Born in Montreal, Claude Cloutier studied printmaking and worked as an illustrator before turning to comic strip art, mainly for Croc magazine. He has cultivated and absurdist sense of humour based of shifts in meaning and has gained recognition for the meticulous execution of his drawings, which are suggestive of engravings. He joined the NFB in 1986 and directed The Persistent Peddler, and adaptation of his comic strip album La Légende des Jean-Guy. The film was selected for screening in competition at Cannes in 1989. His next film Overdose (1994) which is part of Right of the Heart series, completed in the 1995 Berlinale. After From the Big Bang to Tuesday Morning (2000), he directed Sleeping Betty (2007), a short animated comedy that received wide public and critical acclaim and swept up 23 international awards, including a Jutra and a Genie. With The Trenches, Claude Coutier delivers an anti-war film in which arrival World War I images are reconstituted and contemporized throught his artistry brushwork.