May 26, 2021 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada is back at the REGARD – Festival international du court métrage au Saguenay with a strong and diverse crop of titles: four productions and co-productions, including works that have screened to acclaim at prestigious festivals around the world. Two of the titles—Mauvaises herbes (Bad Seeds) by Claude Cloutier and Affairs of the Art by Joanna Quinn and Les Mills—will be in official competition, while Catherine Lepage’s Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) and Eli Jean Tahchi’s Y’a des fois où j’aimerais me trouver sur une île déserte (Sometimes I Wish I Was on a Desert Island) will screen out of competition.

The 25th REGARD Festival will take place in cinemas and outdoors in Saguenay from June 7 to 13, 2021, with an online component to follow from June 14 to 27, during which the full program will be available across Canada. A major showcase for short films in North America, the highly popular REGARD boasts varied, innovative programming that features regional, national and international selections.

Quick Facts

Official Competition

Mauvaises herbes (Bad Seeds) by Claude Cloutier (6 min 22 s)
An animated short co-produced by L’Unité centrale and the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/bad-seeds

  • Growth goes hand-in-hand with rivalry, and evolution with competition, in this shocking animated duel that’s peppered with allusions to the western film, the Cold War, board games, and much more.
  • Having lost none of his trademark ink-on-paper drawing style and absurdist humour, Claude Cloutier serves up the latest of 12 animated films produced or co-produced with the NFB—a collection that includes the award-winning Le colporteur (The Persistent Peddler, 1988), Isabelle au bois dormant (Sleeping Betty, 2007), La tranchée (The Trenches, 2010) and Autos Portraits (Carface, 2015).

Affairs of the Art by Joanna Quinn and Les Mills (16 min)
An animated short co-produced by Beryl Productions International and the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/affairs-of-the-art

  • Beryl’s back in Affairs of the Art, which showcases one family’s eccentric yet endearing obsessions with everything from drawing to screw threads and pet taxidermy.
  • Besides screening widely on the international festival circuit, the film has won multiple awards, including the Jury Award for Best Comedy at the Aspen Shortsfest, Best Short at the Kaboom Animation Festival in Amsterdam and the 2021 Award for Best Animation at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France, where it had its world premiere.

Out of Competition

Le mal du siècle (The Great Malaise) by Catherine Lepage (5 min 19 s)
An animated short produced by the NFB
Press kit: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/malaise

  • 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.
  • After its world premiere at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation (Montreal Animated Film Summit), where it won two awards, the film went on to screen at such major events as the Berlinale and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Y’a des fois où j’aimerais me trouver sur une île déserte (Sometimes I Wish I Was on a Desert Island) by Eli Jean Tahchi (10 min)
A short documentary produced by the NFB
Link: nfb.ca/film/sometimes-i-wish-i-was-on-a-desert-island

  • As the world learns to live again in the midst of the pandemic, for many Arabic-speaking LGBTQ+ people living in Montreal, surviving social isolation is nothing new.
  • This is one of the seven films made in the Beyond the Curve documentary lab, capturing their creators’ perspectives on the pandemic’s multifaceted impacts in Quebec. The films are part of The Curve: Social Distancing Stories That Bring Us Together, an NFB collection that tackles the COVID-19 crisis.

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