Making a stand for animated documentary film

Making a stand for animated documentary film

By Alexis Gagnon
Magazine Convergence, Montreal, Canada
January 2007

Canadian filmmaker Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre has just come back from the prestigious Cannes International Film Fest where her documentary Jutra was featured in the lineup of the 46th Director’s Fortnight – an honor not simply bestowed on any film.

"Some are puzzled at animated documentary, not knowing what kind of film they are looking at. It's a genre that is alive and not recent, claims director and producer Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, who works extensively with this style. "

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Réalité Animée

Réalité Animée

By Valérie Simard
Quartier Libre, Montreal, Canada
November 2008

"Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, director of McLaren's Negatives and Passages believes that a marriage between animation and documentary is possible. « Even if a documentary is claiming to reproduce reality, it cannot be totally objective. A documentary is a representation of reality that is altered by the director's eye. » Taking as an example Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 she says: « It's not the real portrait of the Americans, but the vision Michael Moore has of his fellow citizens. » "

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Short… and to the point: Passages

Short… and to the point: Passages

By John Wildman
American Film Institute Festival, Los Angeles, USA
October 2008

From Hiroshima, Japan, Marie-Josée gives an interview to John Wildman from the American Film Institute.

"Marie-Josee’s short animated film, PASSAGES begins like an etch-a-sketch primer on the beauty and awe of bringing a new life into the world. Unfortunately, just as everyone who has gone through the experience will tell you—over and over and over again—that’s just the beginning. And for Marie-Josee, thanks to what may be the most thorough collection of incompetent people gathered under one roof to care for the ill and infirm—it nearly became the end for her child. But the film is not simply an indictment on one particular hospital or one woman’s harrowing nightmare of a birthing experience gone horribly wrong. It manages to aim for and hit a trickier target—the wonder and fear, then fortitude and fighting spirit of a new mother and her newborn child."

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From McLaren to motherhood

From McLaren to motherhood

By Malcolm Fraser
Montreal Mirror, Montreal, Canada
January 2008

Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre is selected by the Mirror as one of the Noisemakers for 2008!

"Many a young film student has been inspired by the work of NFB animation pioneer Norman McLaren, but few have parlayed this inspiration into an award-winning film of their own. That takes the kind of gumption displayed by 29-year-old producer/director Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, whose short McLaren’s Negatives came out of left field to win last year’s Jutra award for best animated film."

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Norman McLaren Here

Norman McLaren Here

By Terri Dentry
Design Network, Australia
October 2007

"Animated documentaries are a new wave of an older art form combining elements of a life, a lifetime career, a unique art, and a quick sharp look at what holds it all together in a new age technological mix. Terri Dentry talked at length with Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre about her latest animated film, which showcases the life of a master of animation: Norman McLaren."

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Jutra (2014)

Jutra (2014)


Ingeniously combining archival material and animated sequences, Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre has created a cinematic and clever portrait of the man who gave us Mon oncle Antoine, filmmaker Claude Jutra. Continuing work begun in 2006 with McLaren’s Negatives, which focused on Norman McLaren, Saint-Pierre hones her quest for a unique form of animated documentary, skillfully and boldly synthesizing the life and career of another giant of cinema.

Through the magic of editing and animation, Claude Jutra engages in a dialogue with himself at various stages of his life, thereby becoming the witty narrator of his own biography. Excerpts from home movies, interviews and well-known works by the filmmaker artfully blend and overlap to tell the story of an existence devoted to creation. Jutra is at once a tribute, a love song to filmmaking, and the retelling of the tragedy of a brilliant artist who died too young. Produced by Marie-Josée St-Pierre (MJSTP films) in co-production with the NFB (Marc Bertrand). – Marcel Jean

Film Images

Director’s Statement


  • Jutra is selected for the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival!

Claude Jutra is without a doubt the most important film director that came out of Québec.  His body of work is an invaluable source for film fans all around the world mainly with Mon Oncle Antoine.  But behind this creative genius lies a troubled personal life haunted by demons. 

This film seeks to understand the causes that led the famous filmmaker to commit suicide.

Marketing Manager:
Christine Noël

Nadine Viau



MJSTP Films Inc. would like to thank Michel Jutras for his precious collaboration in the making of this film.

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Team and Credits

Director, Producer, Scriptwriter, Research and Special Effects

Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre


Marc Bertrand

Delegate Producer

Yanick Létourneau and Jocelyne Perrier


Brigitte Archambault

Animation Assistants

Sin-Aly Kanaté and Keyu Chen


Oana Suteu

Sound Design

Olivier Calvert


Lise Wedlock

Cinq questions à Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre