My Life As a Courgette (Subtitled) 2016

Ma vie de Courgette

Directed by Claude Barras Fresh

This soulful and subversive Oscar-nominated feature uses stop-motion animation to tell the story of an orphan named Courgette. From the key animator on Fantastic Mr Fox, and adapted for the screen by Girlhood’s Céline Sciamma.

France / Switzerland In French with English subtitles
66 minutes DCP
sexual references



Max Karli
Pauline Gygax
Armelle Glorennec
Eric Jacquot
Marc Bonny


Céline Sciamma. Based on the novel by Gilles Paris

Animation director

Kim Keukeleire


David Toutevoix


Valentin Rotelli

Production designer

Ludovic Chemarin

Costume designers

Atelier Gran’Cri Christel Grandchamp
Atelier Nolita Vanessa Riera


Sophie Hunger


Erick Abbate
Ness Krell
Romy Beckman
Nick Offerman
Barry Mitchell
Clara Young
Olivia Bucknor
Amy Sedaris
Susanne Blakeslee
Will Forte
Ellen Page


Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight)
London 2016; Sundance 2017


Nominated, Best Animated Feature, Academy Awards 2017


A bunch of kids from nightmare backgrounds find refuge and companionship in this soulful and subversive Oscar-nominated animated feature. Painstakingly crafted over a decade, Courgette marks another triumph for animation director Kim Keukeleire, who worked on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox.

My Life As a Courgette is a stop-motion cartoon, blessed with both a Swiss director (Claude Barras), and an ambition not to do anything the conventional way. As if the story of a nine-year-old orphan named Courgette who’s sent to a group home after the death of his alcoholic mother could be considered even slightly conventional…

The animated characters, most with elongated bodies and pasty ping-pong heads with huge eyes, are beautifully realized, and the delicate touch of Barras works wonders. Skillfully adapted by Céline Sciamma (Girlhood) from the hit 2002 young adult novel by Gilles Paris, the film has a keen eye and ear for the way children process the inconceivable (neglect, abuse, deportation, murder).

All is not hopeless for Courgette. A cop named Raymond shows him kindness, as does a new girl named Camille. Even the red-haired school bully Simon forges a hard-won connection. ‘There’s nobody left to love us,’ he says in a moment of quiet, fleeting realization that can level you. Still, the feeling of melancholy is undercut by the resilience of these children, their ability to forge relationships and create life out of chaos…

My Life As a Courgette never sacrifices what’s true for what’s trite and easier to sell. This is animation as an art form, inspiring and indelible.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Screening With This Feature

The World in Your Window 2016



Tribeca 2017
15 minutes

Eight-year-old Jesse strikes up an unusual friendship.