Nadia, Butterfly

Pascal Plante

Canada, 2020 / 107 min / French & English OV with French or English subt. / Drama

Collaboration Canadian Embassy
Followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with the director, Pascal Plante


Nadia, an Olympic swimmer in her twenties, faces the challenges of her imminent retirement.

Nadia, 23, represents Canada at the Olympic Games as a swimmer. This prestigious competition represents the culmination of her life of sacrifice. Yet out of fear of remaining trapped in the hermetic and ephemeral world of high-performance sports, Nadia makes the controversial decision to step down after the Olympics. Her new life is punctuated by episodes of self-doubt. Accompanied by her training partner Marie-Pierre, Nadia drifts into nights of excess at the Olympic Village, hidden from view. But even this transitional numbness cannot conceal her true inner quest: defining her identity outside the world of elite sports.

Sun 07/03 18:30 Kinepolis Kirchberg EN & FR OV with FR subt. Public
Mon 08/03 10:00 Online Public

“[Pascal] Plante once again elicits commanding performances from non-professional actors, with Savard proving a captivating presence both in her natural habitat of the pool (the swimming sequences are both disarmingly intimate and exhilaratingly kinetic) and when adrift in makeshift television studios and hedonistic parties. As we watch Nadia clumsily start to author the post-Olympian chapter of her life, we witness Plante cement his status as one of our most exciting new storytellers.” Vancouver International Film Festival 2020

“A quiet but startling splash […] fully satisfying, with a haunting interiority that gets under your skin.” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 29/07/2020

“Even if Nadia, Butterfly weren’t set during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – the film offering an impressively staged glimpse into an alternate timeline where the world’s biggest sporting event hasn’t been postponed due to a pandemic – Pascal Plante’s sensitive and tactile second feature would still feel like the ultra-athletic sister that Lost in Translation never had. […] From the very first shot, it’s clear that Nadia, Butterfly is serious about its swimming; that the people behind and in front of the camera alike have spent a serious portion of their lives in the pool. You can see it in the patient way that Plante watches bodies move through the water, opening the film with a take that lasts for nearly the entire duration of an Olympic final.” David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 29/07/2020

  • Special Mention – Best Canadian Feature Film, Vancouver International Film Festival, 2020 (Canada)
  • Best Canadian Fiction Feature, Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie, 2020 (Canada)
Cast & Credits
Katerine Savard, Ariane Mainville, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Hilary Caldwell, Cailin Mcmurray, John Ralston, Marie-José Turcotte
Pascal Plante
Stéphanie Anne Weber Biron
Olivier Calvert
Joëlle Péloquin
Nemesis Films
WaZabi Films

Pascal Plante is a Montreal-based filmmaker born in 1984 whose first narrative feature, a punk romance entitled Fake Tattoos (2017), competed at the Berlinale, in Generation 14plus, in 2018. After his graduation from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Pascal co-founded the production company Nemesis Films, with which he directed numerous short films including Blast Beat (2019), Blue-Eyed Blonde (Best Canadian Short Film at Vancouver International Film Festival in 2015), and Nonna (2016). He is also a podcaster for “Point de vues”, a podcast entirely dedicated to cinema. Pascal Plante considers himself a cinephile that became a narrative filmmaker with documentarian tendencies. Nadia, Butterfly (2020) is his second narrative feature and was part of the Official Selection of the cancelled 73rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 2020.

  • 2020 – Nadia, Butterfly
  • 2018 – Blast Beat (short)
  • 2017 – Les faux tatouages
  • 2016 – Nonna (short)
  • 2016 – Mensonges, la websérie (5 episodes of the web series)
  • 2015 – Blue-Eyed Blonde (short)
  • 2015 – Drum de marde ! (short)
  • 2014 – La génération porn (documentary)
  • 2012 – Baby Blues (short)
  • 2011 – Je suis un château de sable qui attend la mer (short)
  • 2011 – La fleur de l’âge (short)