries (2010), which received a Genie Award and a Special Mention at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Gloria Victoria, winner of the 2013 FIPRESCI Award at Annecy; and Blind Vaysha, which won both the Jury Award and the Junior Jury Award for a Short Film at Annecy before being nominated for an Oscar® in 2017. He also produced Patrick Doyon’s Oscar-nominated short Sunday (2011), which won the 2012 Jutra Award for Best Animated Film.

Over the years, Marc has worked with both established and up-and-coming filmmakers, including Jacques Drouin (Imprints, 2004), Georges Schwizgebel (Romance, 2011, Genie Award), Nicola Lemay and Janice Nadeau (No Fish Where to Go, 2014, FIPRESCI Award at Annecy), Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (Jutra, 2013, selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and winner of a Jutra and Canadian Screen Award), and Diane Obomsawin (I Like Girls, 2016, which won an award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival).

Marc’s projects in 2019 include Moïa Jobin-Paré’s No Objects (Special Jury Prize at Animafest Zagreb 2019), Theodore Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow, graphic novelists Iris and Cathon’s La liste des choses qui existent, Catherine Lepage’s The Great Malaise, and Andreas Hykade’s new opus, Altötting.

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.



A film by
Catherine Lepage

Marc Bertrand

Based on the books
12 mois sans intérêt (Mécanique générale)
Fines tranches d’angoisse (Somme toute)
Zoothérapie (Somme toute)
By Catherine Lepage

Agathe Bray-Bourret
Catherine Lepage

Sophie Leblond

Pascal Blanchet
Alexia Bürger
Claude Cloutier

Helge Dascher

Sound Design and Musical Composition
Philippe Brault

With the voice of
Miranda Handford

Voice Director
Kathleen Fee

Sound Editing
Pierre Yves Drapeau

Music Recording
Charles-Emile Beaudin

Mélanie Belair
Guillaume Bourque
Sheila Hannigan
Ligia Paquin
François Pilon
Marilène Provencher Leduc

Additional Music
“E Is for Estranged”
Written and Performed by Owen Pallett
Courtesy of Domino Recording Company
Licensing Courtesy of Domino Publishing Company of America Inc.

Technical Directors
Eric Pouliot
Pierre Plouffe

Technical Specialist – Animation
Yannick Grandmont

Technical Coordinator
Jean-François Laprise

Karla Baumgardner

Foley Recording
Geoffrey Mitchell

Online Editing
Yannick Carrier

Shelley Craig

Nicolas Monette, Anne Paré and Marie Vaillancourt
as well as Simon, Léo, Madeleine and Yvonne Rivest

Studio Coordinators
Laetitia Seguin
Michèle Labelle

Diane Régimbald
Karine Desmeules

Senior Production Coordinator
Camila Blos

Karine Sévigny

Associate Producers
Anne-Marie Bousquet
Mylène Augustin

Executive Producer
Julie Roy

© 2019 National Film Board of Canada

Press Relations

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

  • 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.