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DENYS ARCAND Director & Screenwriter

After graduation, Denys Arcand went to work for the National Film Board of Canada where he directed COTTON MILL, TREADMILL (1970), a documentary about the abuses in the Quebec textile industry, which was officially banned for 6 years because of its allegedly biased point of view. Equally controversial, another politically-orientated documentary followed in 1972: QUEBEC: DUPLESSIS AND AFTER, which deals with the political aftermath of Quebec ex Prime Minister, Maurice Duplessis.
In 1972, Denys Arcand left the National Film Board and directed his first fiction feature, DIRTY MONEY, an ironic thriller involving theft and murder screened at the Cannes Film Festival (Critics' Week, 1972). From then on, his films met both critical and popular acclaim. REJEANNE PADOVANNI is selected in 1973 by The Directors' Fortnight and The New York Film Festival, followed by STONE COLD REVENGE and COMFORT AND INDIFFERENCE (Best Film of the Year from the Quebec Film Critics Association, 1981). THE CRIME OF OVIDE PLOUFFE in 1974, based on Roger Lemelin's novel, set box-office records in Quebec.
In 1987, Denys Arcand wrote and directed THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, his breakthrough film. Screened at Cannes Directors' Fortnight, the film was rewarded with the FIPRESCI Prize (International Critics Prize awarded by the International Film Press Federation). It was nominated at the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film Category that same year. In Canada, THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE received nine Genie Awards (the Canadian Oscars), the L-E Molson Award from the Quebec Film Critics' Association, and many more international awards. A hit on the festival circuit and with both critics and filmgoers, THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE became Canada's biggest screen success worldwide.
In 1989, his JESUS OF MONTREAL - which he edited as well - was the surprise hit of Cannes Film Festival official competition: it was awarded with the Jury Prize and the Ecumenical Prize. This dazzling mix of passion play drama, Catholic ideology and contemporary satire earned an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language film directed and won 12 Genie Awards in its country.
After contributing a segment to MONTREAL SEXTET (Vue D'ailleurs) in 1993, which celebrated the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the city, Denys Arcand directed in 1995 the screen version of Canadian Brad Fraser's controversial play LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS, shooting in English for the first time. He then went on to direct for television POVERTY AND OTHER DELIGHTS (1996), a film on the homeless; staring Benoit BriƩre and Gatson Lepage, it received 3 Gemini Prizes for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Screenplay from the Canadian Academy of Motion Pictures and Television.
In 2000, Denys Arcand's satire on fame, STARDOM was the first Canadian film ever to screen on the Cannes Film Festival closing night. It was selected by the International London Film Festival, as well as by the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festivals, and received the Writer's Guild Award for Best Screenplay.
In 2003 he won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes for THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS.

Selected Filmography