December 27

NANITIC by Carol Nguyen


NANITIC by Carol Nguyen


Travelling and Coop Vidéo de Montréal are proud to announce the International Premiere of Nanitic by Carol Nguyen at the 73rd edition of the Berlinale. The filmmaker behind No Crying at the Dinner Table offers here her first short fiction film, which will screen in official competition in the Generation Kplus section of the festival, which is taking place from February 16 to 26, 2023. For the occasion, the film team will be in Berlin to present the film.

Nanitic had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where it won the IMDBPro Share Her Journey Short Cuts Award for the best national or international short directed by a woman, and was recently selected in TIFF Canada’s Top Ten. It also had its Quebec premiere at the Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC).Nanitic is part of the first wave of films to be unveiled by the Berlinale; the full lineup will be announced on January 18, 2023. 

Synopsis: Nine-year-old Trang starts to shift out of oblivion as her aunt Ut tends to Grandma, who lies in her deathbed in the living room. How can a single body occupy so much space? What will happen when Grandma is gone?


About Carol Nguyen

Carol Nguyen is a Vietnamese Canadian filmmaker, born and raised in Toronto, now based in Montreal. Her films often explore the subjects of cultural identity, silence and memory. Her previous film No Crying at the Dinner Table (2019) screened at TIFF and at IDFA, where she was additionally invited to be the Opening Night speaker. In 2020, the film received the Jury Prize for Short Documentary at SXSW. Carol is a 2018 Sundance Ignite fellow and a TIFF Share Her Journey ambassador. Her project The Visitors was selected for the IDFA Project Space 2022, a development lab for first- or second-time directors. Her most recent short film, Nanitic (2022), is in the midst of an impressive festival run. Carol is currently writing and directing several projects, including two feature films as well as an animated short.

Director’s statement

The word “nanitic” is coined for first-generation worker ants, who sacrifice their life for the survival of the colony. Nanitics care for the offspring as well as the queen ant. As a result of their natural position and sacrifice, they are often smaller than the next generations and have less sufficient food supply. When a queen ant dies, it is stated that the colony slowly dies thereafter. These symbols run parallels to the lives of immigrant families throughout the generations. Grandparents hold the culture and family together (the queen ants), parents sacrifice themselves for their children’s futures (the nanitics), and for us, the children, we reap all the benefits of their hard work as the colony grows, but only to assimilate away from our culture once our elders are gone. The film uses ants and their colonial structure as a metaphor, exploring the effect of this family moment at a macro level.  – Carol Nguyen


Fiction. Quebec/Canada. 2022. 14 minutes. 

In its original Vietnamese and English version with French or English subtitles.

Director: Carol Nguyen | Script: Carol Nguyen | Cinematography: Alexandre Nour-Desjardins | Art direction: Estelle Tang | Editing: Carol Nguyen | Sound: Giulio Trejo-Martinez, Andrés Solis | Music: Arie Van de Ven | Cast: Kylie Le, Ly Pham, Van Pham, Dam Nguyen, Eve Sévigny, Fred Nguyen, An Nguyen | Producers: Carol Nguyen, Marie Lytwynuk | Production: Coop Vidéo de Montréal | Distribution: Travelling

Berlinale website:

NANITIC was produced thanks to the financial participation of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, in collaboration with Coop Vidéo de Montréal and Travelling.


We would like to thank Caroline Rompre | pixelleX communications | for the press release and artist profile.