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Denys Areand
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Denys Areand

Denys Arcand's films are noted around the world not only for the numerous prestigious awards that they have won, but also for the penetrating and poetic perspective of the world that they portray. With THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, he revisits the characters he created 17 years ago for his Oscar-nominated film The Decline of the American Empire - and finds them at a dramatic crossroads that reveals the ties that binds families together. The film garnered two major awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including a Best Screenplay Award for Areand.

It was in 198'7 that Arcand gave voice to a generation with the film The Decline of the American Empire, the first Quebec film to attract large audiences around the world. Detailing the sexual and romantic obsessions of a group of baby-boomer friends, the film won acclaim as a funny and revealing portrait of the times. In addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, the film garnered the International Critics' Prize at Cannes and numerous other prized across the globe. In Canada, the film earned 9 Genies, including Best Film.

Following on the heels of that success, Arcand directed Jesus of Montreal, which won the Jury Grand Prize at Cannes and the Ecumenical Prize. The film was also honored with 12 Genie Awards and another Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Langauge Film. Arcand then directed his first English-language feature film, Love and Human Remains, an adaptation of the play by Brad Fraser. In 1993, he also directed the short film Scenes From Elsewhere, included as part of the Montreal Sextet. In 1996, he directed Poverty and Other Delights, a made-for-television movie about the homeless. The film won 3 Gemini Awards from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, including Best Dramatic Program, Best Direction in a Dramatic Program and Best Writing in a Dramatic Program.

Most recently, Arcand filmed Stardom, a look at society's obsession with celebrities, which became the first Canadian film ever chosen to close the Cannes Film Festival. It also won the Best Screenplay Prize from the Writer's Guild of America.

Earlier in his career, Denys Arcand directed two documentary films for the National Film Board of Canada. The first, On est au cotton (1970), about the plight of textile workers in Quebec, was censored for six years, creating controversy. He stirred up more emotion with his second documentary for the NIB, Quebec, Duplessis et apres, which examined the political scars left behind after the reign of the Quebec Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis. Arcand then left the NIB and directed his first feature film, La Maudite Galette, which was selected for the International Critic's Week at Cannes. He then directed Rejeanne Padovanni, which was selected for the Director's Fortnight at Cannes in 19'73 and for the New York Film Festival. This was followed by Gina and Le Confort et L'indifference, which earned the Quimet-Molson Prize awarded by the Quebec Film Criti's Association in 1981; and Murder in the Family, based on the book by Roger Lemelin, which was a run-away Quebec box-office success.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Denys Areand Facts

OccupationDirector, Screenwriter
BirthdayJune 25, 1941 (81)
BirthplaceDeschambault, Quebec, Canada

Selected Filmography

Not available.