Lipsett Diaries

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Lipsett Diaries
Film poster
Directed by Theodore Ushev
Produced by Marc Bertrand
Written by Chris Robinson
Starring Samuel Jacques
Jarvis Robinson Neall
Narrated by Xavier Dolan
Edited by Oana Suteu
Theodore Ushev
Release date
Running time
14 minutes
Country Canada
Language French

Lipsett Diaries (French: Les journaux de Lipsett) is a 2010 short animated documentary about the life and art of collage filmmaker Arthur Lipsett, animated and directed by Theodore Ushev and written by Chris Robinson.[1] The 14-minute film was produced by the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, where Lipsett had worked from 1958 to 1972, before committing suicide in 1986. The film is narrated by Xavier Dolan.[2]


Ushev was inspired to make a film about Lipsett, after Robinson had forwarded him an email where the late filmmaker was discussed. Until that point, Ushev had never heard of Lipsett. He began to do some research and was surprised to learn that Lipsett had lived on the same street as him in Montreal. Ushev went to the building where Lipsett once lived and met with the concierge, who showed him a locker where belongings from former tenants were stored. There, Ushev discovered a small blue notebook with "Lipsett" written on it, containing notes by the late filmmaker.[3]


The film was animated by hand-painting the frames, using computer editing to link the images. Ushev estimated that 40 frames were painted per day during production.[4] Lipsett Diaries was Robinson's first attempt at screenwriting. A year after completing his script detailing Lipsett's troubled life, including his battle with bipolar disorder, Robinson was himself diagnosed with a mild form of the condition.[1]


Lipsett Diaries received the Genie Award for Best Animated Short at the 31st Genie Awards.[5] In June 2011, it received three awards at the 2011 Golden Sheaf Awards: for Animation, the Founder’s Award, and Best of Festival.[4]

Lipsett Diaries also received a Special Jury Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, a Special International Jury Prize at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, an audience award at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, Best Canadian Film at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, special mentions at the Bravo!FACT Awards and Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto, Best Animated Film at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, and the grand prize at the Rencontres internationales du cinéma d'animation in Wissembourg.[2][6][7]

At the end of 2010, the film was included in the Toronto International Film Festival's Top 10 Canadian films of the year.[8]


  1. ^ a b Cahute, Larissa (10 March 2011). "Genie Awards: Finding the 'crazy manic sides'". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Lipsett Diaries". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Chris (3 June 2010). Animators Unearthed: A Guide to the Best of Contemporary Animation. Continuum. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-8264-2956-8. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Wilger, Devin (2 June 2011). "Lipsett Diaries captures top honor". Yorkton News Review. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Wilner, Norman (10 March 2011). "Divvying up the Genies". Now. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Borowiecki, Anna (27 October 2010). "Film board wants to animate the public". St. Albert Gazette. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  7. ^ McLean, Thomas J. (14 May 2011). "Canada's Geni Awards Name 'Lipset Diaries' Best Short". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "'Barney's Version,' 'Splice,' 'Incendies' land on TIFF's best of the year list". Globe and Mail. Canadian Press. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 

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