Denys Arcand Biography

Denys Arcand photo

Born: June 25, 1941


Date of Birth: June 25, 1941

Born in Deschambault, Quebec, Arcand (brother of actor Gabriel Arcand) began his career in the 1960s as a documentary filmmaker. Most of his earliest works, Seul ou avec d'autres (1962), Champlain (1964), Parcs atlantiques (1967) and Volleyball (1966), were award-winning documentaries.

His first feature films, La Maudite galette (1972) and Réjeanne Padovani (1973) were also selected for various awards.

After completing the feature Gina (1974), Arcand went back to directing various documentaries and started to work in a number of television series, including Duplessis, Empire Inc., and The Crime of Ovide Plouffe. His documentary, Comfort and Indifference (1982), was awarded the Best Film of the Year prize by the Quebec Film Critics' Association.

In the late '80s, Arcand wrote and directed Jésus de Montréal (1989) and Le Déclin de l'empire américain (1986) which were both nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. In Canada, both these films swept the Genie Awards, winning Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay as well as various other prizes. The two films would also win awards at the Cannes International Film Festival.

In addition to his work in film, Arcand also adapted and directed the stage production of The Portuguese Nun's Letters which had a successful run at Montreal's Théâtre de Quatre Sous.

He started off the millennium with a new challenge. Stardom (2000) marks the first English language feature film that Arcand both wrote and directed.

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